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Do you ever feel like someone's watching you? Well, when it comes to your company's network, you should hope so! With so many people relying on Microsoft Teams, Office 365, and Azure to keep their businesses running smoothly, it's more important than ever to keep a watchful eye on your network. But who has the time to monitor everything 24/7?
With changing infrastructures, and the growing dependence on high performing applications and services, monitoring network performance is more important than ever. Some applications, such as VoIP and unified communications apps, such as Microsoft Teams are more sensitive to network performance than others.
Luckily, we have network monitoring tools, designed to keep your network in check and ensure that everything is running smoothly. In this article, we’re teaching you how to monitor the Microsoft network performance for Microsoft apps, including Teams, Office 365, and Azure.
Why is Microsoft Network Monitoring so important, you ask? Well, let me tell you - it's all about keeping your network performing at its best! With network monitoring tools, you can make sure that everything is running smoothly and securely, without any pesky interruptions or downtime.
There are several reasons why Microsoft Network Monitoring is important for businesses using Teams, Office 365, and Azure:
- Ensuring network performance: Network monitoring tools help identify and address issues that could impact the performance of your network, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and without interruption.
- Maintaining network security: Network monitoring tools allow you to detect potential security threats and take action to prevent them, protecting your business from cyber attacks and other security risks.
- Identifying and resolving issues quickly: Network monitoring tools provide real-time alerts and notifications, allowing you to quickly identify and address any issues before they become bigger problems.
- Improving productivity: A well-monitored network ensures that your employees have access to the tools and resources they need to do their jobs effectively, without any delays or downtime.
- Meeting compliance requirements: Some industries have specific compliance requirements that must be met, and network monitoring tools can help ensure that you are meeting these requirements and avoiding any penalties or fines.
Most IT professionals know that as soon as things start to slow down, people are quick to blame their network. Oftentimes, the network is at fault - but how can you really know for sure?
The network is only one component of most IT environments, and some components can even be hosted in a public cloud, making it even harder to pinpoint the exact location of a problem.
One such typical case would be an OTT VoIP service hosted in Microsoft Azure. An administrator’s first instinct may be to contact their VoIP provider after making sure that the problem is not within their local network. Chances are that the VoIP provider will say that the issue is not on their side and will blame Internet problems.
By setting up a performance monitoring solution and by deploying Monitoring Agents in strategic locations, you can clearly identify where a network problem is coming from - whether it’s in your local network, between your network and Microsoft's network - to know who’s responsible for fixing it.
Most people have undoubtedly used a Microsoft application at least once in their lives. Applications like Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and Microsoft Azure are widely used for personal news, and by companies of all different sizes.
With the new reality of working from home, people no longer have local IT resources to help them when their network or application performance starts to degrade and they need to troubleshoot network problems from home.
When it comes to Microsoft Network Monitoring, there are several apps that you should consider monitoring, depending on your business needs:
- Microsoft Teams: As a hub for teamwork and collaboration, Microsoft Teams is a crucial app to monitor. By monitoring Microsoft Teams performance, you can ensure that your team is communicating effectively and that any issues with chat, calls, or meetings are detected and addressed promptly.
- Office 365: Office 365 includes a suite of popular productivity apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Monitoring these apps can help you identify any issues that may be impacting your team's ability to work efficiently and collaboratively.
- Microsoft Azure: Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform, and monitoring it can help you ensure the reliability and performance of your cloud-based applications and services.
- Azure ExpressRoute: Azure ExpressRoute is a private, dedicated connection between your on-premises infrastructure and Azure datacenters, providing a more reliable and secure connection than a typical internet connection. By monitoring Azure ExpressRoute, you can ensure that your connection to Azure is performing optimally and that any issues are detected and addressed promptly.
- Exchange Server: Exchange Server is a popular email server used by many businesses, and monitoring it can help you ensure that your email communications are working smoothly and securely.
- SharePoint: SharePoint is a web-based collaboration platform that allows teams to work together on documents, projects, and other content. Monitoring SharePoint can help you identify any issues that may be affecting your team's ability to collaborate effectively.
Are you prepared to bring your Microsoft network performance to new heights? Don't let anything hold you back from reaching network excellence - sign up for Obkio's network performance monitoring tool now and let Obkio by your watchful eye for your most commonly used Microsoft apps!
- 14-day free trial of all premium features
- Deploy in just 10 minutes
- Monitor performance in all key network locations
- Measure real-time network metrics
- Identify and troubleshoot live network problems
There's an arsenal of tools available to keep a watchful eye on your Microsoft Network performance, ranging from the cutting-edge end-to-end network monitoring tools, to trusty built-in Windows tools to dedicated services and APIs. With these tools at your disposal, you can proactively catch and fix issues, ensure your network is performing at its best, and boost your team's productivity to new heights!
Sure, here are some tools that can help monitor Microsoft Network performance:
- Obkio Network Monitoring Tool: Obkio is a network performance monitoring tool that provides end-to-end visibility into network performance, including application performance, network metrics, and device performance. It can be used to monitor Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Azure, Exchange Server, SharePoint, and other Microsoft applications and services.
- Microsoft Endpoint Manager: This tool provides a centralized location to manage devices and applications, and includes features for monitoring network performance, identifying issues, and troubleshooting problems.
- Azure Network Watcher: This service provides a range of network monitoring tools, including packet capture, network topology, and flow logs, to help identify and troubleshoot issues in Azure networks.
- Office 365 Management API: This API provides access to Office 365 service health data, which can be used to monitor service performance and detect issues.
- System Center Operations Manager: This tool provides a unified view of network performance across on-premises and cloud environments, with features for monitoring network devices, servers, applications, and services.
- Performance Monitor: This built-in Windows tool provides real-time monitoring of system performance, including CPU usage, disk activity, and network performance.
- PowerShell: PowerShell is a powerful command-line tool that can be used to automate network monitoring tasks, such as retrieving network statistics, monitoring network connections, and analyzing network performance.
- Azure Network Performance Monitor: This service provides end-to-end network performance monitoring for hybrid networks, including on-premises, cloud, and internet connectivity, with features for identifying and diagnosing network issues.
The world of Microsoft Network Monitoring is a world where you get to play the role of a spy, but instead of snooping on people, you're watching over your network. In this section, we'll show you how to use network monitoring tools to become the ultimate network guardian to monitor Microsoft Team network performance, Azure network performance and more!
So grab your magnifying glass and put on your spy hat, because it's time to get monitoring!
For continuous and end-to-end Microsoft network monitoring, including Teams, Office 365 or Azure, we recommend using a tool like Obkio Network Monitoring to do the work for you.
A network monitoring tool can truly monitor Microsoft network performance from your network, up to the Microsoft Azure cloud, to proactively identify network issues affecting all your Microsoft apps.
You can get started with Obkio’s Free Trial!
If you want your network to sail smoothly like a well-oiled machine, you need to keep a watchful eye on every inch of it. Just like a seasoned captain navigates their ship to avoid hazards on the sea, you need to chart your network to steer clear of potential issues!
And that's where the Network Monitoring Agents come in! Obkio's Monitoring Agents are like the lookout crew stationed at key network locations, keeping a close eye on every part of your network. Whether you're monitoring WAN, LAN, or network devices, our agents will continuously monitor performance between them, so you'll always know how your network is performing.
When you're deploying your Microsoft network monitoring setup, we want to monitor the network performance between the Microsoft Azure Cloud and the on-premise infrastructure. To do, you'll need to deploy two Monitoring Agents (at the very least):
- Microsoft Cloud Agent: The Microsoft Monitoring Agent is hosted and maintained by Obkio in the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure. It allows you to proactively monitor network performance between your local network to the Azure network. They provide complete and continuous visibility so you can easily identify the source and cause of network problems affecting all your Microsoft apps.
- On-Premise Agent: These Monitoring Agents are deployed in your local network, in key network locations like your head office, branch office, data centers and network devices. They allow you to monitor network performance from your end. We recommend the Software (Linux, Windows, Docker) agent that can be installed on your favorite Linux distribution, including Amazon Linux and Amazon Linux 2.
Microsoft applications like Teams and Office 365 store customer data all of Microsoft's global cloud locations. So when you’re looking to monitor the performance of these apps, it’s important to choose a Monitoring Agent which has been deployed in the Data Center located closest to the Microsoft Data Center closest to you.
For Example: You want to monitor Office 365 performance for your business based in Canada, so first, you need to find the location of a Microsoft Data Center in Canada.
In Canada, Microsoft's Data Centers are located in Quebec City and Toronto - so you need to choose a Public Monitoring Agent hosted closest to one of those locations.
Obkio’s Microsoft Azure Monitoring Agents are presently located in many locations, including one in Quebec City - perfect!
So when you’re deploying your Agent, make sure to choose the Quebec City Azure Agent, to monitor your Office 365 app from Microsoft’s Quebec City Data Center!
We recommend deploying a minimum of more than two Agents to more accurately compare data. For example, if you’re monitoring Microsoft network performance between your head office and your Internet, use one Agent in our Head Office and 2 Agents to monitor Internet performance (example, an Azure Agent and an AWS Agent).
This way, if you have a network problem, you can easily see if that same problem is affecting all your sites or just one.
If the problem is affecting all your sites, having Agents allows you to collect the most accurate data to troubleshoot, as well as create a comparison point.
And there you have it! It's as easy as pie. Once you've got the Monitoring Agents up and running, they'll be busy exchanging synthetic traffic every 500ms to measure key network metrics .
This means you'll have a complete picture of your network's performance at all times, and you'll be able to quickly spot any issues that might be affecting your Azure ExpressRoute service. So sit back, relax, and let the Monitoring Agents do the heavy lifting while you enjoy a worry-free Microsoft network experience!
There are several important network metrics that should be measure for Microsoft network monitoring to ensure optimal performance. Here are some of the key metrics to monitor:
- Network bandwidth: This metric measures the amount of data that can be transmitted over a network connection, aka bandwidth, per unit of time. Monitoring bandwidth usage can help you identify and troubleshoot issues related to slow or congested network connections.
- Network latency: The latency metric measures the time it takes for data to travel from one point in the network to another. Monitoring latency can help you identify and troubleshoot issues related to slow network response times.
- Network packet loss: The packet loss metric measures the percentage of data packets that are lost or discarded during transmission. Monitoring packet loss can help you identify and troubleshoot issues related to network congestion or connectivity problems.
- Network jitter: The jitter metric measures the variation in the time it takes for data packets to reach their destination. Monitoring jitter can help you identify and troubleshoot issues related to network congestion or instability.
- Network uptime: This metric measures the percentage of time that a network is operational and available for use. Monitoring uptime can help you identify and troubleshoot issues related to network downtime or outages.
- VoIP Quality: This metric measures the quality of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls. By monitoring VoIP quality, you can ensure that your calls, especially when using Microsoft Teams, are clear and free from interruptions or delays.
By monitoring these key network metrics, you can stay ahead of potential network issues and ensure that your Microsoft network is running at peak performance.
Monitoring network devices is also an important part of Microsoft Network Performance monitoring. Network devices such as switches, routers, firewalls, and servers play a critical role in network performance, and any issues with these devices can impact the overall performance of your network.
Obkio's Network Device Monitoring feature is here to help with that! Obkio’s Network Device Monitoring uses Ultra-Fast Polling (every 30 seconds) to monitor your network devices and provide results that are far more precise than the traditional software polling, which occurs every 5 minutes.
To effectively monitor Microsoft Network performance, you should monitor the following network devices:
- Routers: Routers are responsible for directing traffic between different networks. Monitoring routers can help you identify issues such as routing errors, bandwidth utilization, and packet loss.
- Switches: Switches are responsible for connecting devices within a network. Monitoring switches can help you identify issues such as port congestion, network loops, and broadcast storms.
- Firewalls: Firewalls are responsible for filtering and securing network traffic. Monitoring firewalls can help you identify issues such as security breaches, configuration errors, and bandwidth utilization.
- Servers: Servers are responsible for providing services and applications to network users. Monitoring servers can help you identify issues such as high CPU usage, memory usage, and network utilization.
- Load Balancers: Load balancers are responsible for distributing network traffic across multiple servers. Monitoring load balancers can help you identify issues such as server overload, configuration errors, and bandwidth utilization.
By monitoring network devices, you can detect potential issues such as hardware failures, configuration errors, and bandwidth utilization. This can help you identify and troubleshoot issues before they become major problems, ensuring that your network runs smoothly and efficiently.
In addition, monitoring network devices can help you optimize your network performance by identifying potential bottlenecks and optimizing traffic flow. This can help you achieve better network performance and improve productivity for your organization.
Once you’ve set up your Microsoft Public Monitoring Agent and finished all the steps in our Getting Started Tutorial, you’re all set! You can now continuously monitor the performance of your Microsoft apps like Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and Azure! Obkio can then detect outages within 5 seconds and even intermittent network problems within a minute.
And the best part: Obkio will automatically notify you at the earliest signs of network problems affecting your Microsoft apps. But what are these network issues you should be looking out for. Let's go over some of them:
Let's first go through some of the most common network problems affecting Microsoft's network as a whole! Microsoft has a range of application and services which can be affecting by different network problems - but we'll talk about the specific application in the next sections.
Here are some common Microsoft network problems that organizations may encounter:
- Slow Network Performance: This is one of the most common network problems faced by organizations. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as network congestion, bandwidth limitations, or network device misconfigurations.
- Network Downtime: Network downtime can result in significant productivity losses for organizations. It can be caused by hardware failures, power outages, or software issues.
- Application Performance Issues: Microsoft applications such as Teams, Office 365, and Azure may experience performance issues due to network latency or congestion.
- Configuration Issues: Misconfigured network devices, such as routers, switches, and firewalls, can cause network performance issues and security vulnerabilities.
- Bandwidth Utilization: High bandwidth utilization can cause network congestion and impact overall network performance. It can be caused by factors such as data backups, file transfers, and streaming services.
- VoIP Quality: VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is used for making phone calls over the internet. Poor VoIP quality can result in dropped calls, choppy audio, and other issues.
Now let's move to Microsoft Azure issues!
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and a collection of services provided by Microsoft that allows individuals and organizations to build, deploy, and manage applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.
Azure provides a wide range of services, including virtual machines, storage, databases, analytics, networking, and much more. It enables organizations to scale their applications quickly, leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and integrate with other Microsoft services such as Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Power BI. As a result, it can experience a range of network issues:
- Network Latency: Network latency is the time it takes for data to travel between a user's device and the Azure data center. High latency can cause slow application performance and user experience issues.
- Downtime: Azure downtime can occur due to hardware failures, power outages, or software issues. Downtime can result in productivity losses and revenue loss for businesses.
- Limited Bandwidth: Limited bandwidth can cause slow data transfer rates and impact application performance. It can be caused by factors such as network congestion, bandwidth limitations, and internet service provider (ISP) issues.
- Configuration Issues: Misconfigured Azure resources, such as virtual networks or load balancers, can cause network performance issues and security vulnerabilities.
- Poor Application Performance: Azure applications may experience performance issues due to network latency or congestion. This can impact user experience and business operations.
6 Common Network Issues Affecting Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute that Microsoft Network Monitoring Can Detect
Undder the Microsoft Azure umbrella, we also have ExpressRoute. Azure ExpressRoute is a service offered by Microsoft which allows you to create private connections between your on-premise networks and Microsoft cloud using a private connection facilitated by a connectivity provider.
Azure ExpressRoute connections don’t go over the public Internet, and promise higher security, reliability, and speeds with lower latencies than typical connections over the Internet. Despite, that, they can still be prone to network issues that can be solved by Azure ExpressRoute Monitoring:
- Connectivity issues: This can occur if there is a problem with the physical connection between the on-premises network and the Azure data center, or if there is an issue with the virtual network gateway.
- Bandwidth constraints: If the ExpressRoute circuit does not have enough bandwidth to support the workload, it can result in slow network performance or timeouts.
- Latency: High latency can lead to slow network performance and application responsiveness.
- Configuration issues: Incorrect configurations can cause problems with routing, security, and other network functions.
- Hardware failures: If there is a problem with the hardware on either the on-premises network or the Azure side, it can result in network connectivity issues.
- Network congestion: If there is too much traffic on the ExpressRoute circuit, it can result in packet loss, delays, and degraded network performance.
Microsoft Teams is widely used for personal use, and by companies of all different sizes. It's become a staple of remote work - but doesn't always work. Unified communication apps, like Microsoft Teams, are especially sensitive to network performance. High levels of packet loss or jitter can drastically affect your Teams calls, causing jittery voices, freezing videos, and complete disconnections.
Monitoring Microsoft Teams is one of the most important Microsoft apps to watch out for. There are several common network problems that can affect Microsoft Teams, including:
- Bandwidth constraints: Teams relies heavily on video and audio streaming, which can consume a significant amount of bandwidth. If there is not enough available bandwidth, it can lead to poor call quality or dropped calls.
- Latency: High latency can cause delays in audio and video transmissions, leading to poor call quality or synchronization issues.
- Packet loss: Packet loss can occur when network congestion causes packets to be dropped. This can result in poor call quality, distorted audio, or video freezing.
- Jitter: Jitter is the variation in the delay of received packets. This can cause audio and video to become out of sync or to sound distorted.
- Firewall and proxy issues: If the network firewall or proxy server is not configured properly, it can interfere with Teams' ability to make calls or share content.
- VoIP Quality issues: VoIP quality issues are also a common network problem that can affect Microsoft Teams. VoIP quality issues can result in poor call quality, dropped calls, and audio distortions. These issues can be caused by factors such as network congestion, inadequate bandwidth, latency, packet loss, jitter, and poor network performance.
Whether you need a Microsoft Teams monitor or Azure network performance monitor, Obkio's solution will give you an end-to-end view of Microsoft performance. Obkio can then detect outages within 5 seconds and network degradation within a minute. You can also go back in time and see the exact network performance for your Microsoft apps every minute of the previous week with historical data, and create a network performance baseline.
Historical data is important for Microsoft Network troubleshooting because it provides insights into past network performance and behavior, which can be useful for identifying patterns and trends that may help diagnose and resolve current or future network issues.
By analyzing historical data, network administrators can identify anomalies and trends, understand network usage patterns, pinpoint areas of the network that are underperforming or experiencing issues, and make informed decisions about how to optimize network performance and improve reliability.
Additionally, historical data can be used to track network performance over time, monitor for changes or fluctuations, and provide a baseline for expected performance. This makes it easier to identify deviations from expected performance and troubleshoot network issues more effectively.
Once you’ve collected information about any issues affecting your Microsoft apps, you can start troubleshooting! When it comes to troubleshooting Microsoft network problems, there are 2 possible outcomes:
If you see a network problem happening on 2 network sessions, use Obkio's Network Device Monitoring feature to monitor your network devices and understand if a Microsoft network problem is happening in your local network.
- CPU or Bandwidth Issues: When you compare your previous performance data with the Device Monitoring metrics, if you find CPU or Bandwidth issues, this likely means that the Microsoft network problem is on your end - so you need to address it.
- Network Problem on the Service Provider's End: If you don’t see any resource issues from your network devices, this is a sign that the Microsoft network performance issue is happening on the Service Provider’s or Microsoft network side. In this case, open a service ticket with your ISP with all the information you can collect so your request can be quickly escalated past 1st level support.
If the network problem is not internal, can now collect information about where exactly the network problem is located so you can share that information with your Service Provider. To do this, use Obkio Vision, Obkio’s free Visual Traceroute tool that runs continuously to interpret Traceroute results to identify network problems in your WAN and over the Internet.
By using Traceroutes, the Network Map, and the Quality Matrix you’ll be able to identify if:
- The problem is happening specifically towards a specific location over the Internet. So only one specific site is being affected.
- The performance issue is on your ISP’s side and you need to open a service ticket providing as much information as you can collect.
- If the issue is happening within Microsoft's own network, you may need to contact them directly, or wait for them to issue a fix.
Well, my network monitoring friends, we've come to the end of our journey together. We've learned about the importance of keeping a watchful eye on your Microsoft network performance and the tools available to help you do so. From Teams to Office 365 to Azure, there's no shortage of areas that require careful monitoring to ensure optimal performance, productivity, and security.
But fear not, for we have one more tool to add to your arsenal: Obkio's Network Monitoring tool. With Obkio, you can monitor every inch of your network, from WAN to LAN to network devices and even VoIP quality, all from a single platform. Obkio's agents are always watching, always vigilant, and always ready to alert you to any issues that arise.
Now that you have your monitoring setup in place, it’s extremely easy to install more agents in branch offices, data centers and other clouds providers to monitor network performance.
So, set sail with confidence, my network monitoring friends, and let the watchful eye of Obkio guide you to smooth sailing on your Microsoft network. Get started with Obkio’s Free Trial!