Friday, 20 November 2020 09:50

The Net Works When SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor Is on the Job

REVIEW PROMOTION: If you have a network, then by goodness, you need it to perform. Fortunately, SolarWinds is putting the “work” back in “network” with its Network Performance Monitor tool.

Unless your home or business never goes online, doesn’t share files, doesn’t use email, doesn’t stream media, or doesn’t even have computing devices, you have a network. And if you have a network, you know the many ethereal and nebulous complaints users will bring. “Is the server down?” they ask as if you have only one server. Or the perennial “The network was slow last week. Can you fix it so it doesn’t happen again?” report, as if it’s not difficult enough to figure out why the network is slow now, let alone in the past.

This is where SolarWinds® Network Performance Monitor (NPM) comes in. iTWire has been testing it out in a commercial environment, and it’s already proven immensely useful, providing end-to-end visibility of servers and services across the WAN, VPN, public cloud services, and more. For beleaguered IT managers and network administrators, this tool can flip your focus, time, and energy from reactive firefighting and hunting issues to focusing on business problems. No more learning something’s wrong when the managing director calls and asks why they can’t send emails. Instead, you can resolve and eliminate problems before they become an issue.

NPM is a sophisticated product designed for the modern network. Other monitoring tools exist, but NPM stands apart with its solid support for enterprise hybrid multi-cloud environments, load balancers, Azure® ExpressRoute®, VPNs, Cisco ACI®, and other protocols and connection mechanisms as well as its ability to differentiate between issues with applications and devices.

NPM allows you to trace critical network paths hop by hop, homing in on where a blockage lies. Isolate network slowdowns and dig precisely into the cloud, path, equipment, or application causing them.

NPM summary

All data collected is presented across a range of views and dashboards, aggregating onto a common timeline. Alerts can be fine-tuned so specific teams and team members receive the items of interest without the real information being flooded with noise.

SolarWinds says “network performance monitoring shouldn’t be hard,” and this motto rings true in the straightforward ease and simplicity with which you can operate NPM. Yet this ease and simplicity belie the sophistication and depth under the hood, which helps you get to the root cause of issues faster through actionable data insights.

Fundamentally, that’s it—NPM monitors your network and emits reports and alerts. Yet the utility of this can’t be overstated. For technical folks, NPM can be your greatest asset in resolving problems, ensuring seamless operations, and even forecasting future capacity requirements. For company executives, NPM delivers transparency in where the money ought to be spent on the network. NPM offers visibility and metrics over the infrastructure, something managers want but often lament they don’t have.

SolarWinds provides a free trial so you can test NPM out without obligation or risk. Afterwards, pricing is based on license type—perpetual or subscription—and the number of elements you wish to monitor based on the largest number of the three element types:

  1. Interfaces: interfaces include switch ports, physical/virtual interfaces, and VLANs
  2. Nodes: nodes include entire devices (routers, switches, servers, and access points)
  3. Volumes: volumes are equal to the logical disks you monitor

A network management tool is an essential item in your IT team’s arsenal. It’s important to get the right product to effectively see your myriad of applications, equipment, protocols, components, vendors, and routes in a single pane of glass. This is where NPM comes in, a monitor capable of catering to the enterprise and scaling with your business. It’s available as a commitment-free fully functional 30-day trial and pricing begins at US$1,583 after that. Subscription and perpetual licensing options are available. Start your free trial here. 

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Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.

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