Buyer's Guide

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A comprehensive review of network performance monitors

Network performance monitors play a crucial role in enterprise data centers. In this buyer's guide, network engineer Andrew Froehlich takes a look at the systems that keep modern networks going.


Network technology has undergone a dramatic transformation in the 21st century. Twenty years ago, a system manager's primary goal was to provide reliable network access and sufficient bandwidth to applications, servers and endpoints. Network engineers used to focus on the bottom four layers of the OSI model, with the result that all network traffic and data flows shared bandwidth and queuing resources.

However, the increasing sophistication of network equipment and design -- combined with the loads placed on those networks -- has changed the face of network management. Thanks to quality of service and application-level traffic-shaping techniques, network hardware can now slice and dice distinct data flows and treat them accordingly. This increasing focus on Layer 4-7 services requires more sophisticated network monitoring, which is where network performance monitors enter the equation.

The increasing number of enterprises with strict reliability requirements has also driven the need for network performance monitors. Network architecture is growing in complexity, and application delivery is becoming more time-sensitive. With the cost of failure growing so quickly, today's network monitoring tools must have an unparalleled mix of scalability, capability and usability.

With this level of complexity and variability, buying the right network performance system is no easy task. This buyer's guide will take you through the process step by step -- from tracing the evolution of network performance monitors to examining key use cases. We will also lay out the most important purchasing criteria and evaluate the leading products in the market to help you determine which network performance monitoring tool is best for your enterprise.

1What is it?-

The five functions of today's network performance monitoring tools

Modern network performance tools perform five crucial functions to manage today's increasingly complex networks.


How have network performance monitoring tools evolved?

Network performance monitoring tools have evolved as networks have become more complex. What are some of the capabilities and features these tools now possess? Continue Reading

2Do I need?-

The benefits of a robust network performance monitoring platform

Network monitoring meets a wide range of business requirements, from application delivery to keeping tabs on a more complex -- and virtualized -- networking infrastructure.


The business case for deploying network monitoring systems

Network monitoring systems that focus on performance enhance network reliability and promote more efficient communication. What are some of the features you should be examining? Continue Reading

3How to buy-

Critical purchasing criteria for network performance monitors

Know which key questions to ask before you buy a network performance monitoring system.


Purchasing the right network performance monitor for you

Selecting the right enterprise network performance monitor system means understanding the tool's capabilities and how they can support your organization's specific needs. Continue Reading

4Which should I buy?-

Choosing the right network performance monitor for you

Take a look at the leading network performance monitors on the market today before you make your purchase.


Comparing the top network performance tools on the market

Choosing among network performance tools can be difficult. In this article, expert Andrew Froehlich breaks down the differences among the top products on the market. Continue Reading

5Leading product overviews-

An overview of the leading network performance monitoring systems

Read our in-depth analyses of the leading network monitoring tools on the market today. Discover which product will best suit your organization.


CA UIM network performance monitor: product overview

CA Technologies' network performance monitoring products include CA UIM, which supports a variety of features, including network performance and availability management. Continue Reading


Cisco network monitor product overview

Cisco Prime has been on the network performance monitoring market for over five years. Networking expert Andrew Froehlich takes a deeper dive into the Cisco network monitor, Prime. Continue Reading


HPE Network Node Manager product overview

HPE Network Node Manager comes with a wide range of plug-ins, including monitoring for IP telephony, multicast deployments and quality assurance departments. Continue Reading


Infosim StableNet network monitoring product overview

The Infosim StableNet network performance monitor offers a variety of features, including support for telecommunications providers and an embedded hardware agent. Continue Reading


NetScout TruView network performance monitor: Product overview

NetScout's retooled TruView gives administrators oversight into myriad network operations, including public and private clouds. Continue Reading


Riverbed SteelCentral product overview

Riverbed SteelCentral is one of the most prominent network performance monitoring systems on the market today. Networking expert Andrew Froehlich takes a deeper dive into its features. Continue Reading


ScienceLogic EM7: Network performance monitor overview

ScienceLogic EM7 is still a newcomer to the network performance monitoring market, but it offers flexible deployment options, including VMs and software-as-a-service installations. Continue Reading


SevOne monitoring suite product overview

SevOne monitoring products, such as the Performance Application Solution, scale to the environment size. The PAS appliance can monitor up to 200,000 network devices. Continue Reading


SolarWinds NPM product overview

SolarWinds NPM system supports a wide range of features, among them data flow collection, server and application monitoring, and quality of service for enterprise VoIP suites. Continue Reading


Viavi Observer: Network performance monitor overview

With deployable hardware and software probes, Viavi Observer is known as one of the most robust network performance monitors in the market today. Continue Reading

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