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The benefits of collecting Real Time Network Intelligence

rtniReal time monitoring, on a top and middle level perspective, can be difficult to both implement and utilise in order to gain useful end-user intelligence. However, this article will explore the technology and place it within the arsenal of IT network management strategies. For the uninitiated, Real-time network intelligence examines internet protocol data that is dispersed throughout a defined network by noting key protocols and mining all built-in metadata for prompt scrutiny (Gartner, 2014). The end-product can help inform key Network Systems managers by feeding information regarding a plethora of different aspects of system usage; including bandwidth, traffic, policy awareness and development, billing, market research and security (IBM, 2014).

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There are many platforms that deliver RTNI, including top of the range systems such as Radware Inflight. Radware argue that network managers with the “ability to identify business events or security threats embedded in Web transactions will instantly improve [network operations]. It is an out-of-path network-based pervasive monitoring appliance that captures all user transactions from ‘in-flight’ network traffic and delivers real-time intelligence for business applications.” The importance, according to IBM, of the RTNI functionality in the context of network security surrounds “the centrality of real-time data and the promise of the ‘always-on’ threat assessment mentality, which permeates throughout any organization utilizing NI, mean businesses can now inform and manage IT expectations in a definitive end-user context.”

Many provision specialists, including Computrad, who use Radware Inflight, argue that the benefits of the technology “allow [users] to increase the usefulness of any independent transaction monitoring.” It is crucial to get the right level of support when considering implementing such a project; it is vital that you engage with a specialist IT security company, like Computrad, to help you develop an implementation plan, help create a culture for change and help with the long term system management of such a move.

The monitoring of networks has a long history; Miller and Hewes back in 1990 argued that the dynamic nature of networks is naturally augmented for real-time monitoring. Unfortunately, they argued that the process was still only a theoretical possibility. However, after Berners-Lee unleashed the web on the world, researchers Koeller, Weber, Huang and Malik in 1994 argued that network usage varies and that solid network design requires successful real-time performance intelligence to help gauge change and therein operations scalability. By 2004, Viola and Jones, senior Microsoft researchers, argued that real-time network-based intelligence gathering was crucial for threat assessment within the context of scalable and functional network management approaches.

The idea of Real-time Network Intelligence, as an operational reality, only started to creep into the wider body of academic and corporate research by 2011 when Bakken, Bose and Hauser speaking to the Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Smart Network Infrastructures, argued that smart networks require smart planning which in turn requires a different way of focusing upon end-user in-bound traffic. The analysis of such data, in real-time, can help network management professionals by turning their activities or actions from the current default response of being reactive to threats to constantly being proactive in analysing perceived threats before they become real threats.

The theoretical development aside, the corporate research on the technology has unearthed a body of fact that can help organisations seek to implement real-time network intelligence solutions, such as Radware Inflight into their organisations successfully. Cisco, in 2011, argued “bridging the expectations gap,” was one of the biggest strategic threats facing modern network management operations. Cisco argues that the changing nature of the network and the move away from traditional desk-based IT infrastructure and the rapid rise of mobile platforms have created an opportunity to help network managers inform organisational network infrastructure needs. However, Cisco in 2012, (working with Novell and Forrester) argued that such data requires in-depth awareness of ICT systems and that such data is crucial to help an organisation maintain a strong network infrastructure based on a solid foundation of intelligence monitoring.

Real time monitoring of your network resources can help turn your network manager’s job from a reactive role – focusing on events that are currently occurring – to a more defined pro-active role by understanding network usage and security threats – in many cases before the events occur by understanding the usage histories and events that define the organisations use of the network infrastructure to improve future operations.

Computrad’s pro-active support approach is driven by technologies such as RTNI, since it allows for a smarter service to be provided which will ultimately increase efficiency within the client organisation.

Speak to Computrad today and find out how implementing a real time network monitoring solution can help your business function more effectively.

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