Network Monitoring

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Best Practices That IT Experts Should Know with Network Monitoring

Posted on 12 October 2017 | 5:24 am by

One of the most crucial components of the network is monitoring, which has been reiterated a lot of times throughout this document. It’s only with the continuous monitoring that network administrators may maintain high performance IT infrastructure for organizations.

Aside from the common practices that IT experts should know, there are also some best practices are applicable in network monitoring. While the common practices define the basic components, which are important for network monitoring and applicable to each network, the best practices in network monitoring is a guideline in implementing a great network monitoring strategy. Adopting best practices may help network administrators streamline network monitoring to resolve and determine problems much quicker with less MTTR.

Baseline Network Behavior

For you to determine the potential problems even before the users start complaining, the administrator has to be aware of what’s typical in the network. Baselining the behavior of the network over several weeks or months will help the network administrator understand what network’s normal behavior is. When baseline or normal behavior of the different services and elements in the network are understood, formation may be used by administrator to set the threshold values for alerts.

When elements in the network do not function well, some metrics associated with node performance will display deviation from their mean value. For instance, the core switch’s temperature might shoot-up. The increase in the temperature may be because of an increase in the usage of CPU on the switch. Understanding CPU utilization and normal temperature of the device would help any network administrator to detect deviation and take some corrective actions before malfunction happens.

Being knowledgeable of the baseline behavior when it comes to the network elements will help the network administrator to decide the thresholds in which an alert will be triggered. It also helps in proactive troubleshooting and prevents downtime in the network instead of being reactive after the users begin complaining.

Escalation Matrix

Probably, one of the many reasons why potential network problems become an actual network issue is because the alerts triggered based on the threshold are ignored or the one responsible isn’t alerted. In a big network, there could be different administrators or individuals who take care of various aspects of the network. There could be the security administrator who looks at the firewall devices, systems admin, admin responsible for virtualization, and Intrusion Prevention Systems.

Whenever setting up reporting and monitoring, the organization must have a policy on who should be alerted when malfunction occurs or a possible issue is detected. Based on the policy, the person administering the network that’s having a problem should be alerted. It could reduce the needed time for analysis that reduced MTTR. Aside from alerting the network administrator, escalation matrix is necessary as well. Escalation plan ensures that the issues are resolved and looked on time. If the person in charge of the element isn’t available or might take a long time to solve the problem, implementing escalation matrix can be the best solution.

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