Networks

Why Scalable Networks Need Scalable Monitoring

March 31, 2020

Why Scalable Networks Need Scalable Monitoring

According to the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2019: Skills for Public Sector Tech Pros of Tomorrow, 75% of all public sector tech pros surveyed expressed concerns about whether they have the necessary skills to successfully manage their IT environments over the next three to five years.

How can federal IT pros accelerate and simplify their network management process when managing the world’s largest networks?

The answer is threefold:

  1. Emphasize network mapping to enable faster and clearer visualization of network issues
  2. Understand and monitor the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices on government networks
  3. Find and implement tools necessary to ensure networks are resilient, reliable, and provide optimal performance

Network Mapping

Nearly every federal agency has some type of mapping tool to gain an understanding of what’s on the network. Yet, not all mapping tools scale well or provide a complete picture.

Consider mapping tools or capabilities easily consolidated with other tools. Also consider things like intelligent, auto-generating, and contextually aware maps to quickly isolate network issues. These capabilities help federal IT pros speed up time-to-resolution when troubleshooting.

The Impact of IoT

Understanding the impact of IoT devices on federal networks is a three-step process itself. First, know what’s connected. The best way to do this is with a set of comprehensive network monitoring tools to help itemize everything currently connected to the network. Consider using tools with a view into who’s connected, when they’re connected, and where they’re connected.

Second, understand what those devices are doing relative to what they’re supposed to be doing. For example, if a network administrator sees a network printer isn’t acting like a printer—but, instead acting like a far more complex information-sharing node—that’s a red flag.

Finally, security on IoT devices is almost always a concern. The best defense against this concern is to patch, patch, patch.

Optimizing Performance

Maintaining a consistently high level of performance starts with a good network management tool to provide traffic monitoring and analysis. Be sure you can see network performance across hybrid IT landscapes and cloud solutions. Look for solutions providing auto-generating, contextually aware traffic maps. This can provide a clear visualization of network performance across the entire environment.

Having a greater understanding of the applications powering the network requires developing a holistic view of all applications. This will then result in a better understanding of how the performance of applications may affect one another and what network capacity is needed to ensure smooth delivery of these services.

Conclusion

Yes, networks are growing at what seems to be an unmanageable pace. It’s no wonder federal IT pros feel overwhelmed or even under-trained. The good news is, technology to monitor and manage government networks is quickly coming up to speed. Take advantage of new technology to better map and track devices, and what once seemed too large to handle will begin to feel completely manageable.

Find the full article on our partner DLT’s blog Technically Speaking.


Mav Turner is the vice president of product for the network management portfolio and Orion® Platform at SolarWinds. Prior to his current role, Mav held various positions within SolarWinds, including senior sales engineer and senior product manager. Mav has worked in IT management for 20 years, including positions in both network and systems management before joining the SolarWinds team in 2009. Mav has a BS in Computer Science from Texas State University.