by Chet Craig, Business Unit Manager, Lifecycle Management

Today, organizations are expected to provide faster, more efficient services than ever before; and maintaining a stable, efficient, and secure network is vital for optimum productivity in reaching those goals. Many may wonder, how do businesses maintain a premium network? Through various tools and procedures developed by a Network Operation Center (NOC), a team of network engineers could be the answer.

As the first defense protecting against network disruptions and potential failures, main objective of a NOC is to keep your network functioning with the utmost health to avoid unplanned network downtime. A NOC uses advanced network performance metrics to help distinguish between application discrepancies and data transmission issues. This makes it easier to identify potential problems when performance diminishes, before becoming impactful to the organization.

By using network performance metrics, a NOC begins Network Performance Monitoring (NPM). NPM is the process of visualizing, monitoring, optimizing, troubleshooting, and reporting on the health and availability of networks as experienced by users. NPM tools can utilize several types of telemetry, including:

  • Device metrics like SNMP, WMI, CLI, API, logs, and synthetic tests.
  • Network flow data, such as NetFlow, jFlow, IPFIX, etc.
  • Packet data. Everything you do on a network requires packets; it carries data across the network.

NPM solutions traditionally collect data from multiple sources, which provides complete oversight of network health and applications. NPM options are available as hardware, virtual, and cloud software, supplying complete visibility across hybrid or multi-cloud environments.

Having a dedicated NOC not only keeps your network functioning but provides insight into device performance. Engineers monitor device performance using a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). An SNMP, being a widely supported protocol, offers the information necessary for fast detection of network infrastructure outages and failures. SNMP is supported by an extensive range of hardware, from routers and switches to endpoints like printers, scanners, and IoT devices.

Along with an SNMP, there is Flow Data. Flow Data is the information generated by network devices and helps obtain valuable information about network users, peak usage times, and traffic patterns, and subsequently helps with network troubleshooting. In contrast with SNMP data, flow-based network monitoring can understand traffic patterns, provide a holistic view for monitoring network bandwidth utilization and WAN traffic, and support QoS validation.

Passive data copying can also help sustain a robust network. Packet Capture copies a data packet crossing a specific point in a network and storing it for analysis. Packet capture is done in real-time, stored, and analyzed to assist in diagnosing and solving network problems such as:

  • Troubleshooting detrimental network and application activities
  • Identifying security threats
  • Troubleshooting network errors, like packet loss, retransmissions
  • Understanding capacity issues
  • Forensic network analysis for incident response

Utilizing the previously mentioned methods and tools helps NOC engineers preserve a safe, operational, and optimized network.

Businesses continue to search for a solution that caters to the intrinsic needs of their network. To meet each client’s specific needs, Scientel Solutions offers the NPM solution collecting performance metrics from more than a dozen industry-standard protocols. With one click, Scientel Solutions can have complete visibility into the performance information needed to quickly isolate, assess, and resolve issues before they cause impact or damage. Utilizing our alert summary dashboard, we can see network health by severity and immediately visualize the most critical alerts. By expanding the view of groups and sites, we can smoothly pinpoint the specific devices that caused the problem.

This Scientel Solutions tool utilizes multiple protocols and standards to monitor, report, and analyze performance statistics. This multi-faceted approach allows our NPM to monitor any node in enterprise and service provider networks implemented. By employing such meticulous methodologies, Scientel Solutions will empower your network to deliver increased proficiency with state-of-the-art security around the clock.


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