An IT organization that relies heavily on the networking infrastructure will have to depend on three to six Network Performance Management (NPM) tools for performance curation. Most of such tools are siloed that makes the network operations to be more fragmented and inefficient with regard to persistent challenge for the network managers for many years. Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) asked 250 network managers to identify their preferred procurement strategy for the network performance management tools and found that enterprises have a very strong preference for a complete integrated and multi-function platform.  For example, EMA added that enterprises currently have 11 or more NPM tools giving us the most likely to state a preference for the complete integrated strategy wherein they will profess with the added need to provide the consolidated tools.

Why there are so many Network Performance Management (NPM)?

The biggest part of the problem is that enterprises need to collect and analyze so many different types of data using just the NPM tools, with various infrastructure metrics that are collected using the SNMP MIBs and traps. Such type of solution is the foundational data source for the NPM, but they don’t contain the complete scenario wherein the network managers needs from the NPM tools. Most of the enterprises can collect traffic data, including the network flows, packets, or even both. The research done by the Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) has been able to observe that a very strong interest in the synthetic traffic generated by the active monitoring tools. One of the most popular sources of data for the NPM analysis is management system APIs, so it gives a complete overview of the resources requirement. Network managers that want to calculate the data position will be pulling data from other IT management systems into the NPM tools with complete contextual analysis. Given the complete data diversity, the added tool fragmentation is just inevitable; it also gives that no vendors ever excels at collecting and analyzing every class of data mentioned. Most of the NPM vendors only excel in one or two classes of the data types meaning that enterprises are going to inevitably acquire the additional NPM tools to cover the complete gaps in the visibility.

Correlation across the complete NPM tools

Network Performance management (EMA) asked its survey participants to reveal how they can correlate various types of insights across multiple tools, one of the most popular approaches that was followed. Where 25 percent of the respondents said that they were using the network operations management platform or even the IT managers that pull various insights from the multiple available NPM tools. Correlation tools can be confusing that is typically confusing for the complete event management and alarm correlation across multiple NPM tools. Overall, 19 percent of the respondents cited that a direct integration between the point tools will assist the business to improve the correlation between the insights provided by different tools. The approach can, however, become complicated if the businesses are using more than two tools. Another 19 percent of them integrate their NPM tools with various Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology known as IT operations (AIOps) advanced IT analytics platform, while 15 percent integrated NPM tools with a service management platform and 14 percent added that NPM data to a data lake for complete correlative analysis. Only with added 7 percent said that they perform the complete correlation manually, the process is however currently inefficient and marred with several errors.

EMA had asked the enterprises how successful businesses are with their cross-tool correlation 27 percent of the respondents added they have been very successful, while 49 percent said they were just successful. The rest were however somewhat successful, somewhat unsuccessful or even uncertain. EMA classified the last one less successful that accounted for 24 percent; the question about success will allow EMA to search for the complete potential best practices.  Enterprises that tried to manually correlate the required insights across various tools are falling under the less successful cohort system. The most popular approach towards the correlation is the direct interaction between the tools that can even be integrated with manager’s requirements; however, this factor was listed as the least important when it comes to building a successful NPM.

Best Practices that can be followed

Three of the most unpopular approaches to the required cross-tool correlation was preferred by most successful organizations.  Most of the successful enterprises preferred integration with a complete service management platform or correlation using the streaming NPM data into the data lake for further analysis. Most of the successful enterprises integrated various NPM tools with AIOps platform. Addressed by experts, they believe that EMA will be offering the best approaches with best practices for addressing the problem of NPM tool sprawl. AIOps tools offer the best of solution that will be the best of option; there are many standalone AIOps platform that can fulfill the required need, provided by Moogsoft and Splunk. Furthermore, NPM vendors are even looking to develop their own tools that can provide the required solutions of AIOps platforms even they can correlate several insights across their various suites of NPM and IT operations management tools.


EMA recommended many of the enterprises that want to gain from the insights generated should investigate about the AIOps platforms if they are already struggling with network management tool sprawl. Even many of the enterprises that have integration with service management platform or use the required data lake with data analytics stack may provide the required solution. Networking solutions gain greater insights from the businesses data adding the required reliability and flexibility to making decisions.

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