What do network admins accomplish with a bandwidth analyzer or bandwidth monitor?


What do network admins accomplish with a bandwidth analyzer or bandwidth monitor?


Bandwidth analyzers and monitors allow network administrators to identify and fix network performance issues, looking at response time and other factors, understanding the relationships of networked devices, and looking at bandwidth performance and traffic on a network. These tools also help IT professionals to identify "bandwidth hogs" or individual applications or services taking up more than their share of network resources. Some of the best systems also provide specific graphical user interfaces for displaying network performance in real-time.

One of the biggest features of these kinds of systems is their ability to actively show network activity in real time. Like some of those basic tools in the Windows operating system that show real-time CPU usage, bandwidth analyzers and monitors provide this kind of information in a rapidly changing chart, bar or other format, so that as soon as something starts to compromise a network or change traffic trends, administrators are able to see it immediately. This allows administrators to really look at network "flow" and moment-by-moment changes, to try to craft actionable strategies for making a network perform better. These kinds of systems can also offer different kinds of alerts and reports to be used later to look at longer-term trends, or other aspects such as device performance and condition.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus
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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.