Network Performance Monitoring Tools

Read a guide on network performance monitoring tools available today.

Clients & customers expect reliability & stability from their network experiences. Your network clients & customers expect a high level of stability and performance from their user experiences. In order to provide this for them your system requires constant monitoring and supervision. What are the best ways to guarantee network security and stability for your users? What types of network performance monitoring (NPM) solutions are available today?

Network performance monitoring tools are available in software, cloud, virtual and hardware formats. These tools all use a technology referred to as telemetry to remotely measure and/or gather data from specified sources. Results compiled in collected data allow you to understand the health of your network, the applications running on/over it and potential solutions available for repairing any issues. What are the best ways to compare network security and scalability? What are the average costs for various network performance monitoring solutions today? Read ahead for an informative guide on network performance monitoring tools and their average prices today.

Network Performance Monitoring 101

Your network requires constant monitoring to make sure it consistently operates at is highest capacity. Network performance monitoring (NPM) solutions and tools exist in hardware, software and virtual/cloud-based formats. Telemetry is an advanced scientific and technology-driven process used to gather and measure data from specified remote sources. Data collected via telemetry helps determine the health of your network and any applications running on it. Solutions for correcting/repairing issues are subsequently suggested and created based on this information. 

How It Works

Network performance monitoring tools monitor operations and functionality across your entire network. Software visualizes, troubleshoots and optimizes all network processes        to create the best experience for you, your business and your users. Data gathered via telemetry processes is collected from various albeit specific sources. Packets, network flow data & SNMP (device metrics) are the most common sources. Packets help carry data across a network and are essential to basic functionality and operational success. Network flow data, also referred to as metadata, describes & categorizes network-facilitated connections using standards such as NetFlow, jFlow & IPFIX. Additional types of device metrics include synthetic tests, API, WMI, CLI and logs.

Data collected from packets, flow data & device metrics includes timestamps, lists of active/inactive network interfaces, traffic volume, IP addresses and more. Data from each of these sources also provides unique perspectives and angles pursuant to various issues and even non-issues such as operations functioning with complete accuracy. The combination of data samples from these sources provides a consolidated picture of issues and solutions to fix them across your network. The availability of network performance monitoring tools in various platforms (hardware, software, etc.) provides complete simultaneous visibility of your network on multi-cloud and/or hybrid environments.

The Increasing Importance of Network Performance Monitoring

The performance, stability and security of your network are crucial today more than ever before. Network performance is vital to providing high-quality customer service. Network instability translates as unreliability to clients and customers. The modern world includes an unfortunate increase in cyber-crimes. Your network must also be secure at all times to guarantee the privacy and safety of your users and their data. Top network performance monitoring systems are equipped to process all data from all sources at all times. Why is network performance monitoring increasingly important today? Your network’s security, performance, functionality, stability and customer satisfaction all depend on it.

Comparisons on Security & Scalability

Network security and scalability are important concepts to understand. What is network security? Network security includes applicable hardware, software, devices, technologies and security-based processes. Network security protects the overall integrity of your network, its applications and data stored on/passing through it. Essentially, network security is series of rules and configurations operating at all times to maintain and protect the network and everything on it. 

What is network scalability? Network scalability is an assessment of how readily your network is capable of expansion or increasing its functionality. How simple is it to expand network bandwidth? How capable is your network of sudden spikes (or drops) in workload demands? It is crucial to determine the scalability of your network prior to increasing your staff, client-based users or other functional demands by significant amounts.

Network performance monitoring is integral to security/scalability aspects because it provides constant visibility of your network’s issues, strengths and needs. As your network expands, so too will its various security requirements. For example, using multiple security tools over an expanded network might leave flaws in your network security’s ardor. Embedding adequate security protocols from the ground up, which also take into account scalability projections helps prevent data breaches and other security-related issues long-term. 

Pricing Guide

Numerous free and open-source options are available to monitor your network. While these systems do function, they might also have limitations capable of leaving your network vulnerable to cyber-attacks, slower speeds and general unreliability. Paid network monitoring systems might cost as little as approximately $400 per year for smaller businesses. Top-tier systems with extensive features might cost between $10,000 and $30,000 per year.

Small businesses pay an approximate average of $1,500 per year for quality network monitoring systems. Pricing is impacted by types of licenses purchased (single or multiple locations/use), number of users, features, type of business and more. Software maintenance/support, installation fees, training (when applicable) and upgrades also affect pricing for network monitoring systems. Systems monitoring twenty-five to fifty devices range in price from approximately $750-$1,800. Systems monitoring fifty to one hundred devices range in price from approximately $1,300-$3.500. Up to five hundred monitored devices might cost as much as $10,000 per year (plus additional expenses) and unlimited monitoring services can cost from $5,000 to $60,0000 per year.

Top Software & Tools

The top network monitoring software and tools offer user-friendly operational functions, flexibility, reliability and reasonable pricing. While many programs and tools exist on the market some rise above the other for quality and consumer satisfaction. Some of the top network performance monitoring software for 2021 includes: