Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
IT is one of those areas, like accounting and legal, where we highly recommend business owners find and work with a local professional. Though you may be working with a professional, you should still have a general grasp of what a network administrator does and how to maintain a high-performance IT infrastructure. Best practices for monitoring your IT infrastructure is a set of principles to install a good network monitoring strategy. Best practices include baseline system behavior, reports at every layer, configuration management and capacity planning for growth.
Baseline system behavior
You should be aware of what is healthy for your system, this will allow you to identify any issues before users begin to complain. You can better understand your system by creating a baseline over the period of a few weeks or even months. Monitor how your IT infrastructure usually behaves and take note and remedy when it starts to behave differently. You should take note of things such as the standard temperature and the CPU usage of the device. This will help the network admin to detect the deviation in routine statistics and take corrective actions before a malfunction occurs.
Reports at every layer
When a data connection fails, it can happen at any of the layers of the network – or even many layers. You should use a monitoring system that supports many technologies to track all layers of your infrastructure. Cloud monitoring is a great out of the box technology that can watch all layers of your cloud-based network. When an application delivery fails, your monitoring system should tell you whether it is an issue with the server. Or if it is an issue with the router or a bandwidth and hardware problem.
Most network issues originate from an incorrect configuration. This can be avoided by configuration management. The network admin should always monitor the configuration of devices to ensure that there is no server downtime. You can also use configuration management for bulk configuration changes. For instance, changing the firewall settings. This is the proactive part of the operation. This is using foresight to ensure that nothing gets in the way and causes server downtime. Something that could impact customer numbers and the efficiency of employees.
Capacity Planning and Growth
This can apply to both the general network and network management. When your organization grows, your IT infrastructure should have the flexibility to grow with it. An increase in employee numbers or visitors to your site has an impact on the amount of devices needed to cope with the higher capacity required. When setting up the monitoring system, you should take growth into account for it to be able to cope and be licensed to deal with a surge in numbers. Some monitoring systems can only track a certain number of devices, and this is something you need to be aware of from the onset.