In network management terms, network monitoring is the phrase used to describe a system that continuously monitors a network and notifies a network administrator though messaging systems (usually e-mail) when a device fails or an outage occurs. Network monitoring is usually performed through the use of software applications and tools.
At the most basic level, ping is a type of network monitoring tool. Other commercial software packages may include a network monitoring system that is designed to monitor an entire business or enterprise network.
Some applications are used to monitor traffic on your network, such as VoIP monitoring, video stream monitoring, mail server (POP3 server) monitoring, and others.