Network Performance Monitoring

Network Performance Monitoring Definition

Network performance monitoring is the process of measuring, visualizing, monitoring, diagnosing, optimizing, and reporting on the service quality of a network as experienced by users.

Network Performance Monitoring diagram shows the flow of data and where network monitoring is done.
Image from Avi Networks - Network Monitoring


What is Network Performance Monitoring?

Network performance monitoring (NPM) involves the management of the links between devices, workstations, servers, virtual devices, and mobile devices for the purpose of identifying congestion, maximizing throughput, and improving network performance for the user. With the use of automated network monitoring tools and network monitoring software, analysts can gather network data, identify and measure network performance variables, perform a network performance assessment, and diagnose network performance issues.

What are Network Performance Analytics?

Network performance monitoring tools gather network data from sources such as Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Flow data, Packet capture, and network infrastructure devices so that network performance and availability can be analyzed and administrators can ultimately maximize network performance. 

  • Flow data: data gathered from devices such as routers and switches that provides information regarding which entities are communicating, when they are communicating, for how long, how often, and how much data is transferred 
  • SNMP: network management tools can identify network devices, monitor and optimize network performance, identify and continuously monitor network changes, and determine network device status in real-time
  • Packet capture: captures a packet of data passing from cloud based or data center sites through a network in real-time and stores it for future analysis -- aids in monitoring network health and application network performance, troubleshooting service problems, network capacity planning, monitoring security and incident responses.

Network performance testing tools can enable historic, real-time, or predictive analysis of a network’s performance. Engineers typically diagnose and analyze the following categories of data collected:

  • Bandwidth: measures the available maximum rate at which information can be transferred through different points of a network
  • Throughput: measures the quantity of information being transferred
  • Latency: measures network delays experienced by clients, applications, and servers
  • Errors: measures raw numbers and percentages of errors such as Transmission Control Protocol retransmissions, out-of-order packets, and packet losses

How to Analyze Network Performance

Network performance analytics and reporting are crucial to network monitoring and optimization. Network performance analysis tools and software provide visualization and reporting solutions on a customizable dashboard that can ingest all network data sources and provide real-time performance visibility, which enable analysts to quickly gain insights, proactively identify and resolve issues across a network, and improve network performance overall.

A network performance dashboard for a high performance network should provide a highly configurable environment in which analysts can access at-a-glance views of the entire network, precisely analyze bandwidth and utilization, identify network traffic issues, navigate between specific sites and devices to quickly isolate issues, and use historic data to analyze issues. Network performance assessment solutions are available in both proprietary and open source versions.  

While network performance monitoring software facilitates routine network performance tests, researchers and students may choose to use network performance modeling and simulations in order to analyze computer network behavior without potentially causing service performance degradations.

Does HEAVY.AI Offer a Network Performance Monitoring Solution?

In order to proactively identify network issues before they reach the customer, network analysts require access to network infrastructure monitoring tools that can instantly query and visualize billions of internet transactions and continuous flows of sensor data packets across entire telecommunications networks.

HEAVY.AI leverages the parallel processing power of CPUs and GPUs to accelerate SQL queries and facilitate interaction with real-time telco network data analytics and visualizations, enabling data analysts and scientists to rapidly discover actionable intelligence regarding network performance, signal strength, security, download speeds, signal-to-noise ratio, and the quality of the customer experience. Learn more about how HEAVY.AI supports big data analytics in the telecom industry.