Essential Guide

This Essential Guide is a collection of articles, videos and other content selected by our editors to give you a comprehensive view of this topic.

Network management and monitoring: The evolution of network control

Network management guide: The evolution of network control

This essential guide will address the basics of network management and monitoring as well as examine the new role network monitoring is taking as administrators exploit monitoring platforms and tools to mine valuable intelligence.


1. Taking network control: The basics of management and monitoring

As networking becomes more complex, network management and monitoring has continued to evolve. Admins today must be familiar with challenges presented by overseeing networks that extend through multiple environments and must also understand concepts such as application delivery optimization.

  • Myth vs. reality: Network monitoring

    Much like politicians trying to get elected, network monitoring vendors tend to make far-reaching claims and promises. This is especially true when it comes to network monitoring reporting and tools. This article helps make sense of all the marketing hype surrounding these types of tools -- and also sets straight the various claims vendors want you to believe.


  • SaaS management, cross-domain oversight are growing trends

    Network management technology has been greatly influenced by the cloud and based network management tools based on Software as a Service (SaaS). In this article, we sit down with EMA's Jim Frey, who predicted SaaS-based management and cloud SLAs would take center stage in 2012. Was he right?


  • Understanding app performance management

    IT is very interested in application delivery optimization (ADO) and application performance monitoring and management (APM). Top-notch application performance is a must for users; in response, IT professionals strive to achieve the highest performance level possible with help from ADO and APM. In this tip, learn more about what can be achieved with ADO and APM.



2. Network management: Today's challenges, tomorrow's goals

When it comes to network management and monitoring, new challenges are arising all the time. Learn how to be proactive with new network monitoring alternatives, and discover how network monitoring tools are now permitting companies to exploit user and customer data to create a whole new level of business intelligence (BI).

  • Reducing costs with network monitoring

    IT managers strive to achieve a solid return on investment (ROI) around their networking monitoring systems (NMS). Implementing a monitoring system is a good way to reduce downtime, but in order to get your superiors on board you may need some ROI calculations. In this feature, learn how to calculate the projected ROI of an NMS and jump-start cost reductions.


  • Network monitoring tools: Improving BI

    Network architectures are becoming increasingly complicated -- making it vital for users to use network monitoring tools that provide performance data and BI. In this feature, learn how some companies are mining user and customer data to help them improve their business processes.


  • Network monitoring: Setting a network performance baseline

    By setting a network performance baseline, network administrators and engineers can define what is normal for enterprise networks and identify patterns that indicate signs of upcoming trouble. Setting a baseline also enables network managers to plan for potential growth. In this article, learn more about why baselines are needed and how to go about setting yours.


  • Not daddy's data center network: Management tips

    One thing is certain: Data centers have changed. Today, data centers are denser, and virtualization -- both server and, in the next iteration, network device -- is taking center stage. In this feature, learn whether or not you are prepared to manage newer data centers or if you are doomed to be stuck in the past.

    Fast Packet

  • Premises- or provider-based network management?

    With all the hype surrounding cloud computing, it's important to remember not all applications are suited for the cloud. So, when it comes to network management applications, should you implement your own monitoring apps or opt for a hosted solution instead? In this tip, IT expert David Davis offers the pros and cons of both approaches so you can make an educated decision.



3. Take action: Extend your network visibility

Ensuring visibility is a main reason network management and monitoring tools exist. Having a deep understanding of the inner workings of your network and applications can improve performance and, just as importantly, save you money. In this section of our guide, learn more about extending your network visibility and the tools that can help.

  • Unified network management

    Unified network management tools provide a single user interface from which admins can manage both their wired and wireless network assets. In this primer, learn all about unified network management, why you should care and how it can make it simpler to diagnose performance issues or reconfigure a device.


  • What monitoring tools give you visibility into VPNs?

    In this expert response, virtual private network (VPN) expert Rainer Enders outlines what network monitoring tools are available to help shed some light on corporate VPNs.


  • Virtual network management arrives

    Jim Frey, Enterprise Management Associates analyst, predicted that in 2013 network management vendors will improve virtual overlay network monitoring, cloud and VDI. Now is a good time to revisit Frey's predictions and draw your own conclusions as to whether or not his insights were correct.


  • Should you outsource your WAN monitoring?

    When it comes to WAN monitoring, you have a decision to make. You can either opt for in-house WAN monitoring -- an option that allows for extended network control -- or outsourced network monitoring, where the managed service provider can take advantage of economies of scale. In this feature, learn more about WAN monitoring options so you can make an informed decision.


  • Application visibility through WANs

    Every day it becomes more important to understand how well your network is performing. Yet in order to gain application visibility across a WAN, enterprises need additional feedback. Proactive management of users' experiences can help.



4. Videos: How to improve network control and performance

In these videos, Henry Svendblad offers his expert insight on different topics such as optimizing network control and network performance strategies.

  • Achieving IT monitoring nirvana in a cloud-based world

    Virtualization and technological advancements being made within the cloud are influencing the best tactics for enterprise network monitoring and management. This video explains how to overcome these new obstacles when trying to successfully improve network control in a cloud-based environment.


  • Enterprise network management: Be practical

    Maintaining optimal network performance is always the goal of IT organizations, but achieving this goal can be tricky. In this video, Henry Svendblad details five important steps organizations can take to improve how they oversee their networks.