Network software, often called Network Managing and Monitoring software or even managed services, involves keeping your networks healthy. It is all the procedures, tools, and activities involved in operating and maintaining networked systems. Most companies with significant IT now use networked systems so that their employees are all connected and able to access data and share important information. Keeping your network healthy, however, is not always easy. Generally, software for monitoring and maintaining it is important in making sure you don’t lose productivity. Thus, if you use a network, it is likely you will need monitoring software.
Network Manager Software Clients
As previously stated, you are likely to need monitoring software if you use a network. However, these particular industries and groups are most likely to need it urgently:
- Any company large enough to have extensive or multiple networks
What you should ask yourself to determine if you need the software is whether or not you regularly find yourself contending with software issues and network downtime.
Can You Get Free Network Monitoring Software?
There are several common pricing models for network monitoring software. The license fee model, where you pay a flat fee one time to use the software, is the one most likely to be free. It does not, however, include service, so it’s only feasible if you have someone monitoring the network. Likewise, you can get monthly services with monitoring only. Monitoring only involves no IT support, just alerts for when there’s an issue.
Other models include per device, per user, tiered, and flat monthly fee. Per device pricing plans charge a particular fee for support and use to any level on one particular device. Per user is very much the same, except that it generally goes person to person instead of device to device. With this model you’ll likely use a login to access your software. Tiered comes in “packages” and may overlap with the former two. Generally, these packages are priced based on how many users or devices and how many features you want, with basic packages being quite inexpensive and more advanced ones taking more money. Finally, monthly flat fee models charge you a particular amount of money, and then provide all their services for as much as you want. The most cost effective solution of these depends on your needs.
Technologies of Network Management
There are five basic types of tools which network management requires to run successfully. These are:
- Monitoring: Monitoring involves checking the network for response time, availability and uptime, consistency and reliability. A good network monitoring software will be able to detect problems based on the lack of these things and alert the user.
- Administration: Administration generally involves the tracking and administering of resources within the network, which helps maintain speed and efficiency. This area is very broad, so the tools used will be quite different depending on goals.
- Operations: Operations, quite simply, keeps the network running smoothly. It’s related to monitoring in that it is required to find and alert the users to the problems before they even detect them, so that the users can then fix the issues.
- Provisioning: Provisioning ensures that the appropriate resources are allocated and supported within the network. Security access rights and privileges also fall within provisioning, and so do reallocations of network resources to support a specific end goal.
- Maintenance: Maintenance involves monitoring, repairing, and updating all the software on the networks to keep things running smoothly. It covers hardware, too, which is still important to quick functioning.
Choosing Your Network Manager
The criteria for choosing a network manager aren’t always clear. However, consider these questions when you’re making your choice.
- What do I need? Don’t make the mistake of setting out without clearly defining your requirements.
- Can it grow with me? All healthy businesses grow. Your software needs to be able to keep up with you for a long time.
- What have others said? Are there reviews? Have previous jobs been a success? What are the credentials of the company you’re investigating?
- Is the contract fair? You don’t want to get trapped in a restrictive agreement that will tie you down.
These Extra Network Monitoring Features Are Very Important
Looking for network monitoring? These extra features can increase your experience and help you get the most out of your software.
- IP address manager: Your entire IP infrastructure can be centrally managed with this feature. It’s easier than ever before once you have a single location from which you can control the IP addresses in your network.
- User device tracker: This allows you to track devices and switch management automatically, saving time and effort for you. Helpful graphical interfaces give you an idea of the situation.
- Traffic analyzer: Who’s visiting your network, and how much? These are the questions that a traffic analyzer can help you solve.
- VOIP and Network quality manager: Some types of software offer dashboards from which you can monitor the quality of the network and other related issues. Having a centralized location is very helpful.
- Network maps: With this feature you can map your network automatically in just a few minutes, saving yourself a great deal of time and effort.
- Configuration generators: This allows you to generate network device configurations simply and quickly. Much less fuss than before if you use this feature.
- Response time viewers: Allows you to manually check network response time the easy way. Important for monitoring and maintenance.
Best Network Monitoring Software
Getting the best network monitoring software isn’t always easy. However, it’s well worth the hassle. Your company will be healthier and your downtime will be decreased. You’re armed with some great tips and software comparison for finding good networking software, so get out and use them!