Every business must adhere to a guaranteed level of service that's agreed upon within client contracts. For many technology services, this means providing 99.999 percent uptime, the gold standard for ensuring reliable, continuous accessibility to critical business functions. However, disasters come in a number of forms and can severely impact an organization's ability to recover quickly and resume operations.
With the price of downtime climbing, it's essential for companies to have a solution in place that will help prevent and bounce back from these situations. Network monitoring can solve downtime headaches in three key ways:
1. Proactive maintenance
Within an organization, it can be difficult to monitor and maintain each active endpoint. There could be some devices that need repairs or other upkeep that are simply going by the wayside due to prioritized activities and other business endeavors. The longer that hardware goes unmaintained, the worse it will be when it fails. Hardware failure is a major source of downtime as well as data loss, making it particularly important to watch for any signs of unusual behavior or routine care needs.
Network monitoring gathers information about the infrastructure 24/7, and will send alerts to teams concerning any irregularities within the system. Real-time information from this solution will help address any issues immediately, minimizing potential damage and costs, Wired contributor Kornelius Brunner noted. Teams can also use network monitoring to proactively identify when equipment needs routine maintenance or has a deteriorating part.
2. Metrics tracking
Even when business operations are flowing smoothly, network monitoring tools are tracking the infrastructure's performance and a number of other key metrics. Utilization, for example, can significantly affect the network's performance. Organizations must closely watch when network utilization increases and how much is being used. This information can be used to scale the network as needed and ensure that performance levels are maintained.
Businesses can track a wide variety of metrics to reduce costs and provide reliable performance. TechTarget contributor Jamie Lerner noted that metrics from network monitoring solutions can also help calculate ROI based on expense avoidance and revenue generation. Proactive maintenance can help reduce diagnostic and repair costs, as well as maximize productivity, leading to increased overall revenue opportunities.
"Network monitoring enables you to get in front of your schedule rather than be controlled by unplanned network events," Lerner wrote. "And because it provides real metrics, you can more easily align IT with business goals. Rather than operating on gut instinct or the squeaky wheel principle, you can link IT assets to business functions through a business process view of your network."
3. Watch all downtime causes
"All causes of downtime must be closely monitored."
Hardware failures are just one means of downtime. There are a number of other factors that must be tracked, and network monitoring hits on many of them. For example, if a humidity sensor malfunctions, this could impact the amount of moisture and static electricity in the air. Information Age noted that even these small sensors must be tracked to ensure they are functioning appropriately and keeping hardware in optimal condition. Network monitoring solutions must also ensure that threats from outside influences are being effectively blocked. All causes of downtime must be closely monitored to minimize the impact of these kinds of events.
Downtime can create significant headaches for businesses, but with network monitoring, it can be avoided. The metrics and proactive maintenance afforded by network monitoring solutions are major benefits to track all causes of downtime and reduce the chances of it occurring. As the cost of downtime continues to rise, businesses should look into network monitoring to solve these issues.