Network Monitoring

What is Network Monitoring?

Network monitoring is a segment of network management. Network monitoring is the use of a supplemental system to a network environment that is constantly monitoring a network system for failing or slowed down components. A network monitoring tool notifies a system administrator of the issue through the platforms own interface, email, and other methods of communicating the event of an alarm in the system.

Having a high performing network support is important for any business trying to keep the edge on its competitors.  Business is frenetic, fast-paced and the complexity of technology makes it difficult to stay on top of potential network issues as they happen.   The need for a round the clock network monitoring application for everything from firewalls, routers, switches, and load balancers  is ever more pressing. Any issues that present a risk to your business operations should be detected by the best network monitoring system for your company. But with so many options out there, it is often overwhelming, and finding the right network monitoring system isn’t always as simple as it appears. 

What to look for in a network monitoring application:

Network monitoring tools are many and varied and each have their own set of particular characteristics.  Some focus on monitoring performance from the end-user’s view, others try to monitor the use of resources and maximize their potential. Having said that, there are some characteristics that all Network monitoring solutions should have, we have listed four below:

  1. Easy installation – because network monitoring is vital to the smooth running of your business, you want to have it up and running with as little hassle as possible.  The sooner you get to identify any problems and put them straight the better for you and your business. 
  2. Flexibility – as your business grows and you add new devices to your IT base, you will want to be able to effortlessly add on any new network equipment as the need arises.  Besides the standard devices, new cloud-based applications might need to be added and your network monitoring tools need to be able to cope with the add-ons. 
  3. 24/7 monitoring with real time alerts – like an alarm system, real-time notifications allow you to troubleshoot and sort out issues before the user has time to realize – or at least with the least possible inconvenience. Your business needs network monitoring software that allows this to happen. 
  4. SNMP Compatibility – Simple Network Management Protocol – by using this network, different devices on a network can share information with one another.   It is the most efficient way for a network management tool to keep  an eye on changes, monitor network performance and check on the status of network devices and all in real time. 

How Indeni helps your network infrastructure

The network infrastructure of your business includes networking hardware, software, facilities and services through which networking can be achieved.  Networking allows communication and information processing of these devices. Network infrastructure devices include:

  •     Switches
  •     Routers
  •     Hubs
  •     Servers
  •     Bridges
  •     Gateways
  •     Proxies
  •     Load balancers
  •     Wireless

…to name but a few!  It is imperative to run a check on your critical business’ network infrastructure periodically. With the high cost of outage and potential business interruption caused by network problems, you cannot take risks and presume that all is ok with your current network monitoring application.   Business structures are more and more complex, and the IT systems therefore need to cope, adapt and change as the business grows. Your business will need to add more devices as it grows and becomes more successful. Indeni is the solution to your ever-evolving IT needs. The innovative, globally-sourced  Indeni model was created to identify and troubleshoot before the problem causes any damage or business downtime. With this one platform you have the ability to greatly reduce business interruption and at the same time cut support and operation costs. The Indeni predictive model of network monitoring tools includes:

  1. Automation – Network automation allows the system to pick up potential problems and automatically deal with them, notifying  a system professional in the quickest time possible. 
  2.  Predictive Analytics –the IT team has increased visibility of its network and can therefore take quick, necessary action efficiently. Along the lines of how Facebook made improvements to verify the content of the news with “fact checkers” on their social platform, Indeni has a similar approach to fact-checking the alarms shared with IT pros. Through our fact-checking process, also known as an open development process, customers get preventive tips to keep your network up and running versus false alarms.
  3. Integration  – or coordination with other systems – Indeni integrates with existing ticketing, email and network management solutions to ensure when an issue is identified, it is routed to the appropriate stakeholder.

This unique possibility of proactive identification of issues  by Indeni means that problems are caught well in time and help to avoid situations escalating into critical issues with damaging outcomes for the business.   On top of all that the Indeni system has a type of “fact-checking” control where it will filter off false-alarm notifications (all too common). In this way no-one on your team will waste time and, on the contrary, more time is available for higher value tasks.   

Indeni advanced network monitoring features

With the growing need to add new devices to an already overloaded system, businesses often find themselves with just too many devices to be managed efficiently.  Time and energy are lost trying to stay on top of never-ending troubleshooting. With Indeni advanced network monitoring you get:

…and more…. With Indeni you have an advanced network monitoring application to reduce your IT monitoring headaches with greater accuracy than  latest network monitoring tools.  Your expert IT team can take care of strategic, business growth important tasks while Indeni looks after your devices.   This is the most advanced monitoring tool for reducing the workload of your IT team and allowing them to get on with higher value tasks. With the Indeni solution you get:

  • Extensive knowledge base
  • Advanced automation technology
  • Data from customers’ networks around the world

If you and your team are feeling overwhelmed, having to sift through alert notifications, sometimes false, then it is time for you to make the leap of faith like so many of your peers have already done. Get the best visibility into your environment by downloading Indeni today.  Our team are on hand to help you and will be delighted to answer ANY of your queries or doubts regarding the best options for you.

What is SNMP?

SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol. SNMP is a protocol used in the application layer that helps monitor and manage network environments. The purpose of SNMP is to provide a standardized language of communication of management information across devices within a Local Area Network. A majority of the devices we use today use SNMP Protocol ranging from your home wifi router to a laser printer in the office.

SNMP is broken down into four different sections:

1. SNMP Agent: The SNMP Agent is either a combination of software and hardware, or simply software that is placed inside a device. Typically, most systems have a default operating system which behave similarly to an agent through running a process.

2. Managed Devices/Resources: The managed/resources are the collection of devices that SNMP is connected to and gathering data from.

3. SNMP Manager: Also known as management station: The purpose of the SNMP manager is to handle and receive SNMP requests in addition to device information within your network. The SNMP manager translates the data received into charts and graphs to simplify analyzing the data. The

4. Management Information Base (MIB): The MIB is the location where the SNMP pools all of the data collected.

What is a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Trap?

Simple Network Management Protocol Traps, also referred to as trap-directed notifications enable efficient management of a high number of devices in in your network. A Management Information Base is not suitable for polling and requesting information from a large number of devices. Thus, trap directed notifications, enable every agent on each managed device to send a notification to the MIB. In short SNMP traps are a tool that save a significant amount of network resources by reducing the need for SNMP requests.

Indeni Provides several solution for SNMP trap issues. Below are a few examples:

SNMP traps enabled settings do not match across cluster members for Check Point

SNMP trap receivers’ settings do not match across cluster members for Check Point

Indeni will identify when two devices are part of a cluster and alert if the SNMP settings do not match. Without Indeni, an administrator would have to login and manually run the command.

What is a Virtual Private Network?

A Virtual Private Network, often referred to as a VPN is a tool that provides an internet connection that is encrypted between the device and the network it is accessing. All traffic that passes through a VPN is private by channeling the traffic through what is known as a tunnel. There are two types of VPN, such as secure remote access, which enables a device to connect to a specific different network that is located in a different network. Secure remote access gives organizations the benefit granting access to a network even if the employee is travelling or working from home. A site-to-site VPN forms a connection across different corporate branches that are unable to use a direct network connections between different locations.

How to do VPN troubleshooting

Typically, VPN an administrator will not be able to discover a VPN is down until a user reports an issue. Once the issue is identified, and one or more VPN tunnels are down, an administrator has to manually run commands via an SSH or HTTPS connection and get more information on the issue. Listed below are a series of steps to take to resolve a VPN tunnel issue:

1. Check the following for a possible root cause:

– What is the status of the remote peer? Is it up or down?
– Verify that Phase I and Phase II configuration matches on each end.
– Ensure that there is a policy in place that enables the flow of traffic
– Are there any NAT issues?
– Check the Encryption Domain
– Scroll through firewall logs

To remediate the issue, and take a proactive approach to troubleshooting a VPN network, Indeni features notifications for when VPN tunnels are down. Below is a selection of notifications/alerts Indeni sends out:

VPN tunnel(s) down for Juniper
Permanent/Monitored VPN Tunnel(s) down for Check Point
VPN Dropping Packets for Palo Alto due to decryption issues

What is OSPF?

Open Shortest Path first is an efficient link-state interior gateway protocol. Once a router that is running OSPF is online it sends hello packets. Hello packet are how routers identify neighbors in provide, link-state information to ensure that communication between two given devices are mutual and Link state advertisements. To keep a protocol scalable, OSPF using DR(BDR) which generate LSAs and perform database exchanges between neighboring routers. The purpose of synchronizing databases between adjacent devices is to avoid routing loops due to out of sync databases. OSPF also leverages a an Area tool to minimize the number of Link State Advertisements and encapsulate routes.

How to troubleshoot OSPF

– Review what the cause for the neighbors being down

– Identify what the issue is by
– Is there an L2/L3 connectivity issue?
– Is OSPF not enabled on the Interface?
– Is the interface defined as “passive”
– Is there is a mismtached subnet mask
– Is there a mismatched hello/dead interval?
– Is there a mismatched authentication key or area ID?
– Is there a mismatched transit/stub/Not-So-Stubby Area (NSSA) option?

– Check the OSPF configuration

– Use these commands in order to check the OSPF configuration (subnet, hello/dead interval, area ID, area type, authentication key (if any), and not-passive), and ensure that it matches on both sides:

show run ospf
show ip ospf PID Interface
show ip ospf PID

– Troubleshooting OSPF States:
– Stuck in Initialization State caused by:

– One side blocking the hello packet with ACL
– One Side is translating with NAT
– Multicast capability of on side is broken

– OSPF Neighbor Stuck in a Two-Way State:

– OSPF Priority set to equal zero

– OSPF Neighbor stuck in Exstart/Exchange

– MTU Mismatch
– Neighbor Router ID(RID) is the same as its neighbors
– ACL blocking unicast – after a two-way OSPF send unicast packet

– OSPF Neighbor stuck in loading state

What is BGP?

BGP stands for Border Gateway Protocol, it is an application-layer path vector protocol that manages the routing of packets on the internet by changing routing and reachability between autonomous systems. BGP channels packet across networks that are managed by a single organization or ISP through TCP. BGP is often mistake for OSPF or the vice versa. However, there is an important distinction between the two, wherein BGP uses path vector routing versus OSPF which uses link state routing.

BlueCat acquires Indeni to boost its industry-leading DNS, DHCP and IP address management platform to help customers proactively assess network health and prevent outages.