What is Network Monitoring? Definition, Application, Examples and More

Do you know what is network monitoring ? Well, you are in the indicated post! You will know in detail its definition, application, examples and much more. Networks are one of the most important elements to take into account since if it stops working, the company in question stops providing its service.

An intrusion that interrupt the  system to controls the network, it looks for threats from the outside the network, the method it is controlling looks for problems caused by influx and / or server failure and network infrastructure problems or other team. For example, to establish the state of a web server, the monitoring software can periodically send requests corresponding to the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to obtain pages.

For email servers, use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send mail, and then use IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol) or POP3 (Post Office Protocol) to undo the mail.

Good network monitoring is usually easy to install, and for non-professional users it is very user-friendly to use, making outside advice or training little or even unnecessary. Therefore the purpose of designing network monitoring tools and programs is to make it easier for people familiar with Windows and graphical use. In this way, you can prioritize the display to monitor network traffic.

What is Network MonitoringOther requirements that MR must have are:

  • Remote management through web browser, Pocket PC or Windows client.
  • Downtime information notification by email, ICQ, search / SMS, etc.
  • Complete sensor type selection.
  • Monitoring of multiple locations.

Do u know?Types of mobile networks and their different

What does it perform?

One of the functions performed by MR is to track how each computer installed on the network is used, indicating the time and time of connection, the IP address used and the type of application used. You have accessed the network and established a connection.

This along with other network monitoring programs is very beneficial to locate inconvenient, prohibited or unauthorized connections, and to prevent connection problems during peak workload or information flow (peak hours).

Remember, the monitor only displays information: to control network access, a firewall or similar program is required.

What requirements should a network analyzer traffic have?

The basic requirements that each network traffic analyzer should have should be considered. This is why it is necessary to understand the concepts of system logs and bandwidth control (AB).


They are signals sent by the communication system and sent to the central server (CS) that registers or stores them. The monitoring of these signals or messages is based on the collection of this information in the same CS, so it is more effective and faster to analyze and configure the alarms emitted by the MR system.


Over a period of time, the size of the data traffic (TD) transmitted over the network link is called AB, which can be a physical (wired) or air (WIFI) channel. Traffic is measured in units of bits per second, and AB monitoring allows TD status to be known across the network.

What is Network MonitoringSome features that should be considered for this type of software:

  • Clear the alarm signal.
  • Integration with external servers.
  • Multi-device operation capability.
  • Availability of data visualization in the control panel.
  • Adapt to the flexibility of specific tools or software.
  • Upgradability (scalability).
  • The device is automatically detected.
  • Integrate with the database.
  • It can support as many data collection protocols as possible.
  • Integration with virtual machines.
  • Hardware and software inventory.
  • Geographic location.
  • Monitoring in the cloud.

Examples of a program for network monitoring

The most commonly used MRs are listed below, and their running operating systems are shown in parentheses: Microsoft Network Monitor (Windows), NetWorx (Windows), PRTG Network Monitor (Windows), Cucusoft Net Guard (Windows), Wireshark (Windows, Mac), Linux Rubbernet (Mac), Visual NetTools (Mac), PrivateEye (Mac).

MR analyzers

  • Wireshark (Windows and Linux)
  • Microsoft Message Analyzer Windows)
  • Tcpdump (Linux)
  • Windump (Windows)

How is a network monitored?

The network monitoring system looks for problems caused by overloads and / or server failures, as well as problems with the network infrastructure (or other equipment). Request to get the page. For email servers, use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send mail, and then use IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol) or POP3 (Post Office Protocol) to remove it.

Proper management for a network

  • Three dimensions of network management • a) functional dimension • b) time dimension • c) solution dimension.
  • Network planning and design: Choice of network infrastructure, Software installation and management, Software management, Performance management.
  • Performance management is divided into two stages: monitoring and analysis, monitoring, analysis, fault management.
  • Alarm monitoring: Alarms can be distinguished from at least two aspects: the type and severity of the alarm.
  • The alarm type: Communication alarm, process alarm, equipment alarm, environmental alarm, service alarm.
  • The severity of the alarm: Severe, Largest, Smallest, Undefined.
  • Troubleshooting: Bug Fixes, Report Management, Report Creation

The report must contain at least the following information: The name of the person reporting the problem, the name of the person involved in the problem, who created the report, find technical information in the problem area, notes about the problem, date and time of the report.

Monitoring Report: Report Management, Report Completion, Accounting Management, Security Management, Attack Prevention, Intrusion Detection.

  • Intrusion Detection: Incident Response, Security Strategy.

The primary goal of the security strategy is to establish recommended requirements to fully protect the IT infrastructure and the information it contains.

Among them, some necessary strategies include: Acceptable Use Strategy, User Account Strategy, Path Configuration Strategy, Access List Strategy, Remote Access Strategy, Password Strategy, Backup Policy.

Security services: The OSI security architecture identifies five types of security services:

  • Confidentiality
  •  Identity verification
  •  Integrity
  •  Access control
  •  I do not repudiate.

Security mechanisms processes to achieve the objectives pursued, at least the following must be carried out:

  • Prepare a security strategy that describes the rules used to manage the network infrastructure.
  • Define the expectations of the network according to the good use of the network and the prevention and response to security incidents.

According to the security policy, the necessary services and the services that can be provided and implemented in the network infrastructure are defined: Implement the security policy through the appropriate mechanisms.

What is Network Monitoring

Evolution and trends

One of the challenges that IT managers face is the way that the managers of their organizations have sufficient elements to recognize their operational information, and to improve the importance of technology as a component of business support. The development of monitoring tools is also driven by the arrival of more advanced traffic display protocols (such as Netflow, Jflow, Cflow, sflow, IPFIX or Netstream).

Today’s goal is to classify everything from a global perspective to correctly classify the events that affect the performance of the services or business processes involved. With the advancement of technology, its development has gone through different stages, we list them as follows:

1st Generation: Proprietary applications to monitor active or inactive devices

The industry has developed many tools in an attempt to present resources in a friendly and real-time manner. There, the box is red, indicating that the router has stopped working, so there is no connection to the factory. ” This is what the monitoring console operator told the controller that he previously requested. Report when the production line of the product to be marketed is lost.

The monitoring tool displays items through a common color code:

  • Green: Everything is normal.
  • Yellow: A temporary problem has been detected and will not affect usability, however adjustments must be made to avoid communication disruption.
  • Orange: The problem still exists and needs immediate attention so as not to affect usability.
  • Red: The device is currently unavailable and immediate action is required to reset it.

2nd Generation: In-depth operation parameter analysis applications

In this generation of tools, they run an in-depth analysis to be able to evaluate the status of the device components CPU, memory, storage space, packets sent and received, broadcast, multicast, etc. You can adapt the parameters and assess the level of service of the equipment. These types of applications are based on protocol analyzers or “sniffer” and distributed physical elements called “probes” whose functions are used specifically to collect traffic statistics and are generally controlled by a central console.

3rd Generation: End-to-end analysis applications with a focus on service

With higher-level information about the device we have other elements of analysis, but there are still not enough parameters to make decisions. Now the problem is caused by the combination of multiple devices participating in the same service. Now this generation of applications using a transactional approach has captured traffic “flows”, identified bottlenecks and latency in the connections between service components, and provided information on their status.

In this generation of products, all the components can be connected in a more efficient way where each device knows when to notify other devices without affecting the tasks it performs, which does not cause an information overload. In this way, you can make decisions using business impact methods.

4th Generation: Personalization of performance indicators of business processes

To allow the growth of technological solutions and meet the needs of today’s organizations, we came to the “dashboard” views, which are indicators that customers can create and customize according to their needs, in addition to selecting the variables that should be related to them. Graphically visualize the level of compliance delivered by the decision maker in the business process. In this generation of solutions, there are some solutions to monitor application performance.

Technical elements (“back-end”) are fused with the system they are in, and these elements are fused with your integrated applications to perform transactions that drive business processes (“front-end”). In other words, this is an end-to-end analysis.

The potential of these tools can provide synchronized information on:

  • Prediction effect.
  • Scenario modeling (simulation and simulation).
  • Capacity analysis and planning.
  • Set the adjustment function.
  • Measurement of business impact (quality, health and risk in the services provided).
  • User experience.

Problem notification

Knowing in advance the importance of any problem on the server, the system usually reports the incident immediately through different methods (for example, by email, SMS, telephone, fax, etc.).

Free tools for small network monitoring

Regardless of the size of your company, the Internet has become a key element of business success. When the network fails, customers and employees cannot communicate, and employees cannot access critical information or use basic print or email services, resulting in lost productivity and profits.

These tools reduce network disruption, allowing companies to operate more smoothly, thereby reducing costs and also avoiding financial losses. It would apply to companies to start with a small capital and start with a free control program that in turn costs are minimal, and in turn reduces the time in any type of management.

Key network elements to monitor

Some basic fundamentals that require continuous monitoring are:

  • Email server:

Every organization has an email server to distribute mail to all users on the LAN. If the email server fails, the user will be disconnected from the outside world and key functions, such as customer support, will be affected. IT administrators should monitor the availability of their email servers, queued emails, the size of emails received, etc.

  • WAN links:

Small businesses can save money by optimizing WAN links. If they over-subscribe they will incur high costs, and if there are not enough subscriptions the network can collapse. Therefore, IT administrators must carefully balance throughput, information compromised rate (CIR), and burst rate with congestion, response time, and abandonment to optimize link utilization. IT administrators must also discover who is using the most bandwidth to make the necessary adjustments.

Business applications

  • Services: The server runs critical applications, so you need to monitor the server’s CPU, memory, disk space, and the services running on them (FTP, DNS, ECHO, IMAP, LDAP, TELNET, HTTP, POP, etc.) and your response time. Furthermore, the usage trends of the traffic of these servers should also be monitored.
  • Server logs: Small businesses using Windows computers should also monitor the server logs for login failures, account locks, incorrect passwords, unsuccessful attempts to access secure files, and attempts to breach security logs. . Monitoring these logs can clearly understand the security vulnerabilities that exist in the organization.
  • Applications, databases, and websites : Small businesses run a variety of mission-critical applications, websites, and databases that require regular monitoring. You can monitor application availability, response time, etc. URL availability must be monitored.
  • LAN infrastructure : Your LAN infrastructure equipment, such as switches, printers, and wireless devices.

Top 3 Requirements for Small Network Management

Small businesses have different needs and expectations for network management due to their limited personal and technical expertise. They therefore require inexpensive tools, are easy to install and use, and are feature rich.

  • Low purchasing power: The network monitoring program must be affordable.
  • Easy to install and use: This should be intuitive enough to start using it without having to read boring documents.
  •  Many Functions: It must be able to control all its resources: current resources and future resources.

Open source software for small network monitoring

The combination is open and provides many tools to suit different IT needs, including network monitoring, bandwidth monitoring, network discovery, and more. The most popular open source tools for network management are:

  • Nagios: MRTG network monitoring program :
  • Traffic monitoring program
  • Kismet: Wireless Monitoring Program


Nagios® is a host and service monitor designed specifically for the Linux operating system, but can also be used with most * NIX variants. The monitoring daemon uses plugins that send status information to Nagios to perform intermittent checks on the hosts and services that you specify.

In case of problems the daemon can send notifications to the administration contacts in many different ways (email, instant messaging, SMS, etc.). All current status information, historical logs and reports can be obtained through a web browser.


Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) is a tool to monitor the traffic load on the network link. MRTG generates HTML pages with PNG images that provide a real-time visual representation of the traffic flow.


Kismet is a Layer 2 802.11 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system. This can be used with any wireless card that supports raw data monitoring (rfmon) mode and can detect 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g traffic. passively collects data packets and detects networks with standard names, detects (and eventually hides) hidden networks, and infers the existence of non-beacon networks through data traffic to identify networks.

Integrated yet affordable next-generation solutions from ManageEngine

ManageEngine provides a variety of affordable network, bandwidth, application, event log, firewall, and service desk monitoring software. Its free tools are suitable for small networks. For those who are starting to use free tools, ManageEngine can easily migrate and then to the commercial version.

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