Monitoring network performance is the key to keeping your business operations running smoothly. It helps you identify and fix issues before they become big problems, ensuring that your applications, services, and communications work efficiently. In this blog post, we'll tell you everything you need to know about how to monitor network performance.

We’ll explore what network performance monitoring is and why it's important, the key metrics you need to track, such as latency, bandwidth, and packet loss, and how these metrics can impact your network's performance. We'll also discuss the tools and techniques available for monitoring your network. Additionally, we'll provide practical tips for setting up effective network monitoring processes, so you can proactively manage your network's health.

With decades of experience in networks, the network pros from Obkio's Network Performance Monitoring tool definitely know a thing or two about monitoring, auditing, and troubleshooting network performance.

Whether you're an IT professional responsible for maintaining a company's network or a business owner looking to optimize your operations, this guide will give you the knowledge and strategies you need to keep your network running at its best. By the end of this post, you'll have a clear understanding of how to monitor your network performance and why it's a vital part of managing your IT infrastructure.

What is Network Performance?
What is Network Performance?

Before we get into the how let’s first go over the what and the why behind monitoring network performance.

Network performance is the analysis and review of network statistics to assess the quality of services provided by the underlying computer network, primarily from an end-user perspective. Simply put, network performance refers to how well the network operates from the viewpoint of the end-users.

There are three important concepts in this definition:

  1. Network Analysis and Review: To analyze and compare network performance over time, you first need to measure key network metrics and collect historical data. This involves regular monitoring and recording of performance indicators.
  2. Measuring Network Performance: Network performance refers to the quality of the network, which can vary depending on where and when measurements are taken. For instance, network quality might differ between a path from Montreal to New York versus Montreal to Tokyo. Similarly, performance can fluctuate throughout the day, being better during low-usage periods and degrading as more users log on.
  3. The End-User Experience: The end-user experience is the most critical aspect of network performance. It's not enough to just hear about user experiences; with the right monitoring tools, you can convert these experiences into measurable metrics, identifying areas for improvement.

how to monitor network performance

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What is Network Performance Monitoring?
What is Network Performance Monitoring?

Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) is the end-to-end monitoring of network performance and end-user experience. is the practice of continuously observing and analyzing the performance of a network to ensure it operates efficiently and effectively.

Unlike traditional monitoring, NPM focuses on performance from the end-user perspective, measuring between two points in the network. For example:

  • The performance of an office worker and the applications they use in the company’s data center
  • The performance between two offices within a network
  • The performance between the head office and the Internet
  • The performance between your users and the cloud

The goal of network performance monitoring is to ensure the network operates smoothly and optimally. It aims to identify and resolve both network unavailability (hard issues) and network performance degradation (soft issues). This process typically involves collecting data on network activity, bandwidth usage, packet loss, latency, and other critical network metrics. It also requires using various tools and techniques to analyze and interpret this data.

Measuring network performance metrics is particularly important for businesses that rely on the efficient functioning of their networks and depend on cloud-based applications, online services, or crucial applications accessed through the network. It is essential for companies managing MPLS, SD-WAN, Dual-WAN networks, SASE architectures, or multiple internet circuits and breakouts.

What is Network Performance Monitoring

Learn about network performance monitoring to optimize network performance. Discover key network metrics, tools & techniques & the benefits for businesses.

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Why is Monitoring Network Performance Important?
Why is Monitoring Network Performance Important?

Now that we know what monitoring network performance involves, why is it important anyways? Go into way more detail about this topic in our article on the 7 Reasons to Monitor Network Performance, but for the sake of this article, we’ll cover the key points.

Many businesses overlook the importance of monitoring their network's health, only to later wonder why their applications and Internet services aren't working as expected. This oversight often leads to reactive troubleshooting, increased downtime, and potentially significant business disruptions.

The reality is that network performance is the backbone of modern business operations. A smoothly functioning network is essential for seamless communication, efficient data transfers, and uninterrupted access to critical applications and services. However, networks are complex systems prone to various issues such as congestion, latency, packet loss, and security threats.

Without proactive monitoring and management, these issues can escalate, impacting productivity, customer satisfaction, and overall business performance.

Why is Monitoring Network Performance Important for Businesses?
Why is Monitoring Network Performance Important for Businesses?

  • Troubleshooting Network Issues: Monitoring network performance allows businesses to quickly identify and troubleshoot network issues such as high latency, packet loss, or network congestion. This proactive approach minimizes downtime and ensures smooth operations.
  • Improving Operational Efficiency of Key Applications and Services: By monitoring network performance, businesses can optimize the performance of critical applications and services. This includes ensuring fast and reliable access to cloud-based services, video conferencing platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and other essential tools. Improved performance leads to increased productivity and better user experience.
  • Ensuring High-Quality User Experience: Network performance directly impacts the user experience. Monitoring helps businesses maintain a high-quality experience for employees, customers, and partners by ensuring fast response times, minimal disruptions, and consistent service availability.
  • Optimizing Resource Allocation: Through network performance monitoring, businesses can identify areas of overutilization or underutilization of network resources. This data-driven approach enables efficient resource allocation, capacity planning, and optimization of network infrastructure, leading to cost savings and improved performance.
  • Collaborating with Service Providers: Network performance monitoring provides businesses with valuable data to evaluate the performance of their service providers, including internet service providers (ISPs) and cloud service providers (CSPs). This information enables informed decision-making regarding service contracts, SLA compliance, and potential service upgrades or changes to meet business needs effectively.

Overall, monitoring network performance is critical for businesses to troubleshoot issues promptly, optimize key applications and services, ensure a high-quality user experience, allocate resources efficiently, enhance security, and collaborate effectively with service providers to maintain a reliable and efficient network infrastructure.

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Why is Monitoring Network Performance Important for Everyday Users?
Why is Monitoring Network Performance Important for Everyday Users?

  • Improving Internet Experience: Personal users rely heavily on a stable and fast Internet connection for activities like streaming, gaming, and online learning. Monitoring network performance helps ensure these activities run smoothly without interruptions.
  • Troubleshooting Issues: When faced with slow internet speeds or connectivity problems, personal users can use performance monitoring to diagnose and resolve issues quickly. This minimizes frustration and downtime.
  • Optimizing Home Networks: With multiple devices connected to a home network, performance monitoring helps users understand how bandwidth is being used. This can guide them in optimizing their network setup for better performance.
  • Informed Decisions on Service Providers: By regularly monitoring network performance, users can assess whether their internet service provider (ISP) is delivering the promised speed and reliability. This information can be used to negotiate better plans or switch providers if necessary.

Step 1. Monitor Network Performance with Network Performance Monitoring Tools
Step 1. Monitor Network Performance with Network Performance Monitoring Tools

Networks are big and complex systems that support many different applications and users. Because of this complexity, there are lots of things that can affect how well the network works - and it's hard to catch all of them on your own.

Businesses need a way to keep an eye on their network to find problems and see where they can make things better. That's where Network Performance Monitoring Tools come in.

how to monitor network performance

An NPM tool gives you real-time views of your network, so you can always see how it's doing. It helps you track things like how much of the network's capacity is being used, how fast data is moving, and if any devices are having issues. With this information, you can quickly spot problems, figure out what's causing them, and fix them right away.

Network Performance Monitoring Tools are a type of Network Monitoring tool that focuses specifically on network performance, including monitoring, auditing and troubleshooting. If you’re looking to specifically monitor and optimize network performance, these are the type of tools we recommend.

There are more extensive Network Monitoring tools that go beyond just performance monitoring and delve into the world of Network Management. If you’re not sure where to start, we help you choose the right type of tool for you in our Network Monitoring Tool Buyer’s Guide.

1.1. Introducing the Simplest Network Performance Monitoring Tool
1.1. Introducing the Simplest Network Performance Monitoring Tool

There are so many Network Performance Monitoring tools on the market that it may be hard to know where to start when you’re looking for a solution. Well, you should start with the simplest one.

Obkio Network Performance Monitoring Software is a simple Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting SaaS solution designed to monitor end-to-end network performance ( WAN to LAN) from the end user perspective for all network types (SD-WAN, MPLS, LAN, WAN L@ et L3 VPN).

how to monitor network performance

Obkio leverages Network Monitoring Agents and synthetic traffic to continuously identify the causes of intermittent VoIP, video, and application slowdown in seconds - and identify the data you need to troubleshoot and ultimately improve the end-user experience.

  • Measure core network metrics
  • Continuously test your network for performance degradation
  • Proactively identify network issues before they affect users
  • Simulate user experience with synthetic traffic & synthetic testing
  • Collect data to help with network troubleshooting
  • Compare network changes with historical data

Obkio’s Network Performance Monitoring SaaS solution was born from a need within the industry to simplify network performance monitoring for modern, decentralized networks. Don’t just take our word for it - try it for yourself!

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Step 2. Deploy Monitoring Agents to Monitor Network Performance In All Locations
Step 2. Deploy Monitoring Agents to Monitor Network Performance In All Locations

An extremely important factor when it comes to monitoring network performance is monitoring end-to-end network performance. This means monitoring performance from one end of the network to the other, and everything in between. This is extremely important because networks are large complex interconnected infrastructures, with various end-points and connections. Because of this, network performance issues can come from anywhere and anytime, so you need to be ready.

Different Network Performance Monitoring tools will offer different techniques for providing you with end-to-end network visibility, but Obkio’s NPM tool makes this simple by using distributed Network Monitoring Agents.

Obkio's Network Monitoring Agents are a unique software strategically deployed across different network locations to continuously monitor network performance. These agents are designed to simulate user traffic and gather real-time data on various network performance metrics.

how to monitor network performance

There are 2 types of Monitoring Agents:

  • Local Agents (Windows, MacOS, Linux, Hardware) are installed at key network locations such as branch offices, data centers, and remote locations to monitor performance.
  • Public Monitoring Agents are Agents installed in Service Provider networks (like AWS, Google, and Azure). They can be used to monitor the performance of any branch externally towards the Internet (without passing through the head office).

They are deployed in a distributed manner to monitor modern network architectures (cloud, SaaS, SD-WAN networks) from your local network (LAN, VPN), as well as third-party networks (WAN, ISP, and Internet Peering). They exchange continuous synthetic traffic to catch network issues as soon as they happen - even if they only appear for a few minutes. Obkio will then alert you if and when network problems are identified so you can troubleshoot and improve network performance.

Deployment: Monitoring Agents can be deployed in various network locations, such as on-premises data centers, branch offices, cloud environments, or even remote user sites. They can be installed on physical devices or as virtual instances, making them highly flexible and adaptable to different network setups.

Synthetic Traffic Generation: The agents generate synthetic traffic, mimicking real user activity without impacting actual user data. This traffic includes various types of packets, such as UDP, to simulate typical network usage and measure performance accurately.

Network Path Monitoring: By establishing monitoring sessions between each other, the agents create a mesh network of monitored paths. These paths are the routes taken by the synthetic traffic, and the agents continuously measure the performance of these routes.

how to monitor network performance

When you begin Obkio’s free 14-day trial, Obkio’s Onboarding Wizard will deploy your initial Monitoring Agents for you so you can get started in minutes. You can then easily deploy more Monitoring Agents at different points in your network for more visibility.

Step 3. Monitor Network Performance Using Key Network Metrics
Step 3. Monitor Network Performance Using Key Network Metrics

To effectively monitor network performance, it's important to understand and measure key network metrics. These metrics are like signals that tell us how the network is doing.

Network metrics are quantitative measurements used to evaluate and monitor the performance and reliability of a computer network. These metrics provide valuable insights into various aspects of network behaviour, like how fast data moves (latency), how much data can be sent at once (bandwidth), and if any data gets lost along the way (packet loss).

By keeping an eye on these metrics, we can see if the network is working well or if there are any problems that need fixing. It's a bit like checking the gauges in a car to make sure everything is running smoothly.

When it comes to monitoring network performance, the metric that we most commonly hear about is Network Speed. But in the network world as in life, speed isn't everything, quality matters too.

Once you’ve deployed Obkio Monitoring Agents in key network locations, they will continuously measure key network metrics and display them on Obkio’s Network Response Time Graph so you have a clear picture of overall network performance. Here are the most important network metrics you need to understand.

how to monitor network performance

  1. Latency: The time it takes for data to travel from one point to another in the network, often measured in milliseconds (ms).
  2. Bandwidth: The maximum data transfer rate of a network, usually measured in bits per second (bps) or megabits per second (Mbps).
  3. Throughput: The actual amount of data transferred over the network in a given period, often measured in bits per second (bps) or megabits per second (Mbps).
  4. Packet Loss: The percentage of data packets that are lost or dropped during transmission, indicating network congestion or issues.
  5. Jitter: Variability in the delay of packet arrival, which can affect the quality of real-time applications like VoIP or video streaming.
  6. Round-Trip Time (RTT): The time it takes for a signal or packet to travel from the sender to the receiver and back, and is important for measuring latency in network communications.
  7. Error Rate: The frequency of errors or corrupted data packets in the network, indicating potential issues with network equipment or configurations.
  8. Network Availability: The percentage of time that the network is operational and accessible to users, crucial for ensuring uninterrupted service.
  9. Network Speed: The overall speed or rate at which data can be transmitted over the network, influenced by factors like bandwidth and latency.
  10. VoIP Quality: The quality of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls, including metrics like voice clarity, call drop rates, and delay.
  11. Quality of Service (QoS): Policies and mechanisms implemented to prioritize certain types of network traffic, ensuring consistent performance for critical applications and services.

These metrics are fundamental for assessing network performance, identifying network bottlenecks or issues, and optimizing network infrastructure for better reliability and efficiency.

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Step 4. Monitor Network Performance of Network Devices
Step 4. Monitor Network Performance of Network Devices

While measuring network metrics like latency, bandwidth, and packet loss is crucial for assessing overall network performance, it's equally important to monitor the health and status of network devices themselves.

Network devices like routers, switches, firewalls, access points, and servers play a vital role in the functioning of a network. Monitoring these devices provides valuable insights into their performance, availability, and potential issues that could impact network performance.

4.1. Obkio’s Network Device Monitoring Feature
4.1. Obkio’s Network Device Monitoring Feature

Instead of traditional tools, the new generation of Network Device Monitoring tools, like Obkio Network Performance Monitoring software, use Network Performance Monitoring features to alert you about problems in your network, and your network devices, as soon as your network performance starts to degrade.

The Network Device Monitoring feature within Obkio's Network Monitoring Software is a crucial tool for troubleshooting performance problems and monitoring network devices using SNMP. Obkio sends requests to devices at regular intervals (e.g. every 30 seconds ), and collects the responses over time to create a historical record of performance metrics.

how to monitor network performance

It provides a fast and simple solution to gather detailed insights into the performance of your core network devices, enabling you to proactively identify and resolve issues like congestion, high CPU usage, and interface errors.

Best of all, Network Device Monitoring with Obkio is easy! Before monitoring your network devices, you need to deploy at least one Monitoring Agent. Once you’ve installed your monitoring agents, you can then start monitoring your network devices using SNMP by adding the devices inside the Obkio App.

4.2. What Network Device Should You Monitor?
4.2. What Network Device Should You Monitor?

Many network devices can be included in a network infrastructure, and some play larger roles than others. From local network devices to ISP equipment, you need to keep an eye on every device that can affect your network performance. Here are some of the most important:

  • Routers: Devices that forward data packets between computer networks, typically connecting a local network to the internet or another network.
  • Switches: Devices that connect devices within a local area network (LAN) and facilitate data communication between devices.
  • Firewalls: Security devices that monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.
  • Access Points (APs): Devices that allow wireless devices to connect to a wired network, providing Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Servers: Computers or devices that provide services or resources to other devices on the network, such as file storage, email, web hosting, and applications.

4.3. Essential Network Device Metrics
4.3. Essential Network Device Metrics

Monitoring network devices involves tracking key performance indicators such as CPU utilization, memory usage, interface status, and error rates to identify device bottlenecks, resource constraints, or hardware failures that may affect network performance. For example, high CPU utilization on a router or switch could indicate processing bottlenecks, leading to packet delays or increased latency.

Let’s go over the essential network device metrics you need to know:

  1. CPU Utilization: Measures the percentage of CPU resources used by a network device. High CPU utilization can indicate processing bottlenecks or heavy workloads on the device.
  2. Memory Usage: Tracks the amount of memory (RAM) used by a network device. High memory usage may lead to performance degradation or device instability.
  3. Interface Status: Monitors the status of network interfaces (Ethernet ports, Wi-Fi interfaces) on devices, indicating whether they are up or down and operational.
  4. Error Rates: Measures the frequency of errors or dropped packets on network interfaces, indicating potential issues with data transmission or network connectivity.
  5. Network Traffic: Tracks the amount of data transmitted and received by network devices, providing insights into network usage patterns and bandwidth consumption.
  6. Response Times: Measures the time taken for a network device to respond to requests or queries, indicating device responsiveness and performance.
  7. Uptime and Downtime: Tracks the availability and uptime of network devices, recording downtime incidents and ensuring continuous device operation.
  8. Configuration Changes: Monitors changes made to device configurations, ensuring consistency and compliance with network policies.

By monitoring these network device metrics, administrators can ensure the optimal performance, availability, and security of their network infrastructure, proactively detect and troubleshoot issues, and plan for capacity expansion and optimization.

How to Monitor Network Devices: From Routers to Switches

Unlock the secrets to network device monitoring! From routers to switches, discover insights to monitor core network devices with tools, tips & techniques.

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Step 5. Establish And Monitor Network Performance Baseline
Step 5. Establish And Monitor Network Performance Baseline

Establishing a performance baseline is a critical step in effectively monitoring network performance. This baseline serves as a reference point for normal network operation, allowing you to identify deviations and potential issues.

  • Identifies Normal Operation: Defines what normal network performance looks like.
  • Detects Anomalies: Quickly identifies deviations from typical performance.
  • Proactive Troubleshooting: Enables early detection and resolution of issues.
  • Performance Comparison: Provides a reference point for real-time data comparison.
  • Optimizes Network Management: Enhances overall network reliability and efficiency.

5.1. Collect Data to Establish A Network Baseline
5.1. Collect Data to Establish A Network Baseline

With Obkio's Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) tool, this process becomes streamlined and automated. Obkio continuously monitors network performance, collecting comprehensive data over time to establish a baseline for your network. This historical baseline captures typical network behaviour under normal conditions, including metrics such as latency, bandwidth usage, packet loss, and device performance. By analyzing this baseline, you gain insights into expected performance levels and patterns.

5.2. Compare Real-Time Data With the Network Baseline

In addition to the historical baseline, Obkio's NPM tool provides real-time performance data, allowing you to compare current network performance against the established baseline. This comparison enables you to quickly detect deviations or anomalies, indicating potential issues or degradation in network performance. With this proactive approach, you can address problems promptly, minimize downtime, and ensure optimal network operation.

By leveraging Obkio's NPM tool to establish and monitor performance baselines, you gain a comprehensive understanding of your network's normal behaviour and performance trends. This knowledge empowers you to proactively manage and optimize your network, maintaining high reliability and efficiency across your infrastructure.

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Step 6. Seeing the Performance of All Network Paths: A Critical Step in Monitoring Network Performance
Step 6. Seeing the Performance of All Network Paths: A Critical Step in Monitoring Network Performance

In any network, traffic can flow through numerous paths, and each path's performance impacts the overall network experience. Monitoring these paths is crucial for identifying and addressing performance issues and allows you to assess how data traverses through various routes within a network.

This includes evaluating metrics such as latency, bandwidth, jitter, packet loss, and overall throughput for each path. Each path's performance can vary due to factors like network congestion, hardware capabilities, and external interferences. By monitoring these metrics across all paths, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of your network's health and identify potential bottlenecks or failures.

Without visibility into all network paths, pinpointing the source of a problem becomes challenging and time-consuming.

6.1. Network Path Performance Using Obkio’s Chord Diagram
6.1. Network Path Performance Using Obkio’s Chord Diagram

Obkio’s tool simplifies this process with the Chord Diagram. The Chord Diagram provides a visual representation of the performance of all network paths, allowing you to see, at a glance, how traffic is flowing through your network and which destinations are experiencing issues. This immediate visibility helps you quickly identify and focus on problematic paths, ensuring efficient and targeted troubleshooting.

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With Obkio's Chord Diagram, you can:

  • Get Comprehensive Path Visibility: Understand the performance across all network paths, ensuring no issues go unnoticed.
  • Quickly Identify Network Issues: Easily spot which paths or destinations are experiencing network issues, allowing for prompt action.
  • Focus Your Troubleshooting: Focus on specific problem areas without sifting through extensive data, saving time and resources.

In summary, having visibility into the performance of all network paths is essential for effective network performance monitoring. Obkio's Chord Diagram makes this process straightforward and intuitive, enabling you to maintain optimal network health and performance.

Step 7. Setting Up Network Alerts: A Key Step in Monitoring Network Performance
Step 7. Setting Up Network Alerts: A Key Step in Monitoring Network Performance

Setting up network alerts is a critical step in effectively monitoring network performance. Alerts act as your early warning system, notifying you of potential issues before they escalate into major problems. By establishing network alerts, you can proactively manage your network, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently.

Why Set Up Network Alerts?

Network alerts are essential for several reasons:

  1. Proactive Issue Detection: Alerts notify you immediately when something goes wrong, allowing you to address issues before they impact users.
  2. Minimized Downtime: By receiving prompt alerts, you can quickly resolve problems, reducing downtime and maintaining service availability.
  3. Enhanced Network Performance: Continuous monitoring and timely alerts help you optimize network performance and address bottlenecks or inefficiencies.

7.1. Setting Up Thresholds with Obkio's NPM Tool
7.1. Setting Up Thresholds with Obkio's NPM Tool

To avoid being overwhelmed by false or non-critical alerts, it's important to set up thresholds for network performance metrics. Obkio's Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) tool simplifies this process, allowing you to customize alerts based on specific criteria.

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Here’s how you can effectively set up network alerts with Obkio:

  1. Define Critical Metrics: Identify key network performance metrics that are critical to your network's health, such as latency, packet loss, jitter, and bandwidth utilization.
  2. Set Thresholds: Establish thresholds for each metric that represent acceptable performance levels. For example, you might set a threshold for latency at 100ms, packet loss at 1%, and bandwidth utilization at 80%.
  3. Customize Alerts: Configure alerts to trigger when performance metrics exceed the defined thresholds. Obkio allows you to tailor alerts based on the severity of the issue, so you can prioritize critical alerts over less urgent ones.
  4. Avoid Alert Fatigue: By setting appropriate thresholds, you can avoid alert fatigue caused by too many false or minor alerts. This ensures that you only receive alerts that matter, making it easier to focus on resolving real issues.
  5. Continuous Monitoring: With Obkio's NPM tool continuously monitoring your network, you'll have real-time data and alerts that help you stay ahead of potential problems.

Benefits of Setting Up Network Alerts with Obkio

  • Identify Issues Fast: Receive alerts as soon as performance issues arise, enabling swift action to minimize impact.
  • Improve Network Performance: By addressing issues promptly, you can maintain a reliable and efficient network.
  • Customize Your Alerts: Tailor alerts to your specific needs, ensuring you’re notified of the issues that matter most.
  • Proactive Network Monitoring: Focus on critical issues without being overwhelmed by false or low-priority alerts.

how to monitor network performance

By defining critical metrics, setting appropriate thresholds, and customizing alerts, you can ensure that you’re notified of important issues in real-time. This proactive approach helps maintain optimal network performance and reliability, keeping your business operations running smoothly.

Step 8. Monitor Network Performance to Identify Network Issues
Step 8. Monitor Network Performance to Identify Network Issues

Identifying network issues is generally a common end goal when monitoring network performance. With all the information you've collected from your network performance monitoring tool and the alerts you've set up, you can quickly pinpoint the issues that are plaguing your network. This step is essential for maintaining a reliable and efficient network that supports your business operations.

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A network performance monitoring (NPM) tool like Obkio provides the data and alerts needed to identify network issues efficiently. Here’s how it helps:

Collecting Performance Data: Obkio's NPM tool continuously monitors your network, collecting data on key performance metrics such as latency, jitter, packet loss, bandwidth utilization, and more.

Real-Time Alerts: With alerts set up based on predefined thresholds, you receive immediate notifications of any performance anomalies or issues. This real-time network visibility is crucial for quick problem identification.

Detailed Performance Insights: The data collected by the NPM tool is presented in a user-friendly dashboard, offering detailed insights into network performance. You can analyze trends, identify patterns, and pinpoint the root cause of issues.

Visualization Tools: Features like the Chord Diagram in Obkio provide a visual representation of network paths, helping you see which routes are experiencing problems at a glance. This visualization aids in quickly identifying problematic areas.

Visual Traceroutes: Obkio Vision: Visual Traceroute Tool is the perfect tool to help you identify the exact source and cause of network issues. Visualize the entire network path and pinpoint exactly where network problems are located, whether in your local network or Service Provider network.

how to monitor network performance

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8.1. Steps to Identify Network Issues
8.1. Steps to Identify Network Issues

Identifying network issues is a crucial step in monitoring network performance. With the comprehensive data and real-time alerts provided by Obkio's NPM tool, you can quickly pinpoint and resolve network problems.

While your network performance monitoring tool will identify the performance issues for you, there are some steps that you can take to follow along with the diagnostic process:

  1. Monitor Key Metrics: Keep an eye on critical network performance metrics such as latency, jitter, packet loss, and bandwidth utilization. Abnormal values in these metrics often indicate underlying issues.
  2. Analyze Alerts: When an alert is triggered, analyze the associated data to understand the nature and severity of the issue. Determine whether it's an isolated incident or part of a larger problem.
  3. Pinpoint Problem Areas: Use the detailed insights and visualization tools provided by the NPM tool to pinpoint the exact location and cause of the issue. Identify which network paths, devices, or segments are affected.
  4. Correlate Data: Correlate data from different time periods and network segments to identify patterns and recurring issues. This helps in understanding the root cause and implementing long-term solutions.
How to Identify Network Problems & Diagnose Network Issues

Learn how to identify network issues by looking at common problems, causes, consequences and solutions.

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Step 9. Monitor And Analyze Network Performance Reports
Step 9. Monitor And Analyze Network Performance Reports

Network performance reports are an essential part of monitoring network performance. They provide valuable insights into network behaviour, can help you identify performance bottlenecks, and guide your network optimization efforts.

With Obkio’s Network Performance Monitoring tool, you gain a precise and continuous view of your network’s performance. The data collected helps you determine whether your network needs improvement or optimization. Obkio’s Network Performance Reports feature allows you to extract and analyze large amounts of data efficiently.

  • Summarize Data: Generate reports to view network metrics, pinpoint moments of performance degradation, and highlight network issues.
  • Download Reports: Easily download reports using a public URL, without needing an Obkio user account.
  • Share Reports: Send reports via email to multiple recipients, ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are informed.
  • Schedule Reports: Automate the generation of reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to keep track of network performance over time.

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These features make it easy to stay on top of your network performance and get timely updates about if and when your network performance shifts. Now, when it comes to what to include in your network performance reports, that may change depending on your network’s needs. But, we do have some general guidelines:

  1. Metric Measurements: Network performance reports should include detailed measurements of key metrics such as latency, jitter, packet loss, bandwidth utilization, throughput, network speed, VoIP quality, and Quality of Service (QoS). These metrics provide a clear view of the network's health, efficiency, and areas that may need improvement.
  2. Agents Deployed: The report should list all network monitoring agents deployed across the network. This includes their locations, types, and specific roles. Knowing where agents are deployed helps in understanding the data collected and ensuring comprehensive network coverage.
  3. Key Problem Locations: Identifying and highlighting key problem locations within the network is crucial. These are areas where performance issues are frequently detected. Pinpointing these locations helps in prioritizing troubleshooting efforts and improving overall network performance.
  4. Summary of Network Problems: A summary of all identified network problems should be included. This section provides an overview of recurring issues, their frequency, and their impact on network performance. It helps in tracking the effectiveness of corrective actions and ongoing problem areas.
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Step 10. Continuously Monitor Network Performance: The Crucial Final Step
Step 10. Continuously Monitor Network Performance: The Crucial Final Step

Continuous network monitoring is a crucial final step in monitoring network performance. Just because your network is performing optimally today doesn't mean it will stay that way. Networks are dynamic and can be affected by a variety of factors such as increased traffic, hardware issues, or external attacks. This makes continuous monitoring essential for maintaining optimal network performance.

Proactive Issue Identification and Troubleshooting

By continuously monitoring network performance, you can stay ahead of the curve and be proactive in identifying and troubleshooting issues before they affect end-users. This proactive approach allows you to:

  1. Detect Anomalies Early: Continuous monitoring helps in spotting unusual patterns or performance anomalies early, allowing you to address potential issues before they escalate.
  2. Ensure Consistent Performance: Regular monitoring ensures that your network maintains a high level of performance consistently, supporting the smooth operation of applications and services.
  3. Minimize Downtime: By identifying issues quickly, you can minimize network downtime and maintain high availability for users.

how to monitor network performance

Using a Network Performance Monitoring Tool

Having a network performance monitoring (NPM) tool in place is key to implementing continuous monitoring effectively. Tools like Obkio’s NPM offer several benefits:

  • Real-Time Data Collection: Continuously gather data on key network metrics such as latency, jitter, packet loss, and bandwidth utilization.
  • Automated Alerts: Set up automated alerts to notify you of any performance degradation or anomalies in real-time, ensuring you can respond promptly.
  • Detailed Analytics: Access detailed analytics and reports to understand long-term performance trends and make informed decisions.
  • Historical Data: Maintain a historical record of network performance data to compare past performance with current metrics, helping you identify patterns and recurring issues.

Continuous network monitoring is an essential final step in maintaining optimal network performance. It allows you to be proactive in identifying and resolving issues, ensuring that your network remains reliable and efficient. With a robust NPM tool like Obkio, you can implement continuous monitoring effectively, keeping your network in top shape and ensuring a seamless experience for end-users.

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Are you a network admin or IT pro looking to improve network performance in your business network, or a remote worker trying to improve the performance of your home network? Whether you need to troubleshoot large networks or single-user workstations, Obkio's Network Monitoring Tool has plans tailored for you. Find the right plan to help you improve network performance with ease.

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Best Practices For How to Monitor Network Performance
Best Practices For How to Monitor Network Performance

Before we wrap up this article, we want to leave you with some best practices for monitoring network performance. We've covered some of these points throughout the article, and others are additional tips to keep in mind throughout the entire network performance monitoring process. These best practices will help you ensure your network runs smoothly and efficiently.

Armed with these insights, you'll be well-prepared to tackle any network challenges that come your way and keep everything running like a well-oiled machine.

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Before starting, outline your goals for network performance monitoring. Determine what metrics are most critical for your operations, such as latency, bandwidth utilization, packet loss, and throughput.
  2. Deploy Monitoring Agents Strategically: Place monitoring agents at key points in your network, such as data centers, remote offices, and critical application servers. This ensures comprehensive coverage and accurate data collection.
  3. Establish Performance Baselines: Continuously monitor your network to establish baseline performance metrics. This helps you understand what normal performance looks like and identify deviations that could indicate issues.
  4. Set Thresholds and Alerts: Configure thresholds for critical metrics and set up alerts to notify you of any anomalies or performance degradations. Ensure that alerts are meaningful and actionable to avoid alert fatigue.
  5. Use Real-Time Monitoring Tools: Utilize real-time monitoring tools to get immediate insights into network performance. Tools like Obkio’s Network Performance Monitoring software provide instant visibility and help you quickly identify and address issues.
  6. Analyze Historical Data: Regularly review historical performance data to identify trends and recurring issues. This helps in proactive network management and long-term planning.
  7. Monitor End-User Experience: Focus on monitoring from the end-user perspective. Ensure that applications and services are performing well for users, as their experience is the ultimate measure of network performance.
  8. Regularly Update Monitoring Tools: Keep your monitoring tools and software up to date. New features and improvements can enhance your ability to monitor and manage network performance effectively.
  9. Conduct Regular Network Audits: Perform periodic network audits to ensure that all network components are functioning correctly and efficiently. Audits help in identifying and resolving potential issues before they impact performance.
  10. Document and Review: Keep detailed documentation of your network performance monitoring processes, configurations, and findings. Regularly review and update this documentation to reflect any changes in the network or monitoring practices.
  11. Optimize Network Configurations: Use the insights gained from monitoring to optimize network configurations. Adjust settings, upgrade hardware, and implement best practices to improve overall network performance.
  12. Train Your Team: Ensure that your IT staff is well-trained in using network monitoring tools and interpreting the data. A knowledgeable team can respond more effectively to performance issues.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your network remains efficient, reliable, and capable of meeting the needs of your business and end-users.

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Start Monitoring Network Performance Now!
Start Monitoring Network Performance Now!

In conclusion, we've covered essential steps for monitoring network performance effectively. From defining clear objectives to establishing performance baselines, setting up network alerts, and continuously monitoring, these practices are crucial for maintaining a high-performing network. By understanding network metrics, identifying issues, and optimizing performance, you can ensure a seamless experience for users and mitigate potential disruptions.

Now that you've learned these key steps, it's time to put them into action. Implementing these practices will not only help you detect and address network issues promptly but also optimize your network for better efficiency and reliability. Remember to regularly review and update your monitoring strategies to adapt to changing network dynamics and emerging challenges.

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As you embark on this journey to enhance your network performance, consider leveraging Obkio's Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) tool. Obkio offers a comprehensive solution that provides real-time visibility into your network infrastructure, monitors critical metrics, and sends automated alerts when issues arise. With Obkio, you can streamline your network monitoring efforts, troubleshoot with ease, and ensure optimal performance at all times.

Don't wait any longer to take control of your network's performance. Start your journey with Obkio today and experience the difference firsthand!

  • 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
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