Achieve 24/7 network availability with comprehensive uptime monitoring

Businessman on blurred background using tech devices

November 01, 2023

The ability of an organization’s network to support end users and ensure business services excellence is largely determined by a metric called network uptime. A failure in ensuring uptime can negatively impact your organization’s business delivery, resulting in underwhelming customer experience, which when left unresolved could further aggravate into financial and reputational losses.

Manually attending to the network to ensure network uptime 24/7 will take up considerable manpower from the IT operations team. This is why IT admins employ monitoring mechanisms that can track and ensure network uptime, notifying the network admins proactively about bottlenecks that could lead to network outage.  

What is uptime monitoring?

The term “uptime” refers to the duration during which a network remains operational without interruptions. It is an indicator of reliability of a system or network and directly impacts the accessibility of network devices, websites, and various services. Uptime monitoring involves assessing the availability of network components by sending pings. When a device fails to respond to a ping, it is deemed unavailable or offline.

What are the advantages of uptime monitoring?

  • Uptime monitoring ensures that your business remains accessible to customers when they are online. When a network experiences downtime, your services become temporarily unavailable until the problem is resolved, potentially causing customers to seek alternatives.
  • An uptime monitor provides automated alerts in the event of a device or network outage. It not only detects the nature and root cause of the disruption but also assists in promptly resolving the critical issue. Furthermore, all instances of outages and related problems are meticulously documented and stored as historical reports for future reference.

How to determine network uptime

In organizations with complex networks, the inevitability of downtime looms large as a threat, underscoring the importance of directing your efforts toward reducing the occurrence and length of these disruptive downtimes, as they can exact the most substantial toll on your business’ operations.

As a first step, let’s understand how to arrive at the network uptime for each year:

Let’s say your network was down for one day (24 hours) during an entire year. This is how network uptime for that year can be calculated.

How network uptime can be improved

To minimize network downtime, it’s essential to begin by pinpointing the key factors that indicate the likelihood of a network failure. You can obtain crucial performance metrics and indicators for effective network management by analyzing the following elements:

Network health

Amongst the multitude of networking functions, the primary and essential indicator is network health. As various network components take shape within a larger network, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. To overcome the challenge of device siloing, the solution is to create a unified network map that encompasses all assets, including interfaces, physical and virtual devices, and their interconnections. By doing so, you gain a comprehensive overview of your network’s health status at any given moment.

Security patches

As networks grow in complexity, so does the need for deploying patches and security updates. However, implementing these updates can be a challenging process, especially when system restarts are required, leading to network unavailability.

To address this vulnerability, careful planning and resource management are essential. Business-critical applications must run without interruption. Therefore, it’s crucial to schedule maintenance breaks in advance during periods of low network usage, whether that’s a specific time of day or week. The key is to ensure that these maintenance windows are as brief as possible. Additionally, having a failover or fail-back system in place is advisable to safeguard the network in case of device failures.

Hardware warranties

Hardware warranties are of utmost importance for organizations managing extensive networks with numerous endpoint devices. These warranties play a vital role in offsetting a significant portion of maintenance costs. Warranty information provides valuable insights for organizations, allowing them to assess which devices have exceeded their warranty periods. Armed with this knowledge, IT administrators can pinpoint devices that are approaching a critical state, posing a substantial risk of failure, and evaluate how such failures could impact network performance.

Software inventory

Similar to hardware, investing in a variety of software applications is crucial. However, managing updates, upgrades, and software licenses across the entire company can pose significant challenges. To address these issues, employing a unified tool with a range of network management capabilities can effectively eliminate the hassles associated with constantly switching between tools and managing licenses, all while reducing capital expenses.

Work with an expert uptime monitor

Efficient network management is essential for enhancing productivity, increasing revenues, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Hence, the selection of an appropriate network uptime monitoring tool holds significant importance. Let’s explore how ManageEngine OpManager, a network monitoring solution, fulfills uptime monitoring tailored to an organization’s specific requirements.

Device uptime

OpManager conducts device uptime monitoring through protocols such as ICMP, TCP, or SNMP. When a device fails to respond to a predetermined number of polling attempts, it is categorized as unavailable. You have the flexibility to configure and fine-tune the number of ping attempts and the intervals between pings to align with your specific needs.

Interface uptime

Interface uptime monitoring is done for a variety of interfaces including Ethernet and ISATAP adapters. The monitoring is done using SNMP. OpManager lets you monitor a number of interface performance metrics.

Service uptime

Services are a crucial component in maintaining the online and optimal performance of your servers. OpManager takes on the role of a server uptime monitoring tool, enabling you to oversee system-level services such as DNS, SMTP, LDAP, Telnet, HTTPS, Microsoft SQL, and MySQL. This comprehensive approach ensures effective server management.

Windows service uptime

Windows services play a vital role in maintaining server functionality. OpManager facilitates the discovery and monitoring of any Windows services through the WMI protocol. Administrators can configure OpManager to automatically restart or stop a malfunctioning Windows service.

Process uptime

Similar to services, processes are essential for server operation. OpManager allows you to monitor the uptime of processes across a variety of platforms, including Windows, Linux, Solaris, UNIX, HP-UX, IBM AIX, ESX/ESXi, and VMware servers, as well as virtual machines.

Website uptime

OpManager enables continuous, 24/7 monitoring of website availability. It offers the flexibility to set up monitoring for a variety of web elements, including HTTP and HTTPS URLs, intranet sites, web server farms, web applications, as well as Windows New Technology LAN Manager (NTLM) authenticated websites, and more.

OpManager’s dashboard feature can be configured to display the real-time holistic status of the uptime of various aspects of a network. This facilitates easier issue identification and enables network admins to enact remediation measures promptly.

OpManager offers a wide range of monitoring features, including network uptime tracking. This tool effectively monitors network uptime and provides timely alerts in case of issues. Through comprehensive monitoring of uptime and other essential network metrics, you can ensure the continuity of your business operations, even during network disruptions.

OpManager is a part of ManageEngine’s ITOM suite of solutions. Apart from network monitoring, this suite also offers solutions for streamlining server monitoring, application monitoring, bandwidth monitoring, configuration management, firewall security and compliance, and IP address and switch port management. This is why ManageEngine’s ITOM solutions are the ideal choice for over one million IT admins worldwide.