How to Achieve Endpoint Visibility
Modern networks are much more complex than ever before with new technologies like SDN, NFV, and others. These technologies make it more difficult to gain visibility into the entire network, especially at endpoints at branch offices or remote employee locations. Endpoint visibility has increasingly become a significant challenge for modern Network Operations (NetOps) teams. As a matter of fact, a recent survey not only found that network teams are challenged to solve issues across the entire network, but also that endpoints are one of the top locations where NetOps encounter the most networking problems. This problem won’t go away any time soon. In fact, it will inevitably only get worse for NetOps as more companies continue to adopt IoT, edge computing, and cloud-based services, where more data bypasses the data center.
A lack of endpoint visibility can cause major issues that can ultimately impact an organization’s bottom line like reduced productivity, user frustrations, and poor network performance. Without endpoint visibility, NetOps teams are left in the dark and have no way of knowing whether an issue is affecting an endpoint or the broader network. In other words, NetOps teams are forced to act after the damage has already been done, which can be incredibly time-consuming, expensive, and jeopardizes network uptime and productivity issues.
Achieving Endpoint Visibility
While endpoint visibility can be difficult to achieve, unified Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostic (NPMD) platforms like LiveNX can help. Unified NPMD platforms can solve endpoint visibility challenges by providing end-to-end network visibility. These platforms allow NetOps teams to monitor performance at a high-level, or drill down into specific packet data at remote locations for complex troubleshooting by offering a wide variety of networking data like netflow, deep packet inspection, SNMP, IPFIX, and more.
Here are four examples of how unified NPMD platforms can help you achieve endpoint visibility:
1. Web Services Slowing Users Down – Endpoints bypass the usual corporate network visibility solutions and make direct connections to web services. As more applications like Salesforce are being accessed in the cloud, and more small, distributed offices are lacking real IT monitoring, endpoint visibility is consequently limited or non-existent for cloud application end users. Fortunately, unified NPMD solutions can monitor direct connections between end users and cloud applications and can leverage packet-based analysis to perform root cause analysis when needed.
2. Microbursts Causing Network Slow-downs – When network utilization pushes up against an equipment or service level limit, the network will slow down. While some network monitoring dashboards may record when this happens, it’s difficult to determine the exact cause of the spike simply from a dashboard. That’s why you need a unified solution that also includes packet capture. These packets provide deep insight into short-lived spikes, even those that last only milliseconds, and allow NetOps to see all the activity. This gives NetOps the endpoint visibility needed to identify the root cause and quickly resolve the issue.
3. Poor VoIP/ Teleconference Performance – Teleconferencing tools are essential for team communication, especially with the distributed workforce of today. But users too often run into poor connections and other problems when using these tools. NetOps can achieve endpoint visibility by proactively identify issues by setting alerts on key VoIP metrics like jitter, latency, and packet loss with unified NPMD solutions. These solutions allow NetOps to use flow-based information to view high-level details of the call, as well as conduct a packet-level analysis when required for root cause analysis to solve the problem quickly.
4. Phishing Scams – Unfortunately, phishing scams have increasingly become a common security issue that many users face. NetOps teams are essentially left in the dark when a user clicks on a phishing link because they cannot tell how the network was impacted without packet data from a unified NPMD platform. If a user admits they’ve accidentally been involved in a phishing attack, then network engineers can use a unified NPMD solution to help resolve the issue. These solutions have access to the data that provides insight into exactly what happened when the user clicked on the malicious link.
A lack of endpoint visibility can put network performance and the business in jeopardy. However, unified NPMD platforms can properly manage and monitor endpoints with end-to-end visibility. This allows NetOps teams to better identify, prevent, and solve issues like the ones mentioned above.