A comprehensive review of network performance monitors

Last updated:August 2016

Buyer's Guide

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Editor's note

Network technology has undergone a dramatic transformation in the 21st century. Twenty years ago, a system manager's primary goal was to provide reliable network access and sufficient bandwidth to applications, servers and endpoints. Network engineers used to focus on the bottom four layers of the OSI model, with the result that all network traffic and data flows shared bandwidth and queuing resources.

However, the increasing sophistication of network equipment and design -- combined with the loads placed on those networks -- has changed the face of network management. Thanks to quality of service and application-level traffic-shaping techniques, network hardware can now slice and dice distinct data flows and treat them accordingly. This increasing focus on Layer 4-7 services requires more sophisticated network monitoring, which is where network performance monitors enter the equation.

The increasing number of enterprises with strict reliability requirements has also driven the need for network performance monitors. Network architecture is growing in complexity, and application delivery is becoming more time-sensitive. With the cost of failure growing so quickly, today's network monitoring tools must have an unparalleled mix of scalability, capability and usability.

With this level of complexity and variability, buying the right network performance system is no easy task. This buyer's guide will take you through the process step by step -- from tracing the evolution of network performance monitors to examining key use cases. We will also lay out the most important purchasing criteria and evaluate the leading products in the market to help you determine which network performance monitoring tool is best for your enterprise.

1An overview of the leading network performance monitoring systems

Read our in-depth analyses of the leading network monitoring tools on the market today. Discover which product will best suit your organization.