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Network Performance Monitoring to Maximize Business Efficiency in 2024

As network complexity and data demands surge, challenges arise when trying to  consistently monitor network performance, often leading to disruptions and inefficiencies. The adoption of a network performance monitor is the key to resolve these. It provides comprehensive network traffic monitoring, ensuring the network’s optimal performance and reliability.

In this article, we explain network performance monitoring, its importance to businesses and 5 essential metrics while maximizing business proficiency.

What is network performance monitoring (NPM)?

Network Performance Monitoring, a fundamental aspect of network management, involves the continuous observation and analysis of network performance. It aims to ensure the network’s ability to efficiently and reliably handle data traffic and support various applications. 

NPM utilizes an array of network performance monitoring tools and software to assess various aspects of network performance, including traffic flow, device health, and overall network efficiency.

How does network performance monitoring work?

The core of NPM lies in its ability to continuously monitor network traffic and the performance of network devices using network monitoring tools and protocols such as the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). These tools gather flow data from various parts of the network, providing real-time insights into network health and performance.

Flow Data

Flow data originates from network devices and is crucial for understanding network communications. It reveals which devices are interacting, the duration and frequency of their communication, and the volume of data being transmitted across the network.

SNMP

The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a prevalent protocol for monitoring and managing network devices. It is supported by a variety of network and endpoint devices, including routers and printers. SNMP enables the real-time monitoring of network alterations and statuses.

Packet Capture

This tool is essential for recording network packets as they pass through a specific point in the network. These packets are duplicated and stored, allowing network administrators to conduct thorough analyses. Packet capture is instrumental for maintaining network health, evaluating network and application performance, and addressing security and incident response. It also plays a key role in troubleshooting service issues and in planning for network capacity.

What are the metrics for network performance monitoring?

network performance monitoring metrics

Several key metrics are essential for effective NPM:

  • Latency: Measures the time taken for a packet to travel from source to destination.
  • Jitter: The variation in delay of packet delivery.
  • Packet Loss: The percentage of packets that are lost during transmission.
  • Bandwidth Usage: The amount of data transmitted over the network in a given time frame.
  • Throughput: The rate at which packets are successfully delivered over the network.

These metrics provide a comprehensive understanding of network performance and are crucial for network performance monitoring software to deliver actionable insights.

What are the important factors for network performance monitoring?

To optimize network performance, several factors must be considered:

  1. Comprehensive Coverage: The network performance monitoring solution should provide a holistic view of the entire network, encompassing all network devices and links.
  2. Real-Time Monitoring: To promptly address network issues, real-time monitoring capabilities are essential.
  3. Scalability: As network demands grow, the network performance monitoring tool should scale accordingly.
  4. User-Friendly Interface: A user-friendly interface in network monitoring solutions is vital for quick and effective analysis and decision-making.
  5. Customizable Alerts: Customizable alerts enable network administrators to be promptly notified of potential issues, allowing for swift action.
  6. Historical Data Analysis: The ability to analyze historical data helps in identifying trends and making informed decisions for future network planning.
  7. Integration Capabilities: Effective NPM solutions should seamlessly integrate with other systems and tools for a unified management experience.

Why is network performance monitoring important?

Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) is crucial for several reasons.

Ensuring network reliability and availability

NPM helps ensure that the network is always available and performing optimally. This is critical for businesses where downtime can lead to significant losses in productivity and revenue.

Identifying and resolving network issues

Through continuous monitoring, network administrators can quickly identify and address issues such as network congestion, failures, or unauthorized access, before they escalate into major problems.

Optimizing network performance

By analyzing network traffic and performance metrics, NPM allows administrators to fine-tune the network for optimal performance, ensuring efficient data flow and reducing latency and packet loss.

Check our article on the best practices for network performance.

Supporting business operations and growth

A well-performing network is essential for the smooth operation of business-critical applications and services. NPM helps in scaling the network in line with business growth and evolving technology requirements.

Improving security posture

Monitoring network traffic helps in detecting unusual patterns that could indicate security threats. Timely identification and mitigation of these threats protect the organization from potential data breaches and cyberattacks.

Enhancing user experience

For businesses offering online services, network performance directly impacts the user experience. NPM ensures that users have consistent and reliable access, which is vital for customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Data-driven decision making

NPM provides valuable data and insights into network usage and performance trends, aiding in informed decision-making for network upgrades, capacity planning, and infrastructure investment.

Compliance and reporting

For certain industries, maintaining network performance is not just a matter of efficiency but also of regulatory compliance. NPM tools can provide the necessary documentation and reporting to meet these regulatory requirements.

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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