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What is network performance monitoring?

Network performance monitoring is the practice of tracking and analyzing the performance of network-related resources and operations to maintain secure and stable network connections. It incorporates elements of IT security, resource utilization, alerting, and analysis to maintain healthy network communications. This monitoring often requires either a suite of specialized tools or an observation platform.

Network performance monitoring is a vital part of IT operations. The practice directly affects most IT systems, including the overall security and usability of any applications or services an organization provides. For instance, packet loss or high latency can negatively affect user experience or application usability, and improper network traffic alerting can allow security threats to pass through undetected.

Network performance can also influence industry compliance requirements and networked device health. Industries such as health care and finance often have strict requirements regarding auditing capabilities and data security. To maintain a high level of transparency and behavior tracking, IT teams need observability of their entire network and its dependencies.

Network performance monitoring often utilizes alerting and visualization tools to help network administrators observe network resources and analyze activity. An end-to-end observability approach to network performance monitoring incorporates the component parts of the network, its dependencies, and consumers. For instance, complex cloud environments are composed of many applications, resources, and services. Using an observability approach centralizes analysis and alerting capabilities on a single platform that can apply AI to capture and contextualize network performance monitoring data.