Appropriate hardware and software tools to monitor network performance

1545 pts.
Tags:
Network hardware
Network management software
Network monitoring
Networking
What are the appropriate hardware and software tools to monitor trends and network performance, and what are the reasons for keeping these records?

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I would look into sevone – this is a network performance monitoring product for enterprise companies. fantastic product!

Depends on if you are talking LAN or WAN and what protocols you are trying to monitor.

Tools I like include: smokeping, NTOP, NetDoppler, Cactus.

Our WAN provider captures utilization stats and I download the raw data for trend analysis, SLA monitoring and such.Not sure HW would be considered a tool – required to support your SW solution – with an active/active back-up plan.

Network Monitoring = up or down. Therefore you can build trends over time to find correlations for specific devices which may be problematic. The sooner you know something is down, the sooner you can respond and reduce your MTTR [mean time to repair]. Integrating this function with your ticketing / helpdesk solution for bi-directional is optimal.

Network Performance is a whole different arena – keeping reports here allows you to be proactive – with the end goal of preventing an issue before it occurs [eg an outage]. Keeping an eye on CPU utilization, or bandwidth, etc.; plus assists in planning growth. I knew of one business which simply ended up rebooting its servers once-a-month, following discovery of dangerously high CPU utilization. Problem found, problem solved.

Best solution I have seen thus far in this space is Monolith – monitoring and performance all in one integrated platform, built on web 2.0. NOT cost prohibitive, but not freeware. Remember the old adage – you get what you pay for…

Why keep the records – Service Level Agreements, Compliance with Legal requirements, trending and analyses for improvements, network planning, internal metrics, credits issued to customers, etc.

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  • Ljordan
    I would look into sevone - this is a network performance monitoring product for enterprise companies. fantastic product! www.sevone.com
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  • Mdufty
    OPNET’s ACE Live product is a real-time, end user response time monitoring tool that provides SLA metrics via web-based dashboards. The appliance can be used to troubleshoot poor performance and determine the cause of delay such as network, server, or application.
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  • Michael Morisy
    There are many, many network monitoring tools out there, ranging from free (http://www.spiceworks.com/), semi-free (http://www.packettrap.com/), to higher level products (http://www.solarwinds.com/). This year's Networking Product Leadership awards has a section going through some of SearchNetworking's top monitoring picks. Why monitor? Performance is a big problem. Proper monitoring can really help with tracking down trouble spots, like misconfigured routers or employees sapping away at bandwidth with Internet radio. Also, there can be compliance or security aspects, particularly in banking, where almost EVERYTHING needs to be monitored and logged. Your industry, the size of your network, how many sites you will be monitoring, and your monitoring requirements will all play major parts in deciding what kind of solution you should go with.
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