Automatic Network Monitoring Process

By: Dmitriy Y. Stepanov

Every day and every second, the system administrator gets tones of information on the network operation, network devicesí operation, and messages from users; he sets dozens of challenges, which must help to avoid the existing and possible problems in the future. Often, it is rather difficult to cope with all huge amount of data. In this situation, the natural desire appears: the system administrator needs to systematize the gathered flow of information, in order to make it easier to analyze it and make decisions according to it. If he takes into account only nonthreatening problems, ignoring other data, it can lead to more serious problems. Everyone knows that even minor data loss or one of the company's systems downtime can lead to clients' loyalty loss and then eventually the company can lose the client himself.
What is the solution? It is rather easy: the network monitoring system implementation. It performs continuous (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) monitoring of critical nodes and the whole system operation. It helps to detect failures in time and fix them much quicker.

For example, among the most widespread checks you can find: TCP port monitoring, SNMP monitoring, switch port and MAC addresses monitoring, services and processes monitoring, printers monitoring, installed software audit, folders and files existence or size monitoring, CPU load monitoring, disk space monitoring, and dozens of other checks.

But the main monitoring system's aim is to notify the system administrator on any problem or downtime on the network.

The network monitoring is performed with specialized software, which is to be installed on the administrator's computer or server.

After this, you can configure the list of checks. But you should remember that the network monitoring will not help unless you track the right things. Each of checks gives the specified information on the network state. For instance, the TCP ping can help to detect the malware on the network. The MAC addresses ping helps to be aware of the network devicesí failures or unauthorized attempts to connect to your local network. The response time monitoring allows the system administrator to evaluate the devices load and make the decisions of the ways to fix the occurred problems.

The monitoring program generates different types of notifications for the system administrator, if some conditions are satisfied, for instance, if the particular port has been opened or the device is unavailable. Thanks to this feature, he gets an opportunity to get to know about the problem instantly and recover it in a wink, before it becomes grave and the situation goes out of his control.

In addition, the network monitoring program has one more important feature, which is essential when you get the unlimited flow of information. Some failures can be recovered automatically without the administrator's interaction. Under certain conditions, the program can run external program on the remote host, VB or JS script, shut down or restart a service or a remote computer. This feature frees the system administrator from the routine work and turns him to solving more important and difficult issues.

A network monitoring programís implementation is not just a budget development or tribute to fashion. It is an essential instrument, that not just makes the system administrator's life much easier taking part of his worries, but it becomes the guarantee of the company's stable operation and good reputation.

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