Enterprise Network Monitoring Tools
NetOps Consolidating Enterprise Network Monitoring Software onto Next-Generation Platforms
Expanding Network Monitoring Tools in Enterprises are Creating a Host of Issues for NetOps.
It’s not been easy for NetOps lately. They’re under constant pressure to do more with less.
The problem is, this is not easy – because the network keeps changing.
More mobile devices. More IoT devices. More applications. More cloud-based networks. More virtual networks. The fast-emerging presence of software-defined networks (SDNs).
Still, end-users, management, and customers just expect the network to work, without fail, all the time.
With the continual addition of multiple new network technologies, network professionals have to grapple with multiple ways to monitor them. And that can be a lot. The EMA, in its 2018 Network Management Megatrends Report, found that 49 percent of enterprises use anywhere from 4 to 10 network monitoring solutions, while 27 percent use 11 or more products.
Never mind the expense of having 11 or more different maintenance agreements and support plans, or even the relatively short shelf-life of the tools to adequately perform the kind of rigorous monitoring as corporate demands evolve. First, look at the sheer time, effort, and resources that NetOps must use just to oversee all of these products, and it’s easy to see how untenable the situation has become. A recent LiveAction survey that 43% of network professionals are challenged to find the time to work on strategic business initiatives because they’re too busy troubleshooting across the network.
But there is good news: a better, more unified way to manage networks is possible with next-generation enterprise network monitoring solutions.
Next-Generation Networks Requires Enterprise-Level Network Monitoring Software
Digital transformation has helped drive greater business performance, but it has also made the enterprise increasingly reliant on the network. In fact, for many enterprises, their business IS the network – without it, they would not function at all.
Without question, network traffic is showing no signs of slowing down. At the same time, neither is the continual introduction of new networking technologies – all of which must be consistently available across all devices, applications, architectures, and territories to meet the minute-by-minute demands of business every day.
The top challenges for NetOps? Wireless diagnostics, which typically require deep packet inspection. Branch and remote site monitoring, which require high-level flow as well as packet analysis. Endpoint monitoring – a real problem with the increasing numbers of remote workers, IoT devices, and BYOD policies – which requires an endpoint agent for visibility.
Virtualized networks in the form of SDNs and SD-WANs also present a challenge because of their dynamic provisioning ability that enables them to expand or contract based on user demand. And they continue to grow in popularity. LiveAction expects the adoption rate of SD-WANs to accelerate rapidly, hitting more than 50 percent of enterprises by the end of 2019. (This far exceeds the already-bullish projections by analysts.)
With multiple next-generation networking technologies comes multiple layers of management complexity for network operations professionals. Add to this the legacy networks that have traditionally run corporate applications, and that must now work within an increasingly hybrid network environment, and there is even more pressure on NetOps to fully and proactively manage the entire network fabric of the enterprise.
The need for next-generation enterprise network monitoring software has never been more obvious.
Consolidating Network Monitoring Solutions in Enterprises is Becoming Common
Yes, there are plenty of network monitoring solutions being used by NetOps in large enterprises, likely too many. And while each does a good job of monitoring specific aspects of network performance, most have not been engineered to work across multiple domains simultaneously, creating tedious and time-consuming workflows.
This siloed approach to monitoring brings with it a whole level of stress for NetOps. The EMA, in its 2018 Network Management Megatrends Report, found that 83% of enterprises are using multiple monitoring software– with some, as we said in the introduction, using 11 or more. In fact,
the EMA identified “the fragmented network management toolset” as the Number One Network Management Megatrend for 2018.
In effect, using multiple software means NetOps professionals are relegated to a kind of “lighthouse management” technique. They can only look at one aspect of network performance at a time, while the rest is left in the dark. There is no holistic view. And as soon as they’re finished resolving one problem, they need to turn to the next problem right way.
In its Megatrends report, EMA also found that those NetOps teams with 11 or more monitoring tools suffer three times more annual network service problems or outages than teams with one to three tools. Moreover, they’re six times as likely to lack end-to-end network visibility.
The outcome – most NetOps teams are overburdened and understaffed. They have difficulties putting together the right troubleshooting teams and lack the time to adequately document a troubleshooting event. Our recent survey at LiveAction found that 42% of network professionals spend too much time troubleshooting across the entire network. And 38% can’t proactively identify network performance issues as they arise. Essentially, they’re always on call because individual NPMD tools are not working together to present a comprehensive view of the network.
of NetOps teams can’t proactively identify network performance issues
of network professionals spend too much time troubleshooting
Unified Enterprise Network Monitoring Software Needed Now
Tools sprawl is something that has slowly crept into NetOps departments, largely because there has been no other way to monitor multiple networks. By default, having multiple network monitoring solutions has become widely accepted as the norm.
The irony is that even with multiple network monitoring solutions, NetOps doesn’t have the visibility it needs to proactively manage the network end-to-end.
But there is a way to consolidate functionality into a single view – one dashboard that provides a complete, real-time picture of the network. across packet, flow, SNMP and other data. This network visualization and high-velocity data management across packet, flow, SNMP, and other data happens through APIs that deliver broad visualizations for high-level monitoring and detailed packet analysis.
With this centralized network visibility, NetOps no longer have to pivot from one monitoring tool to another. Instead, they can garner continuous insights, provide higher levels of service assurance, and repair network problems more quickly. At the same time, NetOps have a window into customer behaviors to help drive innovation and enable more efficient use of network capacity. And, they can proactively identify advanced threats to improve security.
The results for NetOps? Less firefighting, and more strategic analysis. Less uncertainty, and more insight. Less complexity, and more simplified planning and workflow. And – most important of all – fewer network monitoring solutions in the company – which means fast troubleshooting.
How LiveAction LiveNX Enterprise Network Monitoring Platform Helps
Rather than managing a host of disparate, business network monitoring systems, the LiveNX network monitoring platform delivers end-to-end visibility into network performance and proactively identifies network issues, enabling NetOps to focus on providing enhanced network management that helps drive business performance. All in a single platform
Best-in-class visual analytics, proactive alerts, dynamic workflows integrated into dashboards, easy drilldowns from topology to application-level.
The power to scale to over 10,000 devices across multi-vendor, multi-domain, multi-cloud network environments.
Seamlessly integrates flow, packet, SNMP, and virtually any other data from SD-WAN, WiFi, data centers, remote sites, and endpoints.