The cloud demands network observability. But why?

by Editor

Why Network Observability is in Demand During the Era of IoT and Cloud in Healthcare IT?

Implementing dynamic networking infrastructure has become more critical than ever to securely connect with people, devices, applications, and data to support our evolving working environment. What can be the first thing we need to consider for this challenge? We cannot control or secure all kinds of connectivity if we don’t see what is happening in our network. By default, networks are distributed systems, and network visibility is vital in distributed systems. However, can network monitoring be good enough to better network visibility in the Cloud and IoT era? If not, what can be the solution?

The phrase “observability” is becoming more prevalent in the workplace technology field, but it’s perhaps even more significant in healthcare environments, where hospitals and healthcare providers can’t afford downtime.

– Richard Luna, CEO, Protected Harbor

This article will find the best way to gain network visibility by leveraging network observability rather than network monitoring. Let’s get started.

Why is network observability demanded in healthcare?

The healthcare industry is undergoing a massive transformation. This is primarily driven by the changing healthcare economy, but also by advances in information technology. Two of the biggest drivers are the move to mobile devices and the evolution to cloud services.

Both trends are impacting how hospitals need to manage and secure their networks. More and more hospitals are deploying mobile access points, which gives doctors and staff the ability to treat patients anywhere, anytime. And more and more hospitals are moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud.

These trends have implications on how hospitals and health systems can monitor and troubleshoot their networks. The traditional method of monitoring and troubleshooting — TCP dump — is not designed for cloud or wireless networks. It requires too much time, too many resources, and it’s not very accurate.

That’s why network observability is needed in healthcare IT today, especially as more healthcare moves to IoT (mobile devices) and the cloud.

What is network monitoring?

Monitoring is a passive data collection and surveillance practice used to measure the performance against pre-set standards. Monitoring equipment has been deployed over the years depending on more static, traditional network environments without frequent changes. However, these tools can be deployed throughout the corporate network in various ways.

It offers a centralized view of the operational health of the underlying network and infrastructure. Network monitoring might give alerts based on connectivity, downtime, or service degradation but does not give deeper cause or hypothetical exploration of unknowns provided by an observability platform.

What is network observability?

Observability, according to Gartner, is the progression of monitoring into a process that provides insight into digital business applications, accelerates innovation, and improves customer experience. So we should use observability to extend current monitoring capabilities. Network observability is a process intended to have a deep knowledge of network health to provide an optimal end-user experience. When teams observe networks deeply, they understand ways to solve problems, correct them, and improve network performance to prevent future errors. Here are the main differences:

Network Observability Network Monitoring
● It focuses on network health from the standpoint of the end-user.

● Reduce administrator time to detect root cause and remediation

● Applies a broader range of information to pinpoint the leading cause

● provide service assurance to guarantee quality services

● uses next-generation AI and streaming telemetry

● less focused on network health

● NetOps staff handle alerts manually

● Monitors deviations and baselines traffic

● Uses proven protocols and tools

Network observability uses metrics, logs, and traces to give visibility into systems and enables you to monitor your cloud resources. It helps determine the complex IT infrastructures as enterprises require more visibility across their rapidly evolving application landscapes.

The current challenges with network monitoring

The rapid shift towards cloud technology and related trends, such as SD-WAN, has changed the concept of network monitoring. Still, the traditional network performance monitoring tools are not keeping up with advanced networking technologies. Here are some issues regarding conventional network performance monitoring tools.

  • Metadata, routing policy, network security, and cloud orchestration information are not included in traditional Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) products.
  • Basic network connectivity info such as IP/MAC and port numbers are insufficient to analyze network traffic securely.
  • The tools can’t handle cloud scalability, as cloud customers produce terabytes of VPC flow logs every month. So Typical network packet sniffer solutions do not work in the cloud environment.


More and more Healthcare IT is moving to IoT (mobile devices) and the cloud. We have already talked a lot about securing your wireless network. But Network Observability is needed.

Network Observability is a solution that gives you the visibility you need to see what’s happening on your network and how it’s impacting users, applications, and services. It is that simple! What does that mean for healthcare IT? We need to know what our security posture looks like at all times. We also need to know if our employees are using these services correctly or if their policies are affecting patient care or our security posture in any way.

In this case, we are looking at securing and protecting ourselves from cybersecurity threats. What network observability does is give us the visibility we need to see what’s happening on our network and how it’s impacting users, applications, and services. And that means having the right tools in place to respond quickly when something goes wrong or needs attention if your organization is looking for a wholly secured solution partner with one of the leading healthcare security services providers such as Protected Harbor.

The Learning? Using Network Observability, businesses will get a complete picture of their networks, systems, applications, and infrastructure layers. With Protected Harbor, your company will be able to shift from a reactive to a proactive mindset, anticipating any disruptive outages or slowdowns before they happen, minimizing the impact on facilities and necessary healthcare interfaces. After all, 24/7 care is only possible if the fundamental technology on which modern healthcare is built continues to run smoothly, and observability will assist many organizations in doing just that. Get in touch with us today.

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