Uptime monitoring 101: How does it affect your business?


In today's digital era, businesses are expected to always maintain their network uptime. Uptime in a network refers to the time span during which a network is active and running efficiently. 

For any business that's aiming for success, it's essential to own a highly functional IT network that ensures the IT Infrastructure components are constantly and efficiently up and running. This can be ensured by monitoring key components across a network infrastructure (such as routers, servers, and firewalls) for their uptime and availability by leveraging various protocols such as SNMP, WMI, TCP, and ICMP. 

Why uptime monitoring is crucial ?
Not many situations are worse than experiencing network downtime. The costs of hourly downtime continue to increase in the last 5 to 7 years and organizations can incur losses up to $5 million for a single hour of downtime. 

While it's not possible to experience 100% uptime, even a 0.1% downtime, i.e., a 99.999% uptime, results in some losses. For instance, a large network will contain an assortment of devices and interfaces for which manually monitoring the availability and performance of all the network components would be impossible. The challenge only increases if the monitoring devices are spread across several remote sites around the globe. 

Fig 1.1- OpManager Dashboard

Challenges in monitoring network uptime
In the early days of computing, managing and monitoring the uptime of a network was a major challenge considering the number of devices that had to be monitored for uptime, and a team of trained technicians was often deployed to maintain the entire network. 

Let's look at the challenges in monitoring the uptime of a network infrastructure:

  • Handling network scalability factors
  • Prioritizing critical issues
  • Balancing service-level agreements (SLAs) and reducing the mean time to repair (MTTR)
  • Distinguished visibility across the network

Handling network scalability factors
When a business grows, its IT infrastructure grows exponentially. In general, an enterprise network includes multiple categories of devices from various vendors. It takes a lot of work to monitor all the devices available in your network for their uptime, but this task is essential. The number of critical devices in an enterprise network indicates how complex maintaining their uptime will be. 

Prioritizing critical issues
Threshold-based alerts are essential in monitoring and avoiding network downtime. But you're going to be buried deep in alerts if a parent device experiences failure or when your server goes down. The pool of alert messages will not only hinder your ability to identify problems but also delay your return to normalcy.

However, there are solutions for such cases, including extensive, proactive monitoring, identifying critical alerts, and channeling alerts through appropriate channels to the right stakeholders for prompt action. 

Balancing SLAs and reducing the MTTR
Critical devices must be monitored to respond to poor performance and network outages. MTTR is a parameter that monitors the availability of systems. Businesses can use MTTR to support SLAs. SLAs can be applied to measure the availability of the network devices. 

To enhance your network's availability, you should monitor network devices for their availability. Once a failure is detected, the clock starts to tick. You can use IT service management tools like ServiceNow and Service Desk Plus to log tickets about the availability issues and resolve them quickly before network downtime occurs.  

Distinguished visibility across the network
You should be aware of all the network components at work within your network. Visibility across the network helps you identify troubles in their earliest stages and wipe them out before they affect end users, fostering a steady network. 

Uptime monitoring with OpManager
OpManager is dynamic network monitoring software that offers real-time network monitoring and helps you stay up to date with the availability and performance of your network devices. Any delay or failure in identifying network vulnerabilities can result in disastrous downtime and cost thousands of dollars. OpManager's uptime monitoring feature helps eliminate this IT pain point. OpManager offers:

  • Proactive monitoring of the internal health of your network using regular preventive maintenance measures to help you reduce device failures.
  • Scheduled health reports to help you stay informed about the health of various infrastructure components in the network around the clock. 
  • Uptime graphs with color codes to help you stay up to date about the availability of all the devices in your network. 
  • An informative dashboard to view all the critical metrics of your network devices in a single pane. Widgets like the heat map, business view, and availability allow you to track network performance in real time and resolve network issues before everything goes south.

Over a million network admins worldwide utilize OpManager for uptime monitoring. Try OpManager's free 30-day trial now to find out why for yourself!