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Network Monitoring

What is Network Monitoring?

Network monitoring entails collecting data on a computer network and analyzing it to find and fix problems, maintain availability, and boost performance when necessary. Various network monitoring tools can be used to accomplish these tasks, gathering data from servers, hosts, routers, and switches to examine bandwidth utilization, uptime, and packet loss, among other things, for troubleshooting and management purposes.

What are the Key Benefits of Network Monitoring?

Businesses can benefit from network monitoring in several ways. Monitoring can prevent downtime by finding issues that may lead to outages before they become a bigger problem. Performance issues can also be found, preventing bottlenecks or other impediments to performance.


Network monitoring can also spot and respond to activity that is suspicious or otherwise out of the norm, protecting networks from security threats.


When done effectively, network monitoring can help businesses meet compliance requirements, solve problems proactively, and save money from a performance, downtime, and security standpoint.

Types of Network Monitoring Metrics and Protocols

While network monitoring metrics and protocols will vary based on the complexity and size of the network, here are some examples of what’s most commonly used:

Common Network Monitoring Metrics

  • Availability: How often a service or device is available, often presented as a percentage
  • Packet loss: How many packets are lost in transmission, expressed as a percentage
  • Latency: The time it takes for a packet to move from one point to another
  • Utilization: How much bandwidth is being used on a network connection, reported as a percentage
  • Jitter: How much latency varies
  • Errors: The number of errors that happen during transmission
  • Throughput: How much data is being transferred over a network in a specific timespan
  • Security: A count of how many security incidents or suspicious behaviors have been detected

Common Network Monitoring Protocols

  • NetFlow, IPFIX, sFlow: Different protocols that can collect and monitor IP traffic flow
  • Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP): Can be used to test the connectivity of a network and send error messages in the event of device failures
  • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP): Can check the status of different device types and is used to monitor system status
  • Syslog: Sends system logs to a centralized location

Why is Network Monitoring Necessary?

Network monitoring is necessary for any business looking to minimize downtime and maximize performance. Monitoring your networks means businesses will be able to find and fix problems that can lead to greater outages.


Latency monitoring and observing other changes to performance metrics can help businesses find opportunities for improvement. Tracking traffic patterns, login attempts, and access from unauthorized users can help intercept security threats before bad actors infiltrate your systems. All these features of network monitoring not only make a business better positioned to meet regulatory requirements, but they also save an organization money.

How Network Monitoring Tools Work

Network monitoring tools work by recording data from various network devices or traffic to form insights and identify problems with downtime, security threats, and performance issues. How they specifically work depends on the type of tool being used and what's being monitored.

Types of Network Monitoring Tools

Common network monitoring tools include the following:

  • Security monitoring tools: Unauthorized access and infections from malware and other sources can be found with these tools.
  • Network traffic analyzers: Traffic type, packet size, and packet source and destination can be analyzed with these tools.
  • Log monitoring tools: System logs, which include data like security alerts and error logs, can help teams find system outages and security breaches. Tools can be used to monitor these logs.
  • Performance monitoring tools: Packet loss, latency, and jitter can be found with tools that collect and analyze network performance data.
  • Wireless monitoring tools: Interference, signal strength, and security issues can be observed with wireless monitoring tools.
  • Compliance monitoring tools: While network monitoring can help companies with compliance, tools should also be used to ensure certain measures are followed, including best practices for data privacy and protection.
  • Application performance monitoring tools: Response time, errors, and throughput for applications can be collected and analyzed with application performance monitoring (APM) tools.

How TierPoint Can Help With Network Monitoring

TierPoint’s IT network services boast a low-latency connection and more predictable traffic, and one way we accomplish that is through effective network monitoring. If you’re looking for support in identifying network problems, or you need expert guidance from start to finish with your network, TierPoint can help.

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