Why It’s Essential to Know Your Network
All companies are different, but the value of their network to their business varies little. In fact, as a business grows, its network grows not only in size and complexity, but also in significance and value. Very quickly, the network not only supports the company, it is the company. This is obvious for e-businesses and other entities that are highly dependent on their website for driving revenues. Yet at its most basic and strategic level, the network is about collaboration, communication, and commerce – everything that keeps a business running and growing. It’s where business applications are hosted, and where mission-critical customer, product, and business information are stored.
With a resource this valuable, ensuring its availability is essential. It’s also challenging because of threats such as hackers, denial of service attacks, viruses, and information theft, all of which can lead to downtime, loss of data, and overall decreasing credibility and profitability. Additionally, the network is evolving drastically, with new technologies, devices, and strategies, such as virtualization and service-oriented architectures. That’s why network management is such an important function and capability for businesses of all sizes. If your business depends on your network, then network management is critical.
Network management is a broad functional area incorporating device monitoring, application management, security, ongoing maintenance, service levels, troubleshooting, planning, and other tasks – ideally all coordinated and overseen by an experienced and reliable network administrator. Yet even the most knowledgeable and capable network administrator is only as good as the network information that is visible, and that he or she can manage and act on. Administrators need to know what’s happening on their networks at all times, including real-time and historical information on usage, performance, and status of every device, application, and all data on the network.
This is the domain of network monitoring, the most critical function of network management. The only way to know if everything on your network is operating as it should is to monitor it continuously.