Trail Blazin’ – Combining Proactive and Reactive Network Monitoring

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When network problems occur, your troubleshooting efforts are likely accompanied by end-users breathing down your neck. Users tend to expect quick time-to-resolution (TTR) results when business-critical IT services rely on network availability. Real-time network diagnostic and troubleshooting tools come in handy when you need to identify performance bottlenecks and quickly resolve complex network issues.

Real-time network diagnostics complement a proactive network performance monitoring approach. You monitor servers, routers, workstations, and other network devices and receive reports on incidents like high network latency, packet loss, etc. This spectrum of monitoring often compels network engineers to consider automating essential diagnostic tasks such as:

  • Finding real-time response rate and packet loss for network devices
  • Automating continuous network monitoring processes
  • Creating a network latency profile for all network devices
  • Storing latency results for future analysis
  • Automating the process of exporting weekly diagnostic results

To get real-time network diagnostics, you need to continuously monitor relevant devices and interfaces.

For instance, when a network issue is reported, it can be difficult to find out which ports are down if they aren’t monitored. An access switch can be monitored for diagnostics, but some of the interfaces would have been skipped.

24/7 Network Availability

Alerting and monitoring are two key processes that help simplify troubleshooting. You need the ability to receive alerts when network devices go down. Powerful network monitoring tools, available today, help you define alerts for dynamic conditions and specific thresholds.

What’s more important is, when you receive an alert that an access switch is down, you should be able to use real-time diagnostics that can quickly locate the device and identify the root cause of the issue. You do this by integrating a tool like Response Time Monitor from Engineer’s Toolset along with Network Performance Monitor. You select the devices you want to monitor and then receive real-time availability statistics and network latency information.

Response time monitor on SolarWinds Engineer's ToolsetAlso, when using Network Performance Monitor (NPM) to discover critical ports and interfaces for monitoring and troubleshooting, you can further ease the diagnostic process while troubleshooting. Simply select the Interface Monitor from the Engineer’s Toolset, discover ports, and retrieve details about the specific port utilization/errors, etc. For example, if you discover interfaces with high utilization (i.e. malicious traffic), you can immediately resolve this problem by shutting down the port.

Interface Monitor on SolarWinds Engineer's Toolset

This is just the tip of the iceberg on what you can do by combining proactive and reactive network monitoring techniques. How are you combining network troubleshooting and monitoring in your IT environment?

Author

Narendran Vaideeswaran

Naren is a Web enthusiast, and has been in the technology space for over a decade. Started off as a network engineer for a large multi-national bank, and scaled out to marketing IT products, both small and enterprise-class.

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