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With so many network management software offerings in the market, IT managers might find it difficult to narrow down the list of candidates. With every network being unique in its configuration, IT executives should carefully weigh their options and find a solution that serves the needs of their environment. In addition, the business’ reliance on optimised network services means your monitoring solution should continually enable you and your team to identify ways to improve the network’s performance.
So, what should IT managers look for in network management software candidates? How do you separate the best monitoring solution from the “not-so-good” offerings? Here is a look at some essential features and benefits a monitoring solution should have and how it should empower you and your team.
Ease of use
From deployment to usage, network management software should be easy to adopt into your environment and cause as little disruption possible to you and your team. Steep learning curves can hamstring your endeavours to start seeing ROI on a newly implemented monitoring system. With so many elements that tie large networks together, network management software should ease the burden of maintaining control over complex systems.
Cost and ROI
With IT being a major cost consideration for any business, making each purchasing decision count, is crucial. The never-ending battle between CIOs and CFOs is stuff of legend, and IT executives need to ensure that their choice of network management software yields quantifiable return on investment for the business. Quality reporting and insightful analytics are indicators of good ROI on monitoring solutions. When calculating your ROI, you should be able to clearly measure the value of information your monitoring software unleashes and how it contributes to a peak performing network against the money you had to part with.
Quality and quantity of information yielded
Does the solution offer you detailed insights into your network? Is it capable of revealing non-network related issues that are affecting performance? How about timelines? How far back can you look into your environment’s timeline to make informed decisions about where to focus upgrades and expansions? The best solutions offer granular information in powerful visual formats, making troubleshooting and network analysis simple.
Historically, it required dedicated specialists to dissect complex network metrics and turn it into actionable information. This meant allocation of resources that could have been used more wisely. Best of breed network management software seamlessly repurposes raw, complex network data into easy to understand and actionable information.
What happens after the sale is crucial
After sales support to help you get the most out of your new investment is a key factor in deciding which network management software to go with. It often happens that decent support is non-existent after the sale, leaving IT staff struggling to get the most out of their newly acquired monitoring solution. For the enterprise, 24/7 access to technical staff is a must have to ensure that issues are resolved as they occur. Comprehensive training on the product should be built into the costing to ensure you get the full benefit of your monitoring solution.
Network managers should list what is most important in terms of the type of metrics they aim to get from the solution. Management software should be as unobtrusive on the environment whilst giving you quality network data. Erring on the side of caution is the best approach when entering the market, as you may find that the advertising on the label didn’t translate into the benefits you had hoped for.
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