In today’s digital world, the life-blood of any business is a robust, reliable and secure IT system that keeps day-to-day operations running as they should.
It’s a simple requirement, but if a business doesn’t fully understand what’s going on within its IT system, if something goes wrong, problems can snowball fast.
IT maintenance is necessary to mitigate such potential problems before they arise, and that’s why it’s wise to invest in an IT monitoring system. For a small business, it may be tempting to think such a precaution is unnecessary – but then you would be wrong. IT monitoring can flag issues before they shut your business down, on top of improving performance, speed, productivity, reliability and saving you money in future IT costs.
Maintaining ‘business as usual’ is the essence of what IT monitoring does, ensuring all systems are performing at their expected level and that equipment is readily available whenever it might be needed – which is most of the time.
But which software is right for your business? Here are our four favourite picks for IT network monitoring systems that prioritise optimal speed and performance:
Rohde & Schwarz
Rohde & Schwarz hails from Munich, Germany, and has been in the industry for more than 80 years. The multinational company began as an independent, family-owned enterprise, and has now grown to employ 10,000 people worldwide with offices in more than 70 countries. Their cybersecurity IP network analytics solutions have been installed over 200 times in 60 countries, providing secure, reliable, and efficient networks for businesses all over the globe. Net Reporter, the IP probe Net Sensor which is powered by the in-house developed deep packet inspection (DPI) engine are the company’s key products in the field of network analytics.
The system uses DPI-enabled IP probes to scan traffic and extract useful information, which is then crunched and transformed in the analytics platform to create statistics and reports that can be customized to display information the client requires most. With the capability to track 2,800 different apps and services, and the possibility to drill down all data to subscriber and app usage level, Rohde & Schwarz can help your network run faster and create the ultimate user experience.
Its customer support also gives the company a necessary edge, with local presence in nearly every country in the world which can deliver on-site support at the highest level within hours.
Read more about Rohde & Schwarz here
Paessler – PRTG Network Monitor
Small to medium businesses that require flexibility, ease of use and reliability should look no further than Paessler.
An IT monitoring stalwart, Paessler’s PRTG system has been used by more than 150,000 businesses over the 20 year period the company has been in operation. PRTG software is an advanced and complex solution, but is well-known for being simple and easy to use.
Downloadable straight from the internet and requiring no training to use, the all-in-one monitoring solution has an intuitive web interface with easy installation.
Through various notifications, it allows the system administrator to become aware of issues in the network before they are reported by users. To report on errors and pass progress on to managers, administrators can easily create useful network and appliance maps and automatically generate reports.
Uniquely, the system is licenced by sensors, a sensor being defined as a URL or a CPU load on a machine. For small and medium businesses needing flexibility, this model offers lots of room for manoeuvre. There are lots of pre-configured sensors available, but they can all be easily customised using scripts to fit your needs. Additional sensor licencing can also be purchased as and when they’re needed.
All updates and new features are also entirely free. This system is a no-brainer for companies new to IT monitoring or who just want the versatility and ease of use.
Read more about Paessler here
Splunk provides IT solutions for large and small companies in the realm of big data analytics, cloud services and agile software for SMEs. Their speciality is “machine data”, the debris left behind by IT systems and digital technology. Splunk’s software collates user data into an enterprise machine data fabric, where all user information sits on a single platform. The biggest benefit of machine data is that it provides users with a real-time understanding of what’s happening in their IT systems. Those big picture insights can help users make informed decisions to grow faster, safer and more productively.
Splunk is particularly known for their big data software with regards to cybersecurity. They were named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Security Analytics Platforms, Q1 2017 report. Cybersecurity is an increasing risk in our daily lives and users lack information regarding the vulnerability of their personal information.
Splunk’s Enterprise is a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool that aims to dispel those issues by providing security teams the means to access information quickly and act on them. Splunk Enterprise provides information on users’ network, endpoint, access, malware, vulnerability and identity information, outpacing legacy SIEMs which cannot keep up with the ever-changing cyber landscape.
As the only open source software on our list for network and application monitoring, Zabbix is unique and trusted by companies worldwide – including high-profile clients like Dell, Salesforce, and T-Systems (owned by Deutsche Telecom). This makes it a highly collaborative software that allows for constant development and updates from a large community of IT specialists. It also means that Zabbix is free to use and highly scalable for companies of any size, making it especially appealing to rapidly-expanding enterprises.
Zabbix offers real-time network monitoring that can cover tens of thousands of servers, virtual machines, and mobile devices simultaneously. It uses a centralized monitoring system to store all available information, and a relational database to ease processing and allow for the re-use of data when needed. The system also supports SNMP agents – which are present in all network devices – and can provide key figures such as network utilization, CPU, memory, and port status to help companies with network and capacity planning.
Customizability is one of Zabbix’s most celebrated features, with its extensive customization capabilities that allow it to integrate in any network environment, and gather data from both simple and complex control systems.
*Some of the companies featured in this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia