Network monitoring
for small- to medium-
sized businesses

 

 

Inextricably linked to the growth of your business is the increase in the number of employees and customers, which can put strain on your supporting IT systems. For SMBs that often have only one person - or no one - working in IT, managing these systems can be especially challenging. So, how can you make sure your IT systems evolve with your growing business?   

 

 


Here are 10 ways that unified monitoring will help small
IT departments stay on top of explosive startup growth

1. Know what's on your network

SMBs grow fast, but their IT systems can grow even faster. With so many new services coming online and virtual machines being spun up, it's easy to lose track of them. Monitoring software can be used to keep track of everything going on in an often chaotic IT environment.

2. Supplement a small staff

When SMBs hire new employees, the initial focus is almost always on sales, marketing and product or services development. All those employees need IT services, but unfortunately, IT staff don't always grow at a comparable rate. Monitoring helps alleviate this problem by watching infrastructure when IT can't, and alerting you to potential issues before they impact the business.

3. Be operational 24/7

The increasingly flexible nature of employment has changed the work day. Employees need access to files and business applications 24/7, and at the same time, customers need access to web portals and browser-based applications. To be fully operational at all hours of the day, you need monitoring software to "watch your back" outside of peak hours. Split shifts and overnights don't work when there's only one person running IT.

4. Keep an eye on your cloud services

Cloud software and services are efficient and can get early-stage companies online quickly and at minimal cost. However, cloud providers can have issues and system failures, too. And because cloud resources are often shared, peak load levels can be reached more often, causing slowness and affecting application performance. It is critical to monitor your cloud services for potential issues before they become critical problems.

5. Proactively plan for bandwidth... because it will increase

Bandwidth needs will increase as the business grows - there's no getting around it. By keeping track of traffic patterns and analyzing the data, you can plan for growth and add capacity to the network earlier, before it becomes overtaxed and affects end users.

6. Understand the impact of more users

Business growth inevitably leads to more employees, who can put a strain on IT systems with the addition of more workstations, phone lines, routers, and other devices. Anticipating the impact of additional users on the system is critical to maintaining network stability

7. Control your spending

SMBs spend a lot on technology. They spend even more when they are technology companies - load testing, compute power, cloud storage, etc. Many of these services involve paying for scale, but those dollars add up when you forget to turn them off. You can keep an eye on this by tracking usage and turning off services that are not being used.

8. Responsible BYOD policy

 

Younger workers - and young companies - are all-in when it comes to BYOD. People want to work on their own mobile devices, and IT has to find a way to accommodate them. Mobile devices have a tendency to sop up bandwidth, and business-critical applications cannot afford to be slowed by an employee synching iTunes. By setting up a separate WiFi network for mobile devices and carefully monitoring it, you can solve the BYOD bandwidth problem.

9. Don't lose track of certificates

 

Many so-called "sophisticated cyberattacks" are not all that sophisticated. Hackers oftentimes take advantage of flaws - sometimes years old - in SSL certificates. Updating these is simple, but very easy to forget about. Network monitoring makes it possible to track all certificates on each device on the network, ensuring that you are always up to date.

10. Security

Cyberattacks, especially Advanced Persistent Threats, take place over a long period of time. There is ample opportunity to spot anomalous behavior on a network if the proper alerts and alarms are in place, whether it's noticing brute force login attempts or an unusually large number of queries to a server.

Unified monitoring to the rescue!

A unified monitoring solution is an essential part of a highly functioning IT infrastructure and can act as extra sets of eyes and ears for your growing IT environment. Find out how Paessler's PRTG Network Monitoring can cost-effectively help you by downloading our Free Trial here.