Network Monitoring – Best Practices

Your network architecture is the backbone of your infrastructure, it supports the routing of data as well as internal and external users access to services.

Network monitoring is essential to ensure that are no problems accessing services and no failures occur. Network analysis tools assists you in optimizing your network infrastructure and increasing the efficiency of your network resources by identifying bandwidth usage bottlenecks.

ServiceNav provides tools to monitor your network in two ways:

  • Technical monitoring and failure detection
  • Analysis of bandwidth usage

Technical monitoring and failure detection

A technical failure of the network can be critical; blocking or degrading access to services.

The following service templates support the reporting of technical metrics related to interfaces:

  • SWITCH-Network_Plus
  • SWITCH-Network_traffic-InterfaceName_Plus
  • SWITCH-Network_traffic-InterfaceName_Plus_SNMPV3
  • SWITCH-Network_traffic_Plus_SNMPV3

These templates measure the network traffic usage for an interface, indicate the rate and volume of data transmitted / received since the last system boot and alert if a threshold is exceeded. They collect the status of the interface, the number of packets in error, the number of packets rejected, the effective speed of the card, and notify when the thresholds defined for the number of packets in error, the number of packets rejected are exceeded , or when the effective speed of the card is different from that expected.

Configuration and Use:

  • Interface name or ID number: ID or name of the interface depending on the model used
  • Traffic IN warning threshold: traffic IN warning threshold expressed as a percentage.
  • Traffic IN critical threshold: traffic IN critical threshold expressed as a percentage.
  • Traffic OUT warning threshold: traffic OUT warning threshold expressed as a percentage.
  • Traffic OUT critical threshold: traffic OUT critical threshold expressed as a percentage.
  • Unit: output units, k for kilobits, m for megabits.
  • Bandwidth: allocated bandwidth. If the field is populated, it will be used for the calculation of the utilization rate of the IN and OUT traffic in percentage. By default,when the field is not filled, the plugin uses the detected speed of the interface for the calculation of the utilization rate.
  • Threshold of packets in error: warning/critical threshold in number of packets in error.
  • Threshold of rejected packets: warning/critical threshold in number of packets rejected.
  • Interface speed: this valueis used to check the speed of the interface, a critical alert is raised if the detected speed is different from that entered in this field.
  • Interface speed units: k for kilobits, m for megabits.

After instantiation, the service will return a status and information on the interface as well as graphical metrics for each of the indicators.

 

IT Weather

The service weather is configured after having supervised the network equipment and the interconnection interfaces. Below is an example of weather services network architecture based on the hierarchical model in three layers.

Network Architecture:

IT weather uses a  hierarchical approach to monitor redundant interconnecting interfaces at all levels:

The advantage of such  modelingis that it enables you to identify which are the devices and network interfaces at the root of any deterioration or failure of the network. The following screenshot illustrates network degradation due to a general problem with the DIST_2 distribution switch:

Dashboards

Configuration of a MAP dashboard containing all the elements of the IT Weather service alongside a list of statuses and interface metrics:

Bandwidth utilisation analysis

ServiceNav provides a detailed view of your network traffic to identify users, applications, and protocols that consume bandwidth. This visibility lets you determine bandwidth usage strategies, optimize your return on ISP costs, and ensure adequate bandwidth for your critical applications and services.

Depending on the technology, use the NetFlow or sFlow service templates and configure dashboards to monitor the usage of your bandwidth.

UK ServiceNav Product Development Manager; my priority is to be needful of the particular requirements of all ‘English-speaking’ markets where ServiceNav is sold. I have over 20 years experience of the IT monitoring field - covering a wide variety of products and technologies.