24/7 Network Monitoring — A Critical Piece of the Tech Puzzle

By: | Category: IT / Infrastructure

More than ever before, businesses need their networks online and performing 24/7/365. However, due to the inherent frailties of technology components, the increasing likelihood of disruptive weather events, and the near inevitability of a cyberattack, companies — and their networks — are vulnerable. Network monitoring is a critical IT process that tracks network components and endpoints 24×7 with the goal of reducing network outages. While it sounds simple, it involves many moving parts and requires levels of skill and expertise beyond what most organizations possess internally.  

Not a DIY proposition

Much of what we typically refer to as “24/7 network monitoring” is achieved through the use of sophisticated software applications that continually look for vulnerabilities and immediately alert someone in the event an anomaly is detected. So conceivably it is possible for a company to configure the software application and perform some level of monitoring in house. But who’s the someone (or likely multiple someones) who agree to be on standby 24/7/365? And will they fully understand the steps to take to mitigate or eliminate a risk once its identified? IT professionals are increasingly difficult and costly to find and retain. For most companies, it simply doesn’t make financial or logistic sense to assign scarce IT resources to network monitoring.  

In addition, there’s much more than software involved in 24/7 network monitoring. For starters, your technology infrastructure consists of much more than your network. There are also endpoints, servers, routers, switches, wireless devices, database instances, and storage, for example. Some of your business applications may be cloud hosted — both public and private — others may be installed on local servers. So simply installing a monitoring application on your server leaves too many critical puzzle pieces unprotected.  

The value-add of an MSP

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) employ a multitude of applications, best practices, workflows, and checklists — plus extensive experience — to keep their charges safe and running reliably. Some of the ways an MSP-provided network monitoring solution can help are to:

  • Ensure continuous uptime for uninterrupted business operations
  • Provide insights on the performance of every network device and interface
  • Analyze the performance at the device and interface levels using performance metrics
  • Identify threats well in advance
  • Generate real-time alerts to help avert downtimes

MSPs have resources far beyond the budgets and capabilities of most small- and mid-sized enterprises. They can continually monitor virtually every aspect of a company’s technology and provide uptime and usage statistics that demonstrate their value and even detect components that may be slowing network traffic. In addition to monitoring your company’s network, servers, and endpoints, MSPs can loop in other technology elements such as mail delivery or website availability monitoring for a comprehensive solution. 

Much more than a Fitbit for your server

Similar to the fitness tracker strapped to your wrist, network monitoring is intended to continually monitor your network components’ health. However, just as you wouldn’t forego a trip to the doctor simply because you’ve been monitoring your activities, you shouldn’t count on monitoring alone to keep your technology in top shape.  

We’ve come to depend on always-on technology and continuous uptime. An established, experienced MSP can help you plan, develop, and maintain a comprehensive technology plan that includes advanced endpoint protection, email security, multi-factor authentication, cybersecurity, and disaster recovery and business continuity planning. 24/7 network monitoring is one part of a comprehensive approach to ensuring your organization’s technology performs optimally at all times. Learn more about network monitoring by connecting with one of the security specialists on Net at Work’s Managed Services team.