5 Essential Network Monitoring Tools for Network Administrators

A network administrator is an IT professional who manages a company’s network and IT infrastructure. Network admins keep the company’s network operational by monitoring, managing and troubleshooting the data center and local area network. They also install, maintain and upgrade the servers, routers, switches and other hardware and software that run the network.

Why Do Network Administrators Need Tools?

The right network monitoring, management and troubleshooting tools give network administrators clear visibility into what is happening on their network(s), allowing them to fix any issue that is causing problems or downtime.

So what tools are essential to a network administrator? Let’s start by detailing which tools you need to troubleshoot your network locally.

Local Network Monitoring Tools

USB Cables

USB cables are an important tool for any network administrator. They allow you to connect all the different network devices in your environment with ease. Simply plug in the device and it works. And there’s no need to turn off your device or reboot when making or changing a connection — USB devices are completely hot-swappable. View shop 

USB to Ethernet Adapters

USB to Ethernet adapters allow you to connect devices that do not have Ethernet ports, like notebooks, tablets and laptops, to the wired local area network. These adapters are plug-and-play and provide the same network speeds as normal Ethernet cable. View shop

USB to Serial Adapters

Serial console ports are used by IT admins to reconfigure, reboot or reimage IT equipment. The challenge is that laptops and tablet computers carried by technicians do not support RS-232 console ports. USB to serial adapters solve this challenge enabling admins to use USB-A and USB-C ports on laptops to connect to serial DB9 and RJ-45 console ports. View shop

Remote Network Monitoring Tools

Console Servers

Console servers provide out-of-band (OOB) network management. Network administrators can use OOB management with console servers to reconfigure, reboot and reimage remotely across the internet or WANs, even if the primary data network is down.

Console servers are a good solution for large distributed enterprises with multiple branches — such as banks, insurance companies, hospitals, utilities, retail and school systems — that may not have IT staff on-site. Network administrators can choose from a wide range of port densities to suit the application. For example, one console server may have as many as 48 RJ-45 serial ports for remote management of assets in data centers. Other console servers may have just four ports and are suited for connecting LAN switches and routers in data closets.

Console servers can be connected to a management network separate from your data network to ensure access to your system and devices at all times. Backup paths are achieved in several ways:

  • IP/Ethernet over LAN or WAN
  • Dial-up POTS
  • Cellular wireless

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Environmental Network Monitoring Tools

Environmental Monitoring System

An environmental monitoring system consists of monitoring hubs and intelligent sensors. This comprehensive system actively monitors the conditions in your rack, server room, data center or anywhere else you need to protect critical networking assets. Use it to monitor for extreme temperatures, humidity, power spikes and surges, water leaks, smoke and chemical materials that can harm your network equipment. Black Box’s AlertWerks™ environmental monitoring system automatically alerts you to any environmental conditions that can adversely affect your mission-critical equipment, so you don’t have to worry about overlooking critical information. It also allows you to remotely manage every network device in your data center to ensure your servers operate at peak performance.

Additionally, you can use AlertWerks™ to protect your data center and work environment from criminal activity. You can connect security cameras, smoke detectors, motion detectors, sirens, strobe lights and other security sensors to the AlertWerks™ system and control them from one location, ensuring no malicious activity takes place.

AlertWerks™ is truly designed to protect your network equipment and keep it running at all times, making it the essential environmental monitoring tool for network admins. View shop

Network Monitoring Tools Made for Network Administrators

Black Box is your one-stop shop for network connection, monitoring, management and troubleshooting tools. We have USB cables and adapters, console servers, monitoring hubs, sensors and other powerful products that can help you optimise your network and maximise uptime. Discover them all on our networking solutions page.

Not Sure Which Tools You Need for Your Network?

If you aren’t certain what tools would work best for your network, contact us today. One of our networking experts will be happy to find you the exact tools that can take your network to the next level.