Bandwidth Monitor - Features Bandwidth Monitor - What to expect? The previous article dealt with the need for a bandwidth monitor. This article will deal with the basic functions of a 'bandwidth monitor' tool. Traffic analysis It is important to be aware of the traffic patterns in a network in order to monitor bandwidth usage. Generating highly granular and accurate traffic reports is the primary function of a 'bandwidth monitor'. It is recommended to allow options to export the traffic reports into other forms like PDF or CSV for ease of record maintenance. Setting up periodic emailing of reports gives the 'bandwidth monitor' and edge over the rest of the lot. An alerting mechanism for threshold violation is even more value for money. Trend analysis A 'bandwidth monitor' with a futuristic approach will allow trend analysis. The result of the trend analysis will help provisioning enough resources and bandwidth for future use depending on how the network grows. The bandwidth usage is studied over a period of time and this historical information helps a great deal in capacity planning. Web based A web based tool has many advantages over a tool that uses hardware probes. The possibilities of accessing bandwidth related information from anywhere through a web browser offers immense ease of use for the administrator to monitor the network. Platform independence The bandwidth monitor should be platform independent. Deploying the same tool on different platforms is a lot easier than juggling with multiple tools for multiple platforms. This flexibility of operation could offer a competitive edge over other products in the market. Network security Last but not the least, network security is a very important aspect. A network is vulnerable to a wide range of attacks like zero day attacks, denial of service attacks, virus attacks etc. The bandwidth monitor should have features that shield the network from such attacks and raise alarms when these attacks are sensed. With network landscape changing at a very rapid rate, there are bigger constraints on it. Modern day tools meant for bandwidth monitoring perform a lot more functions apart from the core functions, This has led to a war between the providers of these tools in the market. Nevertheless, the war has a positive side to it. To sustain themselves, every vendor tries to offer maximum value to the product. This has led to the increase in overall quality of the tools that monitor bandwidth in the network. A lot of allied parameters can also be constantly monitored with the available tools. To choose the best tool that suits the network is in the hands of the network Administrator. The guidelines mentioned above could be helpful in choosing the one tool that your network needs. Sai Sundhar Padmanabhan is a Marketing Analyst for ManageEngine's Netflow ANalyzer which predominantly does bandwidth monitoring. Besides merely generating bandwidth profiles, it could also be used to a lot of other purposes like monitoring Cisco's Class Bases Quality of Service(CBQoS) policies. Service providers could use it for Billing purposes as well. More information is available in the Netflow Analyzer website.
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