Best Practices for Network Monitoring

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Monitoring Challenges In Today’s Business Environment

The rapid evolution of business applications and systems is making information technology (IT) a strategic part of the world’s most successful companies. The recent shift toward virtualization and cloud computing comes at a time of increasing threats of attack on these strategic assets by malicious entities. At the same time, increasingly-stringent government and industry regulations require stricter data center controls to ensure compliance. IT organizations are working hard to address these challenges while also working to improve the responsiveness and reliability of network and computer systems to help increase their company’s competitive edge.

To get out in front of these data center challenges, IT teams use a number of technologies to proactively monitor their network and applications. Application performance monitors, network performance monitors, intrusion detection or prevention systems, VoIP monitors, data recorders, and traditional network analyzers are examples of monitoring tools that give an IT team better insight into the performance and problems in their network. These valuable tools all require access to network data to perform their analysis. Mirror ports (also known as SPAN ports) on network equipment and network taps create data access points that provide network data for tools to analyze. However, because the number of data access points on security and monitoring tools is limited, connecting a large number of monitoring tools to the network is impossible. A relatively new technology, the network packet broker (NPB), was created to solve this problem.


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