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What could we use to enhance our monitoring and maintenance system?

We have maintenance and monitoring systems that help monitor and maintain systems located at 20 remote locations. We are using a Frame Relay to connect these 20 locations to the centrally located monitoring and maintenance system. At each remote location Frame relay PVC is 256 kbps and at central location PVC is 1544 kbps. Maintenance and monitoring activities are intermittently done and its intensity also varies unpredictively. Our problem is how to find Frame Relay Bandwidth Utilization at central and remote locations during intense monitoring and maintenance activates without moving out of central location where the maintenance and monitoring system is located. Do you have any suggestions or advice?
Tough question. There are no easy answers using the methods that you currently apply. A parallel network for the monitoring is one option – but probably not what you want to hear.

If you supplement your monitoring with active probing measurement methodologies, you may be able to avoid the effect of the maintenance and monitoring. Active probing/sampling provides real-time measures of your network. If you could arrange measurements of your real-time performance when you know monitoring/maintenance is not occurring along a particular path, you can measure instantaneous utilization. And even if you can't, statistically you are not likely to see any particular utilization and would typically get representative views of your network performance.

Some sampling methods are non-intrusive and can be used without adding utilization.

This was last published in September 2003

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