When a network failure happens it is up to the monitoring tools to detect, isolate, and help in correcting the errors that have occurred. If the monitoring agents are working properly, they should warn the administrator immediately so he can fix the problem as soon as possible. With the increase of network size and complexity administrators are in constant need of more sophisticated network traffic monitoring and analyzing tools that can keep up with the change. The function of these tools is not only detecting problems on time, but also to preventing complete network shut down, spotting outside and inside threats early, and helping the administrators to make good planning decisions.
There a lot of different network monitoring and analysis tools that are based on various protocols such as Network management protocol, Widows management instrumentation, Sniffing and Cisco NetFlow. Monitoring systems that I am going to talk about are media monitoring tools. Media traffic monitoring tools have features that enhance visibility of media traffic in the network in order to accelerate voice, video and data application deployment and optimize the network for media traffic (VoIP, video streaming, video conferencing, Skype etc.). Media traffic monitoring must go beyond traditional utilization metrics. They also provide info on jitter, dropped packets, delay etc.
Video and audio traffic monitoring tools
Video and audio monitoring allows you to analyze real time traffic on each step. With this kind of monitoring, the administrator has the ability to look at all of the current sessions going on the network at once, and you can easily choose the session for which you need performance analysis. This tool saves the time of admin by instantly generating reports and doesn’t need manual configuration for media trace session. Another useful aspect of these tools is that they have a feature that helps you discover an IP flow’s path on the go. Most of these kinds of tools have a useful feature that enables you to monitor and troubleshoot network incidents quickly, without any additional configuration. Another aspect of media monitoring is that they offer detailed reports that include the Cisco MediaNet performance monitoring statistics that can help you monitor a troubleshoot video and data applications. The network operator can perform fault isolation of network issues influencing complex media applications, as well check the past performance of various parts of the network by using these reports.
Video and audio traffic applications
There are many applications and appliances that generate video and audio traffic in networks today. In corporate environment video traffic is most commonly generated by video conferencing and security cameras. Globalization and big corporations have made video conferencing very important. Some of the most popular video conferencing software are Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, Skype. A lot of companies today also use IP phones to cut costs. And I should not forget smartphones that have software that utilizes VoIP and can send video (Viber for instance), too. All of these applications ask for different kind of media statistics and network configuration in order to work efficiently. Therefore, it is very important to have a list of media applications that are important to you before choosing a media traffic monitoring tool.
I have done my best to explain to you the advantages of video and audio monitoring. Now it is up to you to choose the type of tools that suits you the most. Do your research, see what kind of media traffic you plan to use and monitor in your network, and choose a tool according to your needs. I hope this post helps you in the task at hand!