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Network Monitoring Survey: Cloud, Infrastructure, IoT Management Trends

Staying ahead of the game is an IT professional's primary objective. When clients experience an outage, everyone suffers. Minimizing this downtime is essential for any successful IT services company. Being proactive about issues takes serious monitoring of all the pieces of the puzzle that could potentially fail.

HelpSystems recently surveyed IT professionals ranging from system administrators, consultants or directors, to IT managers and network engineers. Forty-six percent of respondents work in organizations with fewer than 500 employees. Respondents included IT professionals in education, healthcare, telecommunications, IT, and other industries. The survey found that organizations are taking full advantage of network mapping and monitoring software to help ensure uptime. Respondents of the survey reported monitoring physical, virtual, and cloud technology, underscoring network monitoring’s versatility to spot issues proactively for any type of technology.

It should come as no surprise to those in the industry that networking equipment tops the list of some of the most monitored among respondents. Ninety-three percent are currently monitoring switches, 87 percent monitor routers, and 79 percent monitor firewalls. What was surprising, however, is the growing number of managers that are monitoring building systems such as HVAC and sensors. This does make sense though, as room temperature can affect the performance of many systems, causing them to fail sooner.

The trend towards hybrid environments seems to continue its upward momentum as 50 percent of the respondents are monitoring virtual equipment of some kind. Thirty-three percent said their organizations have current initiatives to expand their cloud usage. These cloud projects range from backups to email migrations and hosted environments to web hosting. Most of those surveyed seem to want tools that can monitor and support both their cloud and on-premise initiatives.

According to the results, Windows is still the platform of choice for many businesses. Over half of respondents reported running their network monitoring software on Windows (52 percent), followed by Linux (32 percent) and Mac OS X (16 percent). The reason Windows still reigns supreme in business environments is first that machines running Windows are generally more affordable than the other choices. Most employees are familiar with how to use Windows operating systems, so the learning curve is very minimal for new hires. Finally, Windows machines are easier to manage for IT departments.

The survey was conducted by HelpSystems, who offers Intermapper, a network mapping and monitoring software tool that can scale to cover critical technology in IT environments of all sizes in industries ranging from education and telecommunications to manufacturing and healthcare. It gives users a live view of all devices and networks being monitored, whether they are part of small environments with less than 500 devices or larger-scale operations spanning thousands of endpoints, the company claims.