4 Reasons Why Every Business Needs a Network Mapping Tool

Monday, July 17, 2023

Network maps are a vital tool for monitoring and management. When you know your network, troubleshooting becomes much easier.

When issues such as excess traffic occur, IT teams can identify the devices involved using a network map and work on solving them. Here are some top reasons every business needs a network mapping tool.

Real-time Visibility

When it comes to ecommerce and delivery, consumers and companies alike demand real-time visibility to track the status of their orders. This is accomplished through dedicated GPS and telematics hardware on the truck, trailer, or container carrying the goods. With this technology, the company and consumers receive live updates on the whereabouts of their CDW shipment and are made aware of any delivery delays.

In addition to enabling real-time visibility, the best network mapping tools provide your organization with a wide range of benefits. These systems are often a component of multi-functional network management platforms that aid in security, monitoring, and troubleshooting. They can also be deployed as standalone applications that allow you to conduct a detailed inventory of your current network landscape.

The first step of any network mapping process involves analyzing and understanding the current infrastructure. This can be done by generating a topology map of your IT system. This visual representation of your infrastructure makes it easier to identify any blind spots or potential problems and then take steps to address them.

The best network mapping tools feature an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) and offer point-and-click functionality. This helps IT managers detect issues quickly and resolve them accordingly. 

Detailed Alerts

When network issues arise, you need to know the status of each device on your network. A network mapping tool can provide this information and alert you to critical events that impact the health of your enterprise.

A professional network mapping tool allows you to see the most recent status of devices on the map and use color-coded icons to identify their status. This makes it easier to quickly identify a problem and drill down into the device for more detailed information.

In addition to the device status on the map, many mapping tools offer other details about individual devices. For example, you can view each device's host and user risk scores. The higher the risk score, the more likely the device is to have a security breach that could lead to an unauthorized person entering your network.

You can also find more detail in the Alert list. This list is sorted by the alert's severity (Critical, Severe, Major, or Warning) and displays the full alert payload from the monitoring tool that generated the alert.

If planning a new network, you should use the mapping features available in some software solutions. 

Enhanced Capacity Planning

Enhanced capacity planning helps businesses determine and plan for future network infrastructure needs. This reduces problems like poor performance leading to employees being unable to work, high latency on critical business services, and customer churn, all of which can cost your business dearly.

Network mapping is a great way to see the connections between different devices, which allows sysadmins to analyze and troubleshoot issues quickly and efficiently. It also allows them to predict when a device is nearing capacity and plan accordingly. This helps to avoid outages and saves your business money by preventing overprovisioning, which can lead to wasteful spending.

Regarding resources, it's not just availability that counts; it's the staff member's skillset and level of expertise. This is why it's important to have a good process that lets you know what each team member can do regarding their time and skill set. It also helps you root project plans in reality and not the optimistic guesses of your staff about how much they can churn out in a given time frame.

Capacity planning is especially important for those businesses that are product-based. For example, a hair and beauty salon will need raw materials for its products, such as shampoos, conditioners, brushes, and other equipment. A capacity planning tool can help you determine how many of each item your business needs at any time. This prevents stock-outs, which could leave you out of business while helping you meet your customers' demands and keep them happy.

Powerful Security Tool

The network map is not only a record of how the devices in your IT environment connect; it also reveals a lot about how data flows. This information is useful in understanding your IT infrastructure, which in turn helps you take corrective action. For example, if you discover that there is a path of least resistance for untrusted traffic, you may want to change your firewall policies so that it takes more steps to reach suspicious destinations.

Many mapping tools allow you to inspect any device on a given map and view its current attributes, such as IP addresses, serial numbers, etc., Using this kind of granularity. You can monitor any IT infrastructure aspect and promptly take corrective action if a problem emerges.

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