Network monitoring is a critical part of managing network health, especially in enterprises where highly sensitive data and devices live across large-scale networks.
The network monitoring market continues to grow and diversify, as companies of different sizes, industries, and goals look to these tools for greater network transparency.
Read on to learn what the network monitoring market looks like and how it’s changing to meet new client needs:
A Closer Look at the Network Monitoring Market
Also read: Top Networking Trends & Developments
Network monitoring market
The network monitoring market reached about $2 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $5 billion by 2026, according to a report by Global Market Insights.
The expansion and changing landscape of enterprise networks drives larger companies to find tools that automate and simplify their network insights. Especially for organizations that are managing several types of networking devices and solutions — such as the Internet of Things (IoT), private 5G — and mobile networking through bring your own device (BYOD) policies, it’s become crucial for leaders to find tools that make key network metrics immediately actionable for network administrators.
The number of enterprise network monitoring tools is expected to continue its growth trajectory, especially with widely available free and open-source solutions on the market.
Network monitoring features
- Auto-discovery: One of the most important features of network monitoring tools is discovery. This feature automates the process of logging and updating information on different devices, users, and other network components.
- Packet capturing and automated data analysis: Packet capturing makes it possible for companies to track network traffic history, users, problems, and a variety of other metrics related to network performance.
- Data visualization and mapping: It’s important for professionals with varying levels of technical expertise to understand high-level network metrics. Data visualization and network mapping simplify data into visual aids for all users to comprehend.
- Event logging: Beyond major issues within the network, monitoring tools should keep a record, or an event log, that network administrators can refer to when they’re solving a problem.
- Alerting system: When network monitoring software discovers a problem on the network, the tool should be set up to provide alerts to the team members who can resolve the issue quickly.
- Reporting: Many times, network administrators will need to report on the problems they found and solved on the network, along with other metrics. Network monitoring tools often offer native reporting to make this process simpler.
More on data visualization: Top Data Visualization Tools
Benefits of network monitoring
Improved network visibility
With data visualization and dashboards, network monitoring tools are designed to improve network visibility. This is especially necessary for network administrators who manage growing and diversifying networks.
Networking teams can’t always plan for outages or network issues, but they can sometimes prevent them if they see the signs soon enough. Network monitoring tools work to help identify small problems before they turn into network-wide outages.
Time saved for network administrators
When certain network management tasks can be automated, it saves time for the experts who deal with network troubleshooting and management on a daily basis. Their time is now optimized, so they can focus on higher-value network needs.
Network security management
Network security can be cumbersome and expensive to manage. Automated alerts, event logging, and compliance-driven features in network monitoring tools all work together to improve network security.
Not everyone is a data expert. Network monitoring tools frequently include helpful data visualizations and graphs, so team members of all backgrounds can understand what networking work needs to be done.
Network monitoring tools collect network performance data constantly over extended periods of time. The data collected can be invaluable when tracking performance trends and network improvement needs over time.
More on data democratization: Data Democratization Trends
Network monitoring use cases
Network monitoring is broadly used to monitor the activity and components of a network. But given that every network is used by different industries with different goals, network monitoring tools are designed to meet a wide variety of network visibility needs. The following pair of users found network monitoring use cases within the retail and services industries:
“We have found this product to be very accurate and insightful. The interface is clear and has a lot of necessary detail. The entire team utilizes this tool to keep our network operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. … We needed better visibility into our global network. We have a 24-hour operation, and our help desk agents needed the ability to easily monitor the network through a simple dashboard. We also needed tools to look in-depth at networking issues that occurred.” – VP of information technology in the retail industry, review of SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor at Gartner Peer Insights
“I have been using this product for the last 5 years, and we are worry-free because of ManageEngine OP manager. We are covering all our data center devices, network, services, and URLs for monitoring. Alerting is very accurate and on time. Reporting and scheduled reports help in planning resource capacity. Documentation is very useful and easy management of the console makes it user-friendly. … Being a sysadmin, I love this tool; it’s a third eye for sysadmins to monitor all infra-resources.” – Senior sysadmin in the services industry, review of ManageEngine OpManager at Gartner Peer Insights
Network monitoring providers
These are some of the top companies in the networking monitoring market, including both closed-source and open-source options:
- Pandora FMS
Read next: Top 10 Enterprise Networking Companies