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Top 6 Features Your Network Monitoring Software Should Have

Morgana Siggins
Morgana Siggins
Monitoring Specialist

Technology evolves every day. What this means is that network monitoring is no longer a simple system that is only capable of collecting information from a network. It now can perform multiple different functions.

Because of that, many industries factor-in network monitoring solutions to improve business aspects, such as increased employee productivity and saving on infrastructure costs.

When I talk about a monitoring solution impacting companies' networks, it could be anything from poor LAN connectivity, a door left open, or even a generator not starting. While these issues can be addressed by individual solutions in the market, there's nothing like the convenience of single-point access to visualize your entire network to manage the fault, performance, configuration, and security of your resources.

T/Mon LNX

However, no two networks are the same, so a "one-size-fits-all" principle is not ideal in terms of monitoring. But, there are some important capabilities that your network monitoring software should support - even if it has other tailor-made functionality to properly fit into your network.

There are many monitoring software options in the market today. Although they fit into the "network monitoring" umbrella, it's important to look for all the must-have functionality that will help you achieve your business goals. Let's take a look at these capabilities.

If you're a network administrator, then you know that network performance, security, fault management, and reliability are not mutually exclusive. A solution that serves all of these on one platter, will keep you happy and your network efficient. Anything else will be a welcome bonus!

The Must-Haves For Your Monitoring Software

Let's take a closer look at the main features and capabilities you should look for in cost-effective monitoring software.

Monitoring software must-haves

1. Automatic Discovery

With networks getting more and more complex due to large and spread-out sites, automatic discovery leaves little room for manual errors. In vast networks, constant upgrades and equipment additions is nothing new, and it calls for a provision to initiate a discovery on demand too.

So, your monitoring software must be capable of automating the discovery and it should also accommodate a forced discovery.

2. Smart Classification and Mapping

The remote site to be managed will most likely include elements like devices, servers, applications, and other resources on the network.

So, different parameters determine the health of performance of these resources on your network. Also, classification of the infrastructure based on the type, and provision to map or logically group devices like clustered environments or geographically distributed resources, empowers the network tech and helps him visualize his network and manage devices and conditions.

T/Mon device classification
Invest in a monitoring software that allows you to classify and group your devices in a logic way.

3. In-Depth Performance Monitoring

Lower network performance is a tech's nightmare. Most devices or conditions can pull down the performance of your network, and the factors affecting the performance could be internal or external.

Faults such as power outage, LAN failure, database crash, etc., have a cascading effect and the impact is larger than we can realize. The main areas a technician must keep an eye on to assure that the network is 100% reliable include availability and uptime monitoring, system resources monitoring, and bandwidth monitoring.

4. Security Management

A secure network is an efficient, healthy network.

The challenges here are huge because the technician can't make the slightest compromise. Like for any other aspect of network monitoring, it's better to be safe than sorry.

This means that not only you should put in place a building access control system, but your monitoring system should also support (at least) basic security features. Some of these features include:

  • Support for SNMPv3
  • HTTPS/SSL encryption
  • RADIUS authentication
  • User privileges

5. Intelligent Alerting

Any efficient network monitoring solution must have an intelligent alerting mechanism that allows your team to work efficiently.

Any component or resource in a network can fail, even pulling down the rest of the network devices with it. To avoid a delay in preventing a fault from happening and to quickly repair damages promptly, you must have a fool-proof alerting mechanism that will allow anyone in your team to know the source of the problem through a meaningful alert.

6. Scalability

Scalability refers to the ability of the monitoring system to accept additional devices to monitor.

Efficient monitoring software can give the capability of expanding your system in terms of capacity and scope. This means that, as your network grows and you add new devices and resources, your software will be able to support all of that under its monitoring umbrella.

Remember that a monitoring software that can support multiple different communication protocols is key to make sure you can add any equipment you want and still be able to have visibility over it.

How T/Mon LNX Fits In

The T/Mon LNX is an efficient monitoring master station that has a big advantage of allowing you to integrate all of your other network devices under its single display. Built on a robust platform, T/Mon addresses all the key requirements a network administrator or manager looks for in a network monitoring solution.

Let's take a look at how each of the above functionality is addressed by T/Mon:

  • T/Mon automatic discovery
    When a new device is plugged into your network, the T/Mon will be able to automatically discover the new equipment based on its IP address. Further, the devices can be classified based on the category - such as RTUs, routers, switches, servers, etc. - for easy monitoring.
  • GFX
    GFX is the T/Mon's intuitive graphical interface of your network that helps you manage your equipment under each geographical location. It supports multiple map layers, making identifying alarms very easy. You can also drill down from large areas to cities, to facilities, and to even a picture of your device that's presenting problems.
  • T/Mon GFX
    GFX is the T/Mon's intuitive graphical interface that makes it easy for you to monitor and manage all your remote sites.
  • Monitoring virtually any resource in your network
    T/Mon is a multiprotocol master station - it supports over 25 protocols, including SNMP, ASCII, DCP, and DNP3. It monitors almost every network element and reports its performance. This means that you won't have to be restricted to a single vendor in terms of which devices you can buy.
    Since T/Mon also supports legacy devices, you can also slowly upgrade your older equipment without having to replace it all at once.
  • Availability and uptime monitoring
    A quick, safe option to determine the performance of a network and its elements is to simply check its availability. Something as simple as a ping can determine if a device is up or down.
    T/Mon supports what's called a heartbeat alarm. This is a signal that T/Mon can send to an SNMP manager at regular intervals to let it know it's working and communicating.
    Checking for availability is often the start point from where a technician can pinpoint the root cause of an alarm. Proactive monitoring for availability and uptime ensures that you have a plan B in place if something wrong happens.
  • Securing your network
    At DPS, we take the safety of your network very seriously. We know that technicians have to face many threats to the security of their network from the external world. Even a small compromise might be costly to your business. So, having secure monitoring software is essential.
    T/Mon is equipped with important security features, such as support for SNMPv3, HTTPS/SSL encryption for secure web interface access, RADIUS authentication, and "need-to-know" user-level access permissions.
  • Alerting mechanism
    T/Mon's alerting is characterized by its real-time alerting capabilities in addition to maintaining an alert history.
    This master station will proactively check for faults in your network by querying the devices periodically, listening for SNMP traps from devices, and also processing the system logs to generate corresponding alerts.
    Also, threshold alerting aids in quicker resolution time. Setting thresholds for your multiple monitored conditions allows for proactive alerting.
    The purpose of sending notifications is to get the tech and his team to attend to the problem as soon as possible and prevent huge downtimes. So, the T/Mon's alerts reach the concerned person through a way that makes the most sense for them, such as via text message or email.
  • Scalable, robust application architecture
    T/Mon is a full-capacity alarm master station that can support virtually any number of devices you have in your network. There's no limit to where you can network can grow, T/Mon will support you.
    It also has redundancy support to help you achieve uninterrupted monitoring. In the event of the primary T/Mon failing for whatever reason, your monitoring system will continue running seamlessly.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know what your network monitoring software should support, it's easier for you to filter out all the options that don't cut.

The T/Mon LNX is one good option of monitoring software that has all the previous requirements. This multiprotocol master station allows you to integrate all your network devices under one intuitive console to manage and troubleshoot problems, reducing the hassles of having to deal with multiple vendors and several proprietary protocols.

In a nutshell, when an issue happens, the T/Mon LNX will be the single point where you can intuitively view exactly what's going on at your network. Ask for a demo and see for yourself!

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