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What to consider when selecting a network monitoring tool

Ben Foster  |  January 6, 2017

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The underlying network that supports a company’s most important technologies now represents the lifeblood of a business. This resource helps ensure that applications are accessible, communication is possible and collaboration is supported across the organization. With so much depending on the network, it’s imperative that this system is in top-notch condition at all times.

This is where network monitoring comes into play, helping to ensure performance and prevent network issues. Currently, there are more than a few network monitoring solutions available for enterprises, and it’s important that decision-makers select the one that will best suit their corporation’s needs. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important considerations to make when choosing a network monitoring tool:

Understand what the technology can do

When undertaking this process, it’s helpful to begin with the basics and glean a full understanding of what network monitoring tools do and the benefits they can offer a business.

CIO gathered answers to some of the most pressing network monitoring-related questions and noted that network monitoring helps resolve issues that can impede performance. These solutions monitor traffic and network activity, and can pinpoint problems like slow downloads, suspicious processes and bad connections. The best network monitoring platforms can also send notifications to a company’s IT team to ensure they are aware of any issues and are in the best position to address them.

This technology is able to monitor all servers, routers, switches and devices connected to the network. What’s more, an array of different network types can be monitored, including local area, wide area and wireless networks. In this way, no matter what type of system underpins the business’s IT architecture, a network monitoring solution can provide the critical oversight network administrators need.

Network monitoring solutions can help support security and performance. Network monitoring solutions can help support security and performance.

All-in-one or add-on customizability

It’s also imperative to take a look at the capabilities each potential network monitoring solution can provide. There are different kinds of systems available, including those that come as all-in-one solutions, support an array of functions or provide base-level capabilities and can be customized with feature add-ons.

This choice will hinge upon your organization’s requirements as well as internal expertise. An all-in-one solution can prevent deployment challenges and ensure the business’s technology is up and running as quickly as possible. Add-on solutions, on the other hand, are typically more complex and demand a significant level of knowledge to support proper integration. These also offer more opportunities for tailored configuration. If your business has a capable, talented IT team on hand, an add-on solution may be more attractive. Smaller companies with less internal expertise are usually more well-suited for all-in-one solutions that don’t require as much interaction.

Hardware considerations

Another important factor to keep in mind is the type of hardware included in the company’s network architecture. TechRepublic contributor Nick Hardiman pointed out that some organizations may have specialized components within their infrastructure, or other instruments that demand unique considerations. Decision-makers should connect with IT stakeholders to ensure that the solution they select will match the company’s hardware needs.

“One of the most attractive capabilities of any network monitoring tool is the ability to notify IT staff of any problems.”

Alerting features

One of the most attractive capabilities of any network monitoring tool is the ability to notify IT staff members of any problems or suspicious activity. In order to support this critical function, it’s important to look for monitoring solutions that include customizable notification settings that will align with IT employees’ processes. For instance, it is helpful to be able to leverage an array of alerting types like email and text messaging to ensure that network admins always have the visibility and oversight they need.

Proactive network monitoring from ISG Technology

ISG is a leader in network technologies, and our Net Alert solution represents the gold standard in network monitoring. Net Alert provides real-time notifications sent by our expert technicians as well as custom reports unique to your company’s network. With our seamless integration and proactive approach, your IT team will be in the best position to consistently understand the health and condition of your mission-critical network.

To find out more, check out our solution page and contact us today.

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Ben Foster

President & CEO at ISG Technology
Ben is President & CEO of both ISG Technology and Twin Valley Telephone, Inc., a fourth generation family owned company. He started his career in 1997 with Southwestern Bell/SBC where he held a variety of positions ranging from Manager of Installation/Maintenance to the Chief of Staff for the president of consumer operations. In 2004 he joined Twin Valley Telephone, Inc. where he has served as Director, Vice President and COO for the company. He has led projects, investments and acquisitions which resulted in the company tripling in size from 2005-2010. In 2011 Ben was appointed President & CEO of Twin Valley and led the acquisition of ISG Technology the same year. He has led the transformation of ISG from a regional IT reseller to a data center and IT infrastructure partner with nationwide reach. Ben is a graduate of Kansas State University in Business Administration. He has served on multiple boards including KsFiberNet, NTCA- The Broadband Association, Southwestern College and was Chairman of the Board for the Kansas Telecommunications Industry Association. He resides in Lenexa, KS with his wife and their three children.
About

Ben is President & CEO of both ISG Technology and Twin Valley Telephone, Inc., a fourth generation family owned company. He started his career in 1997 with Southwestern Bell/SBC where he held a variety of positions ranging from Manager of Installation/Maintenance to the Chief of Staff for the president of consumer operations. In 2004 he joined Twin Valley Telephone, Inc. where he has served as Director, Vice President and COO for the company. He has led projects, investments and acquisitions which resulted in the company tripling in size from 2005-2010. In 2011 Ben was appointed President & CEO of Twin Valley and led the acquisition of ISG Technology the same year. He has led the transformation of ISG from a regional IT reseller to a data center and IT infrastructure partner with nationwide reach. Ben is a graduate of Kansas State University in Business Administration. He has served on multiple boards including KsFiberNet, NTCA- The Broadband Association, Southwestern College and was Chairman of the Board for the Kansas Telecommunications Industry Association. He resides in Lenexa, KS with his wife and their three children.

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