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    Moving to a new mode of network monitoring

    Network monitoring is a mature field.

    However, changes in compute and storage technology, advances in security threats and the explosive growth of networks are forcing network monitoring tools to evolve or become irrelevant. For example, they must detect hard-to-spot network traffic anomalies and bottlenecks that cause enterprise IT slowdowns and affect business operations.

    The new generation of network monitoring solutions, such as Statseeker, addresses these new requirements. They make hidden network problems visible, providing insights into performance issues at the far-reaches of the network. Statseeker reviews on IT Central Station show that users are excited about three key elements of modern network monitoring; trend analysis and forecasting, anomaly detection and reducing network downtime.

    First, a brief overview of network monitoring

    A network is made up of a large number (possibly thousands) of connected pieces of hardware. Each has its own settings and a unique set of connections. Each has a limit on its ability to handle traffic load. A properly functioning network depends on complex interactions between its components. No person could keep up with the activity, so computers take over and watch the network with endless electronic eyes. If there’s a problem, the software alerts a network manager.

    Trend analysis and forecasting

    Much of network monitoring is focused on the present, the ‘what’s going on right now on the network?’ This is a valid approach, because the CEO isn’t going to complain today that the network will be down next week. However, she might complain about it next week—if IT doesn’t catch the problem today. Statseeker responds to this challenge with sophisticated trend analysis and forecasting capabilities. The tool can model future network behavior based on an intelligent analysis of past network activity.

    As a Senior Network Engineer at an insurance company with over 10,000 employees explained, “We can now look thirty days into the future based on past stats of trends or fashion.” From this intelligence, he can adjust the network capacity available at specific points in the future. Alternatively, he can choose not to take network segments down for maintenance if a high volume of traffic is expected at that time.

    Anomaly detection

    Networks produce prodigious amounts of data about their behavior—millions, if not billions of data points and bits of packet metadata—every day. Within that data, however, can be clues about current or impending issues affecting network health. The challenge is to see them. That’s what network anomaly detection is all about.

    Statseeker offers an anomaly detection feature that compares current network data to historical patterns. The solution can highlight suspicious variances that might signal a traffic problem, or one that’s about to occur. For example, why is there unusual traffic volume on a certain node of a network? If a node handled 100,000 packets yesterday, why is it choking on 2,000,000 packets today? There might be a legitimate reason for this, e.g. there’s a big sale going on at that location. The anomaly could also be coming from a DDoS attack. Now, however, network admins will know instantly that there’s something weird going on. Jessie N., a Network Engineer at a non-tech company praised Statseeker in this context, noting that the solution “simplifies monitoring and provides real-time alerts for issues we might not immediately be aware of otherwise.”

    Reducing network downtime

    “Statseeker has provided real-time alerts and on-demand graphs, improving our network availability,” said a Network Security Engineer at a government agency. This is an affirmation of the network monitor’s most critical purpose: reducing network downtime. For network managers, the best response to an outage is to avoid having it in the first place. Real time alerts and data visualization make this possible.

    To learn more about Statseeker and read more network monitoring reviews, visit IT Central Station.

     

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