Published on January 31,2020 | By Hennie Moolman, CEO of Africa Solution Distributor

Top features network monitoring solution should deliver

South African organisations are set to embrace hyper-scale cloud benefits and roll-out a fast-growing fleet of IOT devices next year, as cloud and IOT make their mainstream appearance in workplaces. While a proliferation of smarter, more connected technologies could make life easier for workforces, they could also complicate matters for network administrators.

IOT devices, becoming increasingly affordable and compelling in their functionality, present a plethora of new cyber vulnerabilities.

Even if the devices have been specifically deployed by a company’s IT department, traditional corporate security measures such as firewalls do not work because these devices operate within their own closed systems. But there are ‘radiation effects’ that can be identified when IOT devices are compromised. Because an IOT device usually becomes part of the network, a good network monitoring tool can recognise when an unusually high amount of data traffic occurs on a specific port. It can also be detected via pattern recognition if unusual traffic takes place in the network, for example, if two devices suddenly communicate with each other. A warning would then be sent to the sysadmin and the discovery of the device in question should proceed quite quickly.

The cloud is going mainstream in South Africa, usually in a hybrid model. This too raises network and security challenges: some services and data may in the public cloud, other services and data in private clouds, and orchestration tools connect the environment. As cloud service providers change existing functionality or introduce new services, enterprises will need to revise their own architecture and infrastructure to keep up to date with the changes. These new complexities impact security, management and service provision: now network monitoring has to become more agile to indicate where problems occur across disparate technologies and multiple clouds.

To address these new complexities in a changing environment, the ideal network monitoring solution, such as PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler, should offer:

Bandwidth monitoring

In South Africa, the high cost of bandwidth, coupled with challenges such as limited capacity and speed in certain areas, means bandwidth optimisation is crucial to ensure costs are controlled and applications perform as expected. The ideal network monitoring solution, such as PRTG, ensures that what you pay the ISP for is actually what you get.

Application monitoring

All business-critical applications such as SQL to exchange right down to custom in-house applications need to be monitored continually, to ensure all applications perform as expected. PRTG delivers a concise overview on individual dashboards as well as detailed statistics about every application running in the network, with options to set alerts whenever PRTG discovers a defined status (eg, application doesn’t respond or Web server is offline).

Virtual environment monitoring

Monitor your virtual environment from a host and/or virtual clients. Monitoring your host will give the ability to determine if it is over-used or if you need to add virtual machines to a host. PRTG’s portfolio of cloud monitoring features reduce the complexity of managing multiple virtual environments.

Branch office monitoring 

With PRTG you are able to monitor multiple locations (offices) with one licence, which eliminates the extra costs of a licence for each location.

Data flow monitoring

Monitor where your traffic is flowing to within your network to determine who or what is causing the most traffic.

Identify bottlenecks 

Easily be able to determine where bottlenecks occur, be it an over-utilised access point or backups uploading to the cloud at a certain time of day.

Hardware utilisation monitoring

As technology is evolving at lightning speed, it is important that hardware also keeps up with the times and is constantly monitored to ensure all users and servers are not taking strain. With effective solutions such as PRTG by Paessler, administrators can easily identify problem areas and determine if it is time to replace or add on.

Alerts (notification triggers)

Time is of the essence when network problems occur. With PRTG, administrators are able to receive notifications in a number of ways – from the normal e-mail and SMS, right down to PUSH to your free PRTG app.

Mobile app (Android and iOS )

Mobile management is crucial for the modern 24/7 organisation. Included in the cost of PRTG is a free mobile app for Android as well as iOS, which will enable you to monitor your network when on the move, as no one is at the office 24/7.