The perfect monitoring solution for SME infrastructure

In today's technology environment, the IT landscapes of small and mid-sized organizations tend to be just as complex as those of larger counterparts,  just on a much smaller scale.

A sound IT infrastructure, including the company network, is just as important to small and mid-sized companies as it is to larger businesses. However, smaller companies often have small IT teams or even a single administrator. That's why auxiliary tools, such as  network monitoring solutions, are becoming increasingly important for smaller businesses.

Bottlenecks or failures during data exchange can interrupt critical processes, resulting in loss of opportunities and damaging the brand's reputation. Continuous server and network monitoring is therefore critical as it can help identify and fix issues before they become a more serious problem. Network monitoring also helps companies avoid performance bottlenecks and improves service quality. But how does a business choose the right network monitoring solution?

When looking for the perfect monitoring solution, small and mid-sized companies must first identify which areas of the network environment should be monitored. In addition to the usual monitoring of firewalls, switches and servers, modern monitoring solutions offer a variety of options for keeping an eye on the entire IT network.

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To define the necessary range of function of a prospective monitoring solution, IT professionals should first conduct an in-depth analysis of all critical components. It's important that any upcoming expansions are taken into consideration too. For example, is virtualisation of specific areas planned? Should VoIP or IPV6 be implemented? Or should additional branches be included in the foreseeable future? Switching to a new solution or implementing additional tools is usually more expensive and requires more effort than implementing comprehensive monitoring software from the start.

Accurately evaluating services and costs

Modern network monitoring solutions prove that multiple expensive, customised solutions are not necessary. They achieve much more than simple monitoring of bandwidth and availability. Affordable solutions that deliver data about nearly all processes in the network do exist on the market. They not only monitor and trigger alarms if errors occur, but are also able to actively support the IT team in dealing with emerging problems by restarting services or executing .exe files, for example.

Contemporary network monitoring solutions offer corresponding apps for mobile devices that enable users to confirm alarms or call up information using graphs and maps while on the go. Specialised full-screen "Dashboard" views for tablets and smart TVs are also convenient.

Price is also an important factor when selecting and installing network monitoring software. It is critical for companies to know about cost traps since many providers offer nontransparent licensing models with hidden costs.

The cost of basic installation alone is not an accurate measure, as it does not necessarily reflect the total cost of the solution (TCO). Systems that seem inexpensive at first might not have scaling options. Integrating new locations, devices and so on often requires expensive add-ons and modules.

Programming requirements and time needed for implementation should also be kept within reasonable limits. Solutions that are easy to configure and offer clear operating menus simplify installation and later usage enormously.

The bottom line on network monitoring

Network monitoring has the potential to deliver incalculable value to mid-sized companies, which is why the majority now use a network monitoring solution. There are comprehensive solutions such as PRTG Network Monitor available that can monitor the entire IT landscape, are easy to use and affordable to purchase and implement. But, as outlined above, before selecting any solution, IT personnel and administrators must carefully define their organisation's unique monitoring requirements.

For more information or to try out PRTG for yourself, click here

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