Evolution is not just for science conversations; it is a critical aspect of effective IT management. As federal technology environments become more complex, the processes and practices used to monitor those environments must evolve to stay ahead of -- and mitigate -- potential risks and challenges.

 

Network monitoring is one of the core IT management processes that demands growth in order to be effective. In fact, there are five characteristics of advanced network monitoring that signal a forward-looking, sophisticated solution:

 

  1. Dependency-aware network monitoring
  2. Intelligent alerting systems
  3. Capacity forecasting
  4. Dynamic network mapping
  5. Application-aware network performance

 

If you’ve implemented all of these, you have a highly evolved network.  If you have not, it might be time to start thinking about catching up.

 

1. Dependency-aware network monitoring

 

A sophisticated network monitoring system provides all dependency information: not only which devices are connected to each other, but also network topology, device dependencies and routing protocols. This type of solution then takes that dependency information and builds a theoretical picture of the health of your agency’s network to help you effectively prioritize network alerts.

 

2. Intelligent alerting system

 

The key to implementing an advanced network monitoring solution is having an intelligent alerting system that triggers alerts on deviation from normal performance based on dynamic baselines calculated from historical data. And an alerting system that understands the dependencies among devices can significantly reduce the number of alerts being escalated. This supports “tuned” alerts so that admins get only one ticket when there is a storm of similar events.

 

3. Capacity forecasting

 

An agencywide view of utilization for key metrics, including bandwidth, disk space, CPU and RAM, plays two very important roles in capacity forecasting:

 

     1. No surprises. You must know what’s “normal” at your agency to understand when things are not normal. You can see trends over time and can be prepared in advance for changes that are happening on your network.

 

     2. Having the ability to forecast capacity requirements months in advance will give you the opportunity to initiate the procurement process in advance of when the capacity is needed.

 

4. Dynamic network mapping

 

Dynamic network mapping allows you to display the data on how devices are connected on your network on a single screen, with interactive, dynamic maps that can display link utilization, device performance metrics, and automated geolocation. This way, you can see how everything is connected and find the source of the slowdown.

 

5. Application-aware network performance

 

Application-aware network performance monitoring collects information on individual applications as well as network data and correlates the two to determine what is causing an issue. You can see if it is the application itself causing the issue or if there is a problem on the network.

 

Evolving your network monitoring solution will help keep you ahead of the technology curve and help meet budget challenges by providing more in-depth information to ensure your monitoring is proactive and strategic.

 

Find the full article on Government Computer News.