In this increasingly digital world, advanced network monitoring software that can address possible networking issues, provide real-time polling performance assessments, and offer remote management functions has become even more necessary. Given these varied capabilities, you may wonder, “How much does network monitoring cost?” and what are the factors contributing to it?
Ideally, your network monitoring system should equip your IT department with the tools it needs to care for and optimize the network in your IT environment while reducing the need for manual intervention. The goal of any network monitoring is to manage complex networks so that you can make more efficient use of your IT resources and proactively address any network issues.
It is important that you consider all of these when determining your network monitoring budget. A common mistake that many organizations make is to assume that network management system pricing is a one-size-fits-all strategy. Various network management solutions may not necessarily meet your specific needs or come with unnecessary features that could significantly bloat your budget and lower your ROI.
Understanding network monitoring software costs
Your business network must support high-value operations so that you and your team can work more efficiently and effectively. Most importantly, your network monitoring systems should ensure that all network devices and other endpoints – from switches and routers to computers and smartphones – are tracked, evaluated, and optimized continuously.
Of course, you need a wide variety of tools to achieve this, and different vendors offer distinct pricing options.
Different network monitoring pricing models
There are six different pricing models to choose from: monitoring-only, per-user, per-device, tiered, all-you-can-eat, and a la carte.
- Monitoring-only provides businesses with network monitoring and alert services but not maintenance or support.
- Per-device charges a flat fee for each type of device that is used within the network.
- Per-user is similar to the per-device model, but the fee is applied per user instead.
- Tiered pricing builds several bundled packages with increasingly more expensive features.
- The all-you-can-eat model provides unlimited support at a fixed rate each month.
- A la carte bills you for specific services to address certain needs.
Other factors influencing the cost of network monitoring
- The number of SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) devices that are within your network. Given that it is almost impossible to manage and monitor so many different devices from afar, it is crucial that you have robust SNMP implementation so you can regularly receive status updates in your network monitoring software.
- How scalable is your network marketing solution? As your company – and by default, your systems – grow and evolve, so do their monitoring needs. It’s a good idea to ask your vendor about their solutions that can accommodate growth and change while still providing efficient resource utilization.
- Vendor reputation can affect network monitoring costs, particularly in assessing ROI. Knowing how trusted your vendor is within the IT industry can give you important insights into how well they deliver their products, the type of support they offer, and how well they keep agreements. You may want to conduct a vendor risk assessment.
Key features and their impact on network monitoring pricing
Essential features of network software
Your network monitoring software should help maintain compliance and security standards while proactively detecting and resolving issues or threats. “Proactive” must be emphasized here, as it allows you to address issues before they turn into bigger problems.
Integrating with proactive network monitoring is a major value proposition. Ideally, your vendor should offer these essential features:
- Real-time monitoring and customizable alerts
- Automated configurations
- Netflow traffic data
- Hardware performance data
Advanced network monitoring features and their cost implications
Your network monitoring and management software should be able to tackle numerous networking issues and provide remote management functions. With the increased need for these solutions as more businesses undergo a digital transformation, you may want to consider other advanced features to enhance your network monitoring capabilities
Balancing between must-have network monitoring features and cost
Recall that effective network management software should help you visualize your entire IT infrastructure for proactive maintenance. Nevertheless, you should work with your vendor to determine which features you need to avoid paying for unnecessary ones. As a general rule, try to look for a solution, such as NinjaOne’s network monitoring and management software, that provides a centralized and actionable dashboard for your entire IT organization.
Budgeting for network monitoring
Given the necessity of network monitoring, you may be tempted to just select a tool that has everything but the kitchen sink. However, best practices for network monitoring suggest that you always go back to the basics and follow these steps to avoid budget bloat:
- Assess your business requirements and match them with the appropriate solution
- Always account for maintenance, upgrades, and training in your budget
- Regularly review and evaluate your solution and its effectiveness
- Benchmark your solution with your competitors and adjust as needed
- Consider future trends and their possible cost implications
Network monitoring cost-saving tips
If you’re constrained with your budget, there are other ways to gain the functionality you need without compromising on quality. Some of these include looking for open-source options and modular pricing. Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, so take the time to research which one would best suit your business.
That being said, if you work in a highly sensitive industry that regularly deals with personal information, investing in a trusted network monitoring system may be a better choice. This way, you are assured that you have a significantly lower risk of data breaches or compromised devices.
Make more efficient use of your IT resources
When determining network monitoring costs, always consider the total cost of ownership and your ROI. Keep in mind that having a great solution allows you to maintain high-security service levels and constant visibility of your IT infrastructure. Choosing the right tools will help you save money in the long run while also helping support every aspect of your organization’s IT environment.