Network availability monitoring system is usually the first line of defense in case of application failure. Each team of the IT organization can’t help blaming each other in case of an accident. At this time, the network availability monitoring system is an essential tool.

In fact, as long as the right system is deployed, this shirking of responsibility can not even occur again. This availability monitoring tool has complete alarm and error isolation functions. With this tool, the network team can deal with service problems in advance.

There are a variety of products in the network availability monitoring system market, including open source tools that only support limited functions and scale, and large enterprise products from large enterprise IT management suppliers such as IBM and HP. When purchasing the monitoring system, the purchasing team must integrate the enterprise needs with the network monitoring characteristics of various products.

When collecting supplier’s request for proposals (RFPs), there are several points that must be considered: easy deployment, availability, compatibility with existing infrastructure, scalability and integration support with a large number of IT management tools.

Deployment mode

When considering the deployment mode of network availability monitoring system, the first problem is to understand the authorization mode. Different suppliers have different authorization methods. Some sell licenses according to different monitoring functions, while others charge according to the number of devices or logical objects that the enterprise needs to manage. Be sure to carefully check their authorization methods to determine the use cost and maintenance difficulty of the system.

The next thing to note is the actual deployment pattern. The procurement team should find out whether the supplier has provided best practice guidance on system configuration. In addition, some monitoring systems are independently deployed software packages, while others require separate installation of various components, including database, detection system, analysis engine and front-end console. Usually, if the supplier’s product deployment includes multiple components, the latter deployment method will be adopted to achieve maximum scalability and flexibility, but this method will also add additional complexity to some enterprises.

Ease of use

The procurement team should ensure that the existing requirements of the network availability monitoring system can ensure that the selected system can operate efficiently. But this is not always the case. The research of the enterprise management association shows that there are a large number of shelf software in Enterprises – that is, some time-consuming and expensive tool software.

Management console is one of the most important characteristics of network monitoring system to be evaluated by network personnel. Is there a reasonable chart function for typical users on the system? Is the command simple enough? How much training is required for relevant personnel to learn to use the system? In this case, through a proof of concept process, network managers can truly experience the system, which can help ensure the smooth use of the system and generate value for the enterprise.

Compatible with existing network infrastructure

Many organizations mix products from multiple vendors in an enterprise environment. For example, they might use switches from one or two vendors and then use another’s border router. Also, another vendor’s wireless device may be used. When evaluating the network availability monitoring system, the style team needs to determine which vendors and platforms the tool supports.

This assessment process may need to be extended beyond the network infrastructure. Many enterprises also monitor the servers and storage connected to these systems. When examining the suppliers and equipment supported by a management system, the procurement team must also define the types of technologies it can manage. This includes virtualization technology and cloud services.

System scalability

Network availability monitoring systems may vary greatly due to the style and scale they can manage. Some vendors’ products can monitor hundreds of devices, while others can monitor thousands of devices. Moreover, some systems can only monitor one location, but other products can cover the whole enterprise.

Be sure to determine the maximum scale and distribution that the network monitoring system can support, and more importantly, determine the way for suppliers to achieve scalability. A vendor may be able to monitor a large distributed network of thousands of devices on one server. Other vendors may deploy multiple servers to various locations in the enterprise, and then bind them together through a front-end console. These differences will affect the use and complexity of the system.


Like other products, this network monitoring system is also part of a large IT management system. The purchasing team should evaluate whether the enterprise needs to integrate other management products. For example, the network engineering team may use the availability monitoring system to monitor and manage the network, while the network operation team may use a more advanced service assurance system. The integration between the two systems will facilitate collaboration between different teams.

Other potential network monitoring system features include network performance management, log analysis, application performance management, network change and configuration management, and so on. In fact, many network availability monitoring providers provide a large number of IT management tools and different degrees of integration technology. However, for the integration of third-party platforms, the procurement team should also evaluate the supplier’s technology partner ecosystem, the type of certification, and the joint support attached to these integration technologies.


Each of the features of the network monitoring system mentioned above constitutes the main part of the RFP, and they are the procurement basis of the availability monitoring system. There are a large number of different forms of products in the market, and many suppliers often exaggerate. Therefore, the network team must fully understand the requirements of the monitoring system, and then associate these requirements with the functions of the evaluated products. The procurement team should answer all these questions and verify them during the product evaluation before making a procurement decision.

Responsible editor: CT

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