When phone, video and data traffic converge (otherwise known as “network convergence”), it complicates the local area network (LAN). This network convergence puts even greater demands on enterprise wide area networks (WANs), especially in terms of bandwidth. Neither monitoring nor managing varied traffic get any easier either, and on top of it all — WAN management and monitoring are converging.
Expert Tom Nolle points out this WAN management/monitoring convergence in his tip series on how your WAN network monitoring strategy needs to evolve and what network monitoring tools need in a WAN supported by less staff and newer technology:
One reflection of the evolution of monitoring is its collision with network management. A WAN network monitoring strategy has always required the analysis of traffic in real time, but most management systems support at least some form of real-time traffic analysis too; so the distinction between monitoring and management may become more cloudy.
What’s good to know is that vendors are beginning to catch up in their offerings. NetScout’s embedded branch office network monitoring probe in Cisco’s ISR, announced last week, is an example of the many other branch office monitoring tools that can resolve WAN performance problems and keep your users from complaining about slow network speeds over the WAN.