How to Monitor Your LAN
As the size of an IT infrastructure increases, its importance also increases. Hence, a simple solution to monitor network devices has become a crucial task to IT organizations. For this reason, monitoring tools were created because they help ensure the networks runs efficiently and effectively.
Keeping track of the entire IT infrastructure includes not only monitoring of workstations, routers, switches, servers and printers but also watching over the health status and performance of these devices.
Although manually monitoring the network is possible for small networks, this task will become almost impossible as the network grows. Furthermore, manual monitoring is not efficient, and can mean waiting for key devices or services to fail or overload. LAN monitoring software tools are meant to give you a deep look inside of your network , and prevent issues before they occur. This article will discuss the key features of a LAN monitoring tool and will provide an example of a tool that is widely used in the IT industry.
Choosing the Right Tool for Your Lan
LAN monitoring tools include a wide range of applications, including simple packet sniffing software to full network monitoring applications that provides graphical insights with warnings and alerts. They can also be used to discover and identify poor performing links or network devices. In other words, they provide network administrators with an all-in-one application to monitor the entire network infrastructure, with real-time information gathered from the entire network, and aggregated in a single place.
There is a large variety of LAN monitoring tools on the market. Moreover, there is wide variety of available features, that are fitted for small networks, up too multinational corporate systems. However, no matter the size of the network, when choosing a LAN monitoring tool, the following should be considered.
- Visualization – provide detailed real-time information about what is happening across the entire network including health status of all devices and links
- Alerts and Reporting – provide notification and precise reporting in case of suspicious events, failures and performance issues
- Customization – able to accept user defined alerts, thresholds and automation
- Multi-vendor – must be compatible with various vendor equipment and visible from a single application, server or tool
- Analysis Tools – must include or incorporate other tools for deep network analysis
- Flexibility and Scalability – capable to scale up to monitor more devices as the network grows, including simple removal and addition of devices
The Best on the Market
Below is an example of a top quality network monitoring tool for growing IT infrastructures.
Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)
Solwarwinds’ NPM is the leading LAN monitoring tool on the market. NPM is a comprehensive fault monitoring and performance management software. This tool has excellent monitoring capabilities that include multi-vendor compatibility, advanced alerting, network insights for deeper visibility, auto-generation of intelligent network maps and scalability.
NPM is not only used for Wired and Wireless LAN monitoring but also aides in the troubleshooting of network problems. This tool boasts features of an intuitive, well organized and customizable Graphical User Interface which means it provides an overview of the whole network, and services can be seen according to the preference of the administrators.
This Software fulfills the need for a real-time alerting because it gives actual information about availability, device health, utilization and heat maps. Moreover, these notifications and alerts can be filtered which is essential in prioritizing tasks related to monitoring and troubleshooting of the network.
The entire process of installing SolwarWinds’ NPM is straight forward due to its guided steps. Information about credentials for the Active Directory server, VMWare administration details and the specific IP address ranges are needed during this process. After all the network data is provided, the software automatically performs network discovery after which a detailed dashboard is shown which contains customizable information about the network.
A detailed report can also be seen when digging deeper into individual network devices or nodes on the LAN. This report indicates a level of severity for an issue that occurs in the network which helps when prioritizing problems, needs, and changes.
Keeping an eye on every interface of the LAN is essential to prevent outages, this tool not only shows a graphical representation of the utilization and hardware health but also gives a forecast and logs the availability of network links and interfaces, as shown below.
These capabilities that NPM provide are critical in monitoring and managing a growing LAN. Furthermore, this tool gives a robust solution for hardware support when needed due to its capability to notify service providers of outages and issues. Thus, getting rid of the time-consuming task of calling the service providers.
Overall SolarWinds NPM is a fantastic tool that enables network administrators to have a deep and thorough view of all aspects of their network. Data is power, and with the data provided by NPM, downtime can be reduced, networks can be optimized, and troubleshooting can be made easy from an all in one platform for monitoring your LAN.