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How is network mapping different than network monitoring?

By Justin Stoltzfus | Last updated: July 2, 2020

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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Written by Justin Stoltzfus | Contributor, Reviewer

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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.

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