In today’s business environment, network traffic is at an all time high due to increased use of data by social media sites and now cloud services. This has created a bandwidth challenge for organizations as they struggle to ensure that there is enough bandwidth available to allow uninterrupted flow of data across offices, data centers and backup sites. It is not economically feasible to keep adding bandwidth to ensure a good transfer rate for network traffic. It makes far more economic sense to monitor network traffic for optimal bandwidth usage.
Network traffic usage tends to fluctuate depending on business need, making it important to monitor network traffic to avoid unexpected performance breakdowns. A network breakdown in the middle of an important business activity can prove to be very costly for the organization which is why most organizations chose to take preemptive action by monitoring network traffic to identify problems before they can actually occur. A network traffic monitoring tool helps identify applications that are consuming more bandwidth as well as applications which are running slower than usual signaling a possible problem area. Monitoring network traffic also helps organizations optimize bandwidth usage according to business need by prioritizing the flow of network traffic according to business priorities. It enables organizations to validate smooth working of QoS policies.
There are many benefits that organizations can enjoy by monitoring network traffic. These benefits are:
- Deliver higher quality service to users by optimizing bandwidth usage
- Reduce performance and server breakdowns
- Make it easy to identify and troubleshoot network problems
- Reduce cost associated with purchasing additional bandwidth for smooth network performance
- Identify and optimize applications using high bandwidth
It is not only big organizations that need to monitor network traffic. Even small businesses and homes with multiple devices consuming bandwidth need to be monitored for network traffic to ensure that bandwidth is not being consumed uselessly. It is very easy to setup your system for monitoring network traffic; all you require is a basic understanding of protocols and network.
Monitoring network traffic can be done in a few simple steps:
- The first step is to install a network-monitoring tool on to your system. There are plenty of network monitoring tools available online and downloading one is extremely easy and simple.
- Next, begin recording traffic data by clicking on the Start button.
- You can then begin viewing data captured while the application is still recording or you can stop the recording to view all the captured data.
- It is then possible to analyze the data that is already recorded while the program is still recording.
Network traffic data can be analyzed to determine:
- Any unwanted data being received or sent from your system.
- Any unwanted systems participating in your network
- Any programs using up bandwidth more than expected
- Usage pattern across programs, how often do programs run updates etc
- Programs consuming maximum bandwidth
As network traffic continues to grow with the explosion of the internet and social media, monitoring network traffic has become a business and personal imperative to ensure your network is able to perform at optimal capacity.