This week, we will focus on ways that you can begin to integrate useful software into your network, especially as a small business, to help you keep an eye on your devices and services in real-time. Network Monitoring tools help you to track the status of your most important assets. This could be all your endpoint devices, your servers, or even a specific selection of each. These tools are designed with users in mind and have easy to use dashboards that you can customise with the most valuable information you need to see.
There are a variety of tools on the market currently, and it can be difficult to navigate all of these. Some are free, some are paid, however most tools will have the same features, but have their own take on how to collect, analyse, modify and present this information. Most tools will use existing features, such as Windows Event Logs, application logs, security configuration and systems log to allow you to monitor assets, while others will use custom features to gather additional information.
One of the most reputable monitoring tools at present is SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor. This is one of the more expensive tools on the market but has a lot of features that provide added value for the price. Whether you’re looking for Wi-Fi, Cloud, Cisco specific, speed, uptime, VPN or even auditing, each piece of data can be displayed in an easily viewable format, with graphs and charts to allow you to spot potential issues that might arise.
For smaller businesses, you don’t always need software to monitor and manage your network. Our team recommend periodically auditing event logs for discrepancies, and try to isolate issues manually, or as part of an incident response process. Start small, and transition to software when you require.