Why you need network monitoring systems and what they can do for you

Last updated:March 2017

Editor's note

The demand for always-accessible applications and services continues to grow, making network availability monitoring a fundamental requirement for modern data centers. Network monitoring systems provide a first line of defense when applications go down or when performance begins to deteriorate.

Network availability monitoring tools help networking teams assess the health and availability of their network devices, as well as the overall network. Network monitoring systems can track bandwidth utilization, uptime, availability and response times of networked devices, and they provide detailed reports and analytics that can assist network managers with troubleshooting.

The market for network management systems can be confusing, however, as there's a wide variety of software and integrated hardware appliances that offer similar functionality, but with varying degrees of integration and performance. Some network availability monitoring tools have fully integrated architectures that require only a single piece of software, whereas other tools may include several individual components, such as a polling engine, a database, an analytics server or user console that must be installed and managed separately.

There's a long list of considerations that must be addressed before selecting the network availability monitoring tool that will best meet your organization's needs. Among them, which devices do you plan to monitor? Does your organization need to monitor just one site or multiple networks across several locations? In addition to scalability requirements, how will this network monitoring tool integrate with your existing systems? Determining which core functions your organization requires can be a daunting task.

This guide will help you simplify the buying process by answering these questions and mapping your needs to the features offered by a variety of network monitoring vendors. We also compare the leading network monitoring systems and examine the functionality; ease of deployment, use and administration; scalability and design; and integration of each product.

TechTarget editors selected these vendors after extensive research into the top market-share holders and determining which products best fit the presented buying criteria. The in-depth product descriptions address the needs of networks of all sizes -- from SMBs to very large organizations and service providers.

1Considerations for buying a network availability monitoring tool

It's important to understand your organization's requirements before selecting a networking tool, as you want to ensure the product will be a good fit and meet your organization's specific needs.

2Overviews of the leading network management platforms

Learn what features, functions, deployment and licensing options the market-leading vendors provide for networks of all sizes. A business should select the network monitoring tool that best meets its needs. These four roundups examine the leading network availability monitoring tools for SMBs, large, very large networks and ISPs.