The growing trend towards remote network locations isn’t really a trend anymore. It’s become the reality for many businesses with multiple branches, offices, and data centers around the world. Remote network performance monitoring helps businesses and IT departments monitor network health in various remote offices. First time hearing about remote network performance monitoring? Here is a quick overview of what it is and how it can help your IT team sustain a growing business.
What Is Network Performance Monitoring?
Firstly, just so we’re on the same page, let me give you a rundown of what exactly standard network performance monitoring is.
Network performance refers to "the analysis and review of collective network statistics, to define the quality of services offered by the underlying computer network [that is] primarily measured from an end-user perspective." More simply put, it is the measurement of a network’s service quality as seen by the customer.
Network performance monitoring refers to the continuous monitoring of network performance in order to detect any network performance issues and ensure network health. Network performance is something that can be measured using a variety of network performance metrics, such as latency, jitter, packet loss, throughput, packet reordering, and more.
Network performance monitoring also allows you to troubleshoot network slowdowns and not just hard failures. Any performance degradation can be the sign of an upcoming issue, so it’s important to find and fix slowdowns before they turn into bigger problems.
With continuous monitoring, you also gain visibility on performance issues that are often intermittent and hard to pinpoint. If you’re notified immediately when there is an incident, it helps you address the issue early on and then check previous performance data to understand what happened.
Some networks have small requirements while others need to perform at high levels to sustain multiple systems or services. A well-performing network is one where the actual performance exceeds usage, as this prevents congestion in the network.
What Is Remote Network Performance Monitoring?
Remote network performance monitoring extends the reach of your traditional network performance monitoring solution so you can monitor network performance of remote locations and equipment, without having to be present at that exact location.
Many modern organizations have large network infrastructures that span across many different branches or locations. Such organizations tend to have a number of remote offices and equipment they need to monitor. Making sure routers, switches, and other network equipment are performing optimally is critical to smooth business operations, but dispersed networks can be a challenge for traditional centralized monitoring systems.
Remote network performance monitoring allows IT specialists and network administrators to monitor network performance no matter where your network devices (or you) are located. It’s an ideal solution for managed service providers (MSPs) or organizations with multiple locations, a growing remote workforce, or traveling consultants.
A network performance monitoring solution will generally install network performance monitoring agents at various strategic locations – such as data centers, remote offices, and your main office – to monitor network performance between all those agents.
Many businesses are changing their network architecture from a centralized to a decentralized model – and monitoring tools need to follow. A Distributed Remote Network Performance Monitoring tool allows IT personnel to monitor what really matters to users in order to offer an innovative end-to-end solution!
Think your company could benefit from it? Keep reading to learn about the 6 main benefits of using remote network performance monitoring.
What Are the Benefits of Remote Network Performance Monitoring?
1. Monitor Performance of Multiple Locations
If your network or business spans across multiple locations with different offices or branches, a remote network performance monitoring software allows you to manage devices in every location.
For example, let's say you manage the network for a pharmaceutical chain with many different pharmacies across the country. Remote network performance monitoring gives you visibility into how devices in your central location, as well as all the remote locations, are performing. You can set up alerts to notify you of wherever and whenever performance falters, along with details on what the issue is.
You can deploy network performance monitoring agents at various locations, such as remote offices and data centers, to continuously test and monitor performance between locations. You can also tag each agent with a location name to distinguish them on your dashboard.
Once your infrastructure is in place, you can easily monitor the global health of all your remote locations using a dashboard that displays your agents and monitoring sessions simultaneously.
2. Use a Distributed Network Performance Monitoring Strategy
Nowadays, most businesses use SaaS and Cloud services that are no longer hosted in a centralized location. This new architecture increases the pressure on IT teams to accurately monitor the performance and availability of services from all of their locations.
This is why remote network performance monitoring allows you to use a distributed monitoring strategy, which executes tests from all your connected locations. Distributed network monitoring is a monitoring strategy that uses information provided by multiple network monitoring agents to determine the performance status of different parts of your network, independently from conditions that may affect the other agents.
Distributed network monitoring allows you to assess the performance of separate applications, network devices, and different ends of your network (from WAN to LAN), and it identifies whether you have a network or application issue.
3. Allow IT Staff to Monitor Network Performance of Remote Offices
Most companies don’t have an army of IT resources in every location, ready to take off as soon as they’re needed. Most businesses have a small IT team stationed in one location who are generally responsible for managing the entire network.
With remote network performance monitoring, if a network problem arises, IT staff don’t have to travel to that location to troubleshoot. They can use remote network performance monitoring software to collect information from certain LAN sites without having to reach the site, set up IT equipment, and identify issues.
Any consultants or managed service providers (MSPs) responsible for monitoring client network performance can also benefit from the ability to monitor a remote location without being on site.
This saves IT administrators time, increases productivity, and allows you to rest assured knowing your whole network is under constant surveillance.
4. Monitor Performance from the End-User Perspective
The end-user perspective is what defines good or bad performance. Whether it’s your client, employee, or yourself, network performance refers to the network’s ability to meet a user’s expectations. That’s why it’s important to monitor network performance from the end-user perspective.
Network monitoring agents can exchange synthetic traffic amongst themselves to constantly measure network and application performance as if they were actual users. This means that your agents can give you performance metrics as if they were users from different remote branches or offices within your business’ infrastructure.
So if your colleague in another city starts complaining about network slowness, you can use remote network performance monitoring to monitor network performance from their perspective, and quickly identify problems.
5. Get End-to-End Visibility of Your Network
When it comes to network performance monitoring, it’s important to monitor your complete network infrastructure, so you don’t miss anything.
With network performance monitoring software, you can install a monitoring agent next to the firewall to monitor ISP performance (WAN) – or even at the far-end of the LAN network – to have a complete end-to-end performance monitoring solution. In addition, you can do the same with any remote offices for complete visibility of network connections.
The ability to monitor your network from any web-enabled device and any location gives your team the freedom to be mobile and helps connect teams spread out over large geographic areas.
6. Locate Issues Anywhere Along Your Network
Lastly, the most important benefit of remote network performance monitoring is being able to locate and identify network issues anywhere along your network.
Network performance monitoring helps you quickly and easily pinpoint the location of a problem and identify if the network is even the culprit. Sometimes the network is at fault, but other times the issue has to do with applications or other surrounding factors.
Continuous network performance monitoring can also help you identify, locate, and troubleshoot issues before they start affecting end users, helping you provide your end users with the best user experience possible.
Remote Network Monitoring Software
Now that we’ve gone through the benefits of remote network performance monitoring and why you need it for today’s growing remote workforce, I also want to let you know that you don’t need to do it alone.
There's software for that.
Remote network performance monitoring software is either a solution on its own or it may be offered as a feature on a regular network performance monitoring software (or NPM).
Network performance monitoring software is a solution that continuously monitors network performance in real-time between official sites (company head office, main business center), data centers, cloud systems, and applications, to quickly find and fix network problems like network delays, data loss, lagging, and more.
A network performance monitoring software monitors and calculates network performance for you, giving you an accurate measurement of your network performance.
A remote network performance monitoring software does the same thing, but for remote offices.
While remote work is on the rise, it’s important to know that now is the time to start implementing remote network performance monitoring for your business. You’ll be thanking yourself when offices become obsolete and your IT team can fix problems before employees even have the chance to complain about them.