Network Performance Monitoring: Protocols, Best Practices, and Tools

Network performance monitoring (NPM) is a technology that enables organizations to rapidly identify and troubleshoot problems affecting the performance of networks. NPM can be used to troubleshoot network issues, as well as to detect fraudulent activity. Network performance monitoring (NPM) is the process of collecting and analyzing data about a network’s performance to identify and troubleshoot problems. NPM can be used to monitor a wide range of network metrics, including bandwidth utilization, latency, packet loss, and response times.

Network Performance Monitoring: Protocols, Best Practices, and Tools

  • Protocols
  • Best practices
  • Tools

What is Network Performance Monitoring?

Network performance monitoring is the process of collecting, analyzing, and reporting on network performance data. The goal of network performance monitoring is to detect, diagnose and resolve problems with network performance.

Network monitoring can be broken down into four main categories:

  • Protocols – These are the messages sent between two devices on a network (e.g., IP packets). Protocols are defined by their type (TCP vs UDP) as well as their purpose: transport layer where data is transferred over networks; presentation layer where data is formatted for display; session layer where multiple connections may exist between devices at any given moment in time; application layer where applications execute within these sessions

There are a number of different protocols that can be used for NPM, including:

  • SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol): SNMP is a widely used protocol for monitoring network devices. SNMP can be used to collect a variety of metrics from network devices, including bandwidth utilization, latency, and packet loss.
  • NetFlow: NetFlow is a network traffic monitoring protocol that provides detailed information about network traffic flows. NetFlow can be used to identify network bottlenecks and troubleshoot performance problems.
  • sFlow: sFlow is a network traffic monitoring protocol that is similar to NetFlow. sFlow is often used as an alternative to NetFlow because it is more efficient and can collect more data.
  • IPFIX: IPFIX is a successor to NetFlow and sFlow. IPFIX is a more standardized protocol that can collect even more data than NetFlow or sFlow.

The best practices for NPM vary depending on the specific network environment. However, some general best practices include:

  • Monitor all critical network devices. This includes routers, switches, firewalls, and servers.
  • Collect data from all critical network devices. This data can be used to identify performance problems and troubleshoot issues.
  • Set up alerts for critical metrics. This will help you to be notified of performance problems as soon as they occur.
  • Use a network monitoring tool that is easy to use and manage. This will help you to get the most out of your NPM solution.

There are a number of different network monitoring tools available on the market. Some popular options include:

  • SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
  • ManageEngine OpManager
  • Nagios
  • LogicMonitor
  • PRTG Network Monitor

The best network monitoring tool for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements. It is important to evaluate different tools and choose one that is right for your organization.

Network performance monitoring is an essential part of network management. By monitoring your network, you can identify and troubleshoot problems before they impact your users. This can help to improve the availability and performance of your network.

A definition.

Network performance monitoring is the process of measuring, detecting, and analyzing the quality of network performance. It’s distinct from capacity planning in that it focuses on measuring current and historical network conditions rather than future requirements.

Network management is an entire field dedicated to ensuring that networks are functioning properly—and it encompasses many tools and processes beyond just monitoring. For example:

  • You can use SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) devices on your routers or switches to collect data about traffic flows in order to troubleshoot problems before they arise;
  • You can use Telnet-enabled devices such as Cisco routers and switches across campus networks, so you know where all the connections are coming from/going too;
  • You can use ping command lines over HTTP/S ports on servers running web applications like Apache HTTPD web servers


Network performance monitoring is a critical part of ensuring the stability and reliability of your network. It’s also an important part of managing a large network infrastructure, which can be very costly to maintain without proper tools in place.