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Best Practices for Remote Network Monitoring

NinjaMSPJune 28, 2016
Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) solutions are meant to collect data from local area networks so that network administrators can identify and troubleshoot any potential problems in an organization’s network. From packets and bytes sent, to dropped conversations between addresses, real-time statistics and active connections, a remote network monitoring system can gather a lot of information.However, for that information to contribute to a network’s efficient functioning, it is important that an administrator configures the system optimally. Here are some best practices that can help you get the most out of your remote network monitoring system.

Define a Baseline Behavior

A monitoring system can be set up to sound alerts if a network exceeds critical thresholds. In order to set these thresholds, it is important to first gauge what is normal for a network. Typically, baseline tests should be run for at least two weeks, analyzing devices for performance across locations. This should be done vis-à-vis traffic, including wireless traffic and traffic on storage devices. Once that’s done, remote monitoring can be set up to trigger alarms if the network deviates from baseline behavior in any location.

Get the Reporting Structure Right

Even when you have performance alerts set up correctly, potential problems can snowball into actual problems, simply because the right admin is not notified in time. Large organizations typically have several network administrators, each looking at a different aspect of a network. When you set up remote monitoring alerts, it is important that the right admin is alerted for a malfunction type. In addition to that, an escalation matrix has to be in place for times when the concerned admin is unable to fix the problem. The goal of doing all that is to reduce your Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR).

Make Sure Remote Monitoring Has an Offline Option

Networks can go down, and communication can seize. However, as a network admin, you don’t want to lose access to data for troubleshooting. Your remote monitoring system has to be configured in a manner such that it continues to collect data even when the communication with the network goes down.

Get the Mapping Right

A lot of remote network monitoring systems allow you to get network data according to geography, function and hierarchy. For instance, you could map the system such that performance of devices is grouped according to location. This is helpful when you have an admin overseeing remote monitoring. However, if you have different people looking after different devices, such as routers and switches, a more viable solution could be mapping the system in order to group devices together. Check the capabilities of your remote network monitoring system and map to optimize response time.

Keep Scalability in Mind

Every monitoring tool is limited by the number of resources and elements you can monitor. As you grow, the number of users and devices will increase, and the amount of bandwidth you need will become greater. In order to monitor the increased resources, your monitoring system will need an upgrade. This could be in terms of processing power, additional installations or even a license upgrade. Upgrades can be expensive, especially when they happen over short periods of time. When setting up a remote network monitoring system, account for projected growth to avoid costly upgrades or even the possibility of moving to a different system altogether.

At Ninja,  we have made a commitment to be the most powerful RMM in the marketplace, with the absolute best user experience and integrations with all the products MSPs use evertyday to run their business.  We believe we have built a next generation platform, with a community driven product management process, all packaged with a reasonable price tag.


Posted in MSP, rmm