When enterprises scale up, network management becomes an integral part as majority of the business processes and critical applications run on enterprise networks. This is when administrators and engineers face diverse set of issues, most of them a result of lack in transparency of new devices added to the network. To simplify network management and achieve more transparency, you should keep an eye on three important factors – Discover, Map and Monitor.
Why are these factors important?
By discovering all the devices in your network, you can gather information that gives you a glimpse of what devices you will monitor and the resources connected to it. Using network management tool, you can scan the network and find all device details like status of the device, machine type, description, location, etc. Once you discover the devices in the network you can organize them into logical group. On other hand, network mapping provides you a schematic representation of those devices and relationships between them. Creating a network map helps you to understand the relationships and dependencies between those network devices. These two factors help administrators to monitor large number of network devices, with more transparency and visibility.
Network Management Mantra – Discover, Map & Monitor
The mantra for better network management can only be achieved by following the best practices in network discovery, network mapping and monitoring.
- The process of network discovery while scaling up is cumbersome, when network environment constantly changes. Manually adding each device is impractical. You can go for automatic discovery by scheduled periodic network scanning that notifies administrators whenever a device is added to the network. Later, you can add or ignore the devices that you want to monitor.
- If you have a distributed network, it is important to organize the discovered network devices in a logical group (E.g. Location based grouping). This helps to find where the problems have occurred. Network map fulfills the need for a graphical representation of your network from a centralized location providing a visual guide to your network operational status. Use maps to quickly isolate issue and analyze scope, and impact of the problem.
- With the help of network discovery and pictorial maps, you have the capability to ascertain the network availability by monitoring all the devices through ICMP and SNMP polling. By this you can collect a range of metrics on network health and activity. Using a network management tool, you store historical data and compare them for trends and abnormal activities. Any abnormality will result as events and if they exceed the threshold limit, administrators will automatically get notified on the situation via email, text, SNMP traps, Syslog messages, etc.
These steps will ease your network management and make sure your network doesn’t get affected as you grow. You can use a network monitoring tool that provides the capability to automatically discover new devices by scheduled scanning and visually track key network performance statistics of network devices. Now, you can repeat this network management mantra to attain network nirvana.