In many ways, monitoring a local area network (LAN) is somewhat like monitoring a larger network. Some of the same techniques may be used, such as using server monitor or VOIP monitor tools to look at data flows. LAN administrators may also use protocols such as SNMP, techniques like packet sniffing and resources like NetFLow.
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However, in larger WAN and MAN networks and other larger networks, there may be more of a demand for resources to look at distributed network environments. Administrators may take greater advantage of SNMP to monitor management hosts, or deploy more sensors or equipment to observe a larger network structure. Another difference is that although LAN monitoring often uses an Ethernet protocol, WAN/MAN or other larger network monitoring may use other methods, and larger networks may also replace items like physical network switches and hubs with routers that connect wirelessly to larger numbers of network components or nodes.