Network monitoring tools are on-premises or cloud-based software platforms that connect with network components and other IT systems to measure, analyze, and report on network topology, performance, and health. They are the infrastructural backbone of any modern enterprise. IT professionals such as network architects, administrators, programmers, or professionals working on WAN or LAN networks monitor and manage their networks using discovery tools.
Everything from the firm’s web-based business presence to virtual collaboration and application development depends on the network. A network monitoring tool visualizes the network topology using interactive maps, monitors critical metrics in real-time, and generates ad-hoc and scheduled reports to deliver uninterrupted connectivity. The tool identifies connected devices and also documents device inventory like desktop computers, switches, routers, printers, servers, managed devices, etc. IT Helpdesk services or Network Security analysts use this tool to ascertain if the connected device has the correct resolution and achieves the standards for detecting security breaches on the network.
Identifying the Right Tool
There are several reasons why an enterprise and its IT helpdesk support services invest in network management and monitoring, such as more robust security, bandwidth optimization, improvements in application performance, seamless scalability, and cost reduction.
There are many multi-functional network discovery tools available. But some key functionalities are essential when choosing a tool. These include easy installation and configuration, detailed analytics, wide compatibility, inventory documentation, automatic detection, streamlined dashboards, real-time updates and signaling, multiple user interfaces, and customizable alerts.
In addition, although there are free and paid tools in the market, it is strongly recommended that you use paid and proven tools on an enterprise-class network to get the desired outcome. Free tools can be utilized for small networks or infrastructure and also for testing, assessment, and learning.
Here is a list of the top paid and free network discovery tools, along with their benefits, features, etc.
troubleshoot and ultimately improve the end-user experience.”
- Obkio – Obkio is a simple Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting SaaS solution designed to monitor end-to-end network performance from the end user perspective, and to fulfil the need within the industry for a solution that simplified Performance Monitoring. Obkio leverages Network Monitoring Agents and synthetic traffic to continuously identify the causes of intermittent VoIP, video, and applications slowdown in seconds – and identify the data you need to troubleshoot and ultimately improve the end-user experience.
- Auvik – This tool has a robust API library, making it simpler to integrate third-party applications and set up automated workflows. Its other features include network mapping, configuration management, and resource utilization alerts. It is a cloud-based system designed for remote system monitoring. This service is the only package they offer, so there are no related services to add on.
- Datadog – Datadog’s network monitoring tool is a cloud-based SaaS Infrastructure monitoring service that has powerful correlation capabilities that allow you to find and resolve the root cause behind network and application issues without delay. Its key features include customizable alerts on performance thresholds, correlation with data from SNMP and other sources, and live network mapping and protocol analysis. It also has a cloud-based system with storage space for metrics. The challenges that you may face are during setup as the documentation for some of the integrations is outdated. Unexpected costs are also likely due to the heavy use of cloud resources.
- ManageEngine OpManager – ManageEngine offers customizable dashboards with over 200 widgets to create a unique monitoring experience. The tool’s key features include SNMP monitoring, network mapping, automatic discovery, customizable dashboards, customizable alerts, and multiple user interfaces. ManageEngine has features like AIOps and workflow automation. However, it has been observed that it may overlook some devices in your environment, and there is no sensor for AWS and Azure metrics. Also, it is a feature-rich tool that will need time investment to learn.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor- The PRTG is among the few solutions available to offer perpetual on-premise licenses which are suitable for large complex environments. The key features of PRTG include bandwidth monitoring, SNMP monitoring, custom dashboards, scan for network devices by IP segment, customizable threshold-based alerts, reports systems, and customizable network maps. Its USP is that it has an accessible failover solution for every on-premises license. So, access to the network management dashboard is never lost. PRTG has a price per server for a perpetual license.
- SolarWinds – SolarWinds offers several proprietary technologies and alliances with key vendors and helps visualize and analyze critical network pathways. It automatically discovers connected network devices. Its key features include SNMP monitoring, network packet analysis, intelligent network maps with NetPath, alerts and reports systems, and can create Wi-Fi heat maps. SolarWinds is ideal for companies looking to adopt a holistic network and infrastructure management solution. They have an extensive portfolio of products, including ipMonitor for smaller environments. It is advisable to get their personnel to configure the solution as needed.
- Site24*7 – It is a combined IT infrastructure, applications, and user behavior monitoring service and is available in the cloud. The key features are a real-time application and network device monitor, an all-in-one solution with automatic network discovery, and powerful reporting, analytics, and alerts. It is one of the most holistic monitoring tools available, supporting networks, infrastructure, and real user monitoring in a single platform. It is also one of the most user-friendly tools available.
- Progress WhatsUp Gold – This tool uses the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to check on the network device’s health. Because of its flexible pricing, this software allows you to add on other services, including application monitoring, traffic analysis capabilities, and application management. Its key features include that it is SNMP-based, diagnostic tools, status alerts, and automated network mapping. There is also an auto discovery module and network topology mapper.
- HelpSystems Intermapper – This tool shows more than just a visual representation of the network. Since the network probe cycles around constantly, any changes in the network’s layout are automatically updated instantly. The key features include auto discovery, a constantly refreshed network map, performance alerts, a capacity planning tool, and SNMP-based network monitoring. This tool does not need a server for a host – a PC would suffice. Other pros include live time series throughput graphs, constant automated monitoring, and a free version. However, there is no cloud version, and the free edition is limited to monitoring 5 devices. The paid version has scalable pricing that starts with ten devices and has a subscription or a perpetual license to choose from.
Network monitoring tools deliver valuable network insights to improve performance and preempt disruptions. It is vital to identify a trustworthy IT services company such as Atlas Systems to help you to transform your IT operations with Intelligent solutions.