Question

How is network mapping different than network monitoring?

Answer

Network mapping and network monitoring achieve two different goals, sometimes using similar techniques.

Network mapping essentially visualizes the network, to look at relationships between different components, and broader structural design. It evaluates network nodes and the ways that they are hooked up to the network in general. Different types of network mapping include Simple Network Management Protocol based mapping, where this standard is used to monitor devices like routers, servers, printers and other hardware that support it. Other methods include active probing and route analytics, a newer monitoring technique analyzing routing protocols through analysis of Layer 3 messaging between devices.

Network monitoring is evaluating a network for non-functioning or low-performing components in order to detect problems with overloading, crashed servers or other emergencies where internal elements cause damage to network performance. Techniques include routine HTTP requests to servers and other status requests. In network monitoring, administrators may look at items like uptime, the amount of time the service is available, response time and general reliability of the network.

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Justin Stoltzfus
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Justin Stoltzfus is an independent blogger and business consultant assisting a range of businesses in developing media solutions for new campaigns and ongoing operations. He is a graduate of James Madison University.Stoltzfus spent several years as a staffer at the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Penn., before the merger of the city’s two daily newspapers in 2007. He also reported for the twin weekly newspapers in the area, the Ephrata Review and the Lititz Record.More recently, he has cultivated connections with various companies as an independent consultant, writer and trainer, collecting bylines in print and Web publications, and establishing a reputation…