Remote Monitoring Techniques In Computer Networks
Remote monitoring techniques in computer networks can be complex. Foundational remote monitoring techniques include pings, SNMPs and Syslogs. Each of these three techniques collect data from a customer’s network. That data is then available for MSPs to use for troubleshooting, identifying potential issues and even configuring devices.
Of all the tools in an MSP's toolbox, network management and remote monitoring (RMON) systems are likely the most basic and the most used. The simplest remote monitoring software will allow access to a customer’s PCs for troubleshooting purposes, and the sky is the limit from there. Robust software suites are now available to help monitor, track and secure every device on a customer’s network.
Remote Network Management Basics
There are three basic remote monitoring techniques commonly implemented:
The simplest remote network traffic monitoring technique is using a ping. A ping is a network admin tool that tests if a host (PC) is alive on the network, as well as how well that host can communicate. By typing ping and the IP address of the host into a command prompt, the device will send a message to the host device and wait for a reply. No reply would signal that the device cannot speak to the network.
Once it is established via ping that a device can talk to the network, additional ping commands are available to test a myriad of things. Some include how quickly and how reliably the device responds. Multiple pings sent may not return the request every time, indicating that some information is being intermittently lost in transit. A ping is an invaluable tool to help diagnose network connectivity issues.
There is an assortment of ping command prompts you can incorporate into your remote monitoring system.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is the most common method of gathering information from business network devices such as computers and servers, as well as peripherals such as printers. It even allows remote monitoring of some services such as DHCP or Wins.
Once an SNMP agent is installed, this protocol can be used to gather information on devices such as IP address, available disk space and open files. It can also determine if a service is running or stopped. In some cases, devices such as printers can be configured remotely via the SNMP protocol.
This messaging system allows devices to send a notification that events have occurred via the network to a designated logging server. These messages are then stored and use for network analysis to find device use information and security audits. SysLogs work across a wide-range of devices from routers to firewalls and printers.
Remote Maintenance Assistance
To be truly effective, a good remote monitoring suite needs to have remote control access. This allows shared screen access with a user to witness and resolve the issue at hand. Besides providing fast and effective customer service, this makes the job of an MSP provider much easier while also giving the opportunity to educate end users on how to solve similar issues themselves.
Some remote monitoring software will also have a dedicated remote feature that allows remote logins to a customer’s PC, even when they are not available.
Other Remote Monitoring Techniques in Computer Networks
There are additional helpful techniques for managing larger networks or those using large databases. Most remote monitoring software packages offer a suite of tools to use to help manage a client’s networks, and the features contained within that suite can make the job easier. MSPs have an especially high need for good remote software as their clients are all in different locations and on very different networks.
Needing to open three, four, or more different pieces of software to take care of a single problem is not only tedious, but it increases the risk of user error and the chance that the real problem behind the symptom will be missed. Efficiency and expediency are what customers demand when they call in an issue. Being able to gather all of the necessary information from a single dashboard and resolve the issue within that same software is simply the best way to get that done.
A feature-rich remote monitoring and network management suite such as MAX Remote Management from SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow) provides all of that and so much more. This one software suite can replace multiple others, saving money and time.
Instead of having one software for device management, another for security and antivirus, and yet a third for backup and restores, this system combines them all into one elegantly designed software powerhouse. From a single dashboard, all of the information is gathered and the customer’s issues are resolved in moments. But break/fix issues are only part of the responsibility of an MSP.
Automated Remote Computer Maintenance
Daily routines are full of time-consuming repetitive tasks. The more of these that are automated, the more efficiently an MSP can apply their time. MAX Remote Management simplifies network checks and alerts and approves critical patches while handling the tedious but necessary tasks, such as system restarts and clearing temp file folders. It's an auto-pilot for all the necessary but redundant tasks.
MAX Remote Management is highly also customizable with scripts, and it works with all the scripts you already have in place. A simple upload is all it takes to create a tailor-made program ready to grow with your clients and your company.
Network Security Management
Network security is an MSP’s first responsibility to their clients. This is sometimes overlooked until there is a breach, which is too late. MAX Remote Management has built in best-in-class antivirus and web protection.
An active device discovery capability ensures that every device entering a client network is remotely tracked and secure. MAX Remote Management's additional remote network monitoring features protect customers from denial-of-service attacks, malware, phishing schemes, and much more. These well-designed and expertly executed solutions make MAX Remote Management software the best available.
MSPs can also add network security risk assessments to their list of services with MAX Risk Intelligence. The platform allows MSPs to provide clients dollar-based risk assessments of their current infrastructure as well as other services, such as deep vulnerability scanning, risk trending reports and PCI compliance scans.
MAX Risk Intelligence also identifies the sensitive information on a network, regardless of where it has been stored. This valuable service helps clients identify where they are vulnerable and protect their precious data and personally identifiable information.
Remote Computer and Network Monitoring From SolarWinds MSP
No two business are exactly alike, so every client has unique IT needs. This is among the biggest challenges an MSP faces. How does one give each unique infrastructure the best protection and service now, especially as the MSP’s client list grows? One strong suggestion is to do it by investing in the right tools.
MAX Remote Management's single dashboard tells one everything they need to know about a network, from device inventory, maintenance tasks, and security, to handling break/fix issues and spotting problems before the customer is even aware of them. It adds value to the service already provided to current clients, and the security features are a huge selling point to potential clients.
Find out for yourself how MAX Remote Management streamlines tasks and revolutionizes remote monitoring techniques in computer networks. Start your free trial today. It takes just 10 minutes to set up, and no credit card is required for the trial.