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What Should You Be Looking For in Network Monitoring Software?

Every network is different, and produces its own unique set of challenges for an administrator. When choosing which solution to use, you need to look at all angles to determine whether it’s right for you.

The most important part of a network monitoring solution is that it’s clear, easy-to-understand, and can give you an overview of your entire network’s health in one glance. You need to choose a solution that will give you such an overview of your network’s health at startup, and show you your monitored systems and give you an idea of what systems and services require attention.

Multiplatform monitoring is a reality in nearly all of today’s networks. You will often find a dizzying mixture of hardware and operating systems. Linux and Windows systems, NetApp storage, APC UPS’s and Cisco equipment are just a few of the types of components that could make up your network, and an application that can monitor all of these systems from one place is invaluable.

A network monitoring solution that provides you with predefined monitoring rules (called monitoring packs or monitoring policy by some vendors) is indispensible. Whether one uses built-in rules that are provided or build their own, these types of predefined rules can let you rapidly change how different classes of equipment are monitored.

Every network monitoring product provides alerts and notifications, but it’s important to look at how these can be customized. For example, there are resource owners who want to receive only messages from the devices and servers used in their daily business. With the aforementioned monitoring packs, a monitoring solution should also allow you to define the alarms you are looking for and then setup different notifications based on the alarm levels and control how these notifications are sent to users (via email, SMS, etc). For example, if you stand-up a new SQL instance, you want to be able to define it as a node and then assign an SQL monitoring pack so the resource owners can…

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