What is Network Monitoring?

network monitoring

What is Network Monitoring?

Network monitoring is a general term for operations work that protects network lifelines that are required to solve several types of problems under this one name.

In addition, this network monitoring work is said to be the act of observing and checking the behavior and output of the system and components for a certain period of time and monitoring any changes over time.

Specifically, usage rate monitoring of CPU, Memory, HDD, etc., fault monitoring by SNMP metrics, Syslog monitoring, web monitoring, application monitoring, virtual OS monitoring such as VMware and Hyper-V, AWS cloud monitoring, and security scan monitoring.

Network monitoring is also proactive in finding performance issues, bottlenecks, downtime, and faults in a timely manner.  It also defines the job as not just a single job for an individual, but a broad range of responsibilities, skills, and teamwork that must be shared by everyone involved in operations.

On the other hand, we, as a network software vendor, claim that monitoring tools are magic wands for solving network monitoring problems.

I feel it is necessary. In other words, it is necessary to start with the recognition that there is no tool in the world that can solve all problems with a single tool, but we make a valent effort to be that tool.

Basic issues and problems of Network Monitoring

(1) Management system is individualized

As a common story, people continue to use old applications without the latest network monitoring information and network monitoring tool updates and fall into the bad precedent of “There were no problems until now.”

(2) Mismatch between tools and company

In addition, the operation group, which should be a mission-oriented team, tends to become a tool-obsessed type and tends to be focusing too much on searching for tools.

(3) Which is better, the agentless type or the agent type?

First of all, the agentless type is easy to introduce. However, is it possible to expand the monitoring range in the future and flexibly monitor points that you want to monitor uniquely?

With agentless, it is necessary to consider whether bandwidth can be secured especially when the number of monitoring points increases.

On the other hand, there are many agent-type devices with SNMP agents installed, but users who are particular about specific monitoring still develop private MIBs to perform monitoring work. If this target device does not have an agent, it will have to be installed and set up.

Recently, there are network monitoring tools (our company LogicVein) that can set the configuration all at once, and products that can distribute the agent all at once on the market. (Our product: Agent-D)

(4) Differences between free and paid tools

Finally, there is a debate about whether a network monitoring-free tool is better or a paid tool is better.

Free network monitoring tools are also gaining some popularity these days. However, it seems that a free network monitoring tool needs to make a wise decision to deal with hidden resource costs, labor cost management, individualization of development, the risk of leaving the company or transfer, and the inflexibility of monitoring. Also, recently, catching up with development, such as support for AWS cloud and new virtual OS (multiple), is a new issue.

Importance of network monitoring:

An analogy that comes up is that without real-time instrumental information on “take-off direction, altitude and speed”, it is completely unimaginable that an airplane flies not only on a domestic two-point route but also internationally for a distance of several thousand kilometers. cannot do. It’s absurd.

Similarly, it is impossible to realize safe and secure network management without real-time monitoring and understanding of network environment instrument information (SNMP, Syslog information, and fault information).

If your network monitoring can only guarantee three nines (99.9%), the applications based on it can never support four nines (99.99%). All network services are therefore ultimately fundamental to ensuring network availability and its improvement.


Advantages and disadvantages of network monitoring

First of all, as an advantage, it is related to why monitoring is necessary, but it is the advantage of being able to grasp the current location of our network environment which is complicated and continues to change dynamically every day. The need for this network monitoring service is strong and has been recognized and actively operated in the IT network industry for 30 years.

The downside is the long learning curve. It takes a lot of learning time due to the understanding and pain of the SNMP protocol, and the technical peculiarities (dark arts) of the Manager, Agent, OID, and MIB. However, it can be said that it has been favored by the network industry for a long time because the merit is far greater.

How network monitoring works and what you can do

We will proceed based on basic SNMP.

  • Basic components of monitoring: SNMP facilitates remote operation monitoring of internal network devices using UDP protocol and Polling port 161 and Trap port 162.
  • Mechanism: Server SNMP Manager and agent (installed on each device) are installed, and the server collects and diagnoses the device information emitted from the agent.
  • Network monitoring scalability: From 100 devices in small networks to 10000+ devices in large networks can be remotely monitored. All are remotely monitored.

What network monitoring can do

  • Traps and Threshold Monitoring – IT terminology, but translated into common jargon, roughly equivalent to alarms. Device failure information (medical condition) is sent to the Manager when the network device threshold (alarm value) is exceeded.
  • Performance monitoring -In addition to remotely monitoring the CPU usage rate, memory usage rate, and HDD usage rate of network devices, you can also set thresholds in advance and perform trap monitoring.
  • Ping monitoring – Also known as life and death monitoring. It will be constant remote monitoring to see if the counterpart device is working fine. You can set the ping interval and set it variable from frequent alive monitoring to slow interval monitoring.
  • Traffic Monitoring – You can monitor incoming and outgoing checks of an interface and its traffic utilization.
  • SysLog monitoring – You can monitor the behavior caused by error scripts by receiving Syslog output from network devices by the Manager.
  • Server Monitoring – Monitor each process and application running on your server.