Network monitoring tools have been an important part of IT departments since the early days of computing, but with the increasing popularity of remote workers and their unique network access needs the old tools simply weren’t adequate. (Who remembers the primitive software-based network “monitoring” tools that were simply core dumps and crash logs?) Fast-forward to now.

The networks used by modern enterprises are much more than the flat collection of physically-connected desktop computers of the past. Today, networks can span huge geographical areas and a virtually unlimited number of technologies. And to make the end-user experience seamless and reliable, different network technologies like cloud, WiFi, cellular, satellite, WAN and LAN must all come together cohesively.

Network monitoring is the use of a system that constantly monitors a computer network for problems and that notifies the network administrator in case of outages or other trouble.

But how does an IT team monitor and troubleshoot all these networks? Mobile network monitoring software (like NetMotion Software’s Operational Intelligence) can provide all of the data needed to manage complex network infrastructures.

Here are four features that IT professionals should look for when considering network monitoring tools.

1) Mobile-Inclusive Monitoring

A great network monitoring solution will provide a complete picture of the entire (wired and wireless) network, including cellular connections. Best-in-class providers even allow administrators to view connections outside the corporate firewall on networks that are not owned by the enterprise.

2) Full Visibility

To address every issue, IT needs full visibility into every device and network. Additional data around location, data consumption and application usage can provide a valuable layer of insight for understanding areas for improvement.

3) Real-Time Monitoring

When a remote worker has an issue, he or she needs assistance immediately; not tomorrow. With continuous, real-time monitoring IT can set up alerts to stay on top of irregular network behaviors, performance issues and potential security vulnerabilities.

4) Root-Cause Analysis

How many devices are on your network? What does an increase in MTTR mean to your team? Automated end-to-end troubleshooting and root-cause analysis allows IT to push out policies dynamically to remote devices for issue remediation and performance improvement.

Leveraging the Data

An unreliable data network can cost a business hundreds of hours in lost productivity. But a properly implemented mobile network monitoring tool can generate data and insights that increase performance, strengthen threat defense and help control costs.

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