The best way to solve a big problem is to catch it while it’s still small. Undoubtedly, over the years you have probably heard this same sentiment expressed in a variety of different ways, and it certainly holds true for network monitoring and performance. No matter what business you are in, the importance of proactive monitoring is difficult to overstate.
Information from the research firm TRAC indicates that in 37 percent of cases, IT departments first learn of performance issues from users. Simply put, that is a major problem, because these end-users often don’t even take the time to alert an organization about problems with a website or application, choosing instead to simply abandon it, costing the company money in the process. Not surprisingly, 42 percent of organizations TRAC surveyed reported that improving the quality of the user experience is one of their top strategic goals for managing network performance, but 64 percent said that managing network performance has become more complex over the last 12 months, meaning that some of these companies are unsure as to how they’ll meet that goal.
If your IT is struggling to find and snuff out network performance issues before they become major problems, don’t worry—all hope is not lost. Here are some of the best ways to implement a more proactive network monitoring strategy:
Analyze Performance in Real Time
If you want to keep a finger on the pulse of your users’ experience, you’ll need to find a way to instantly know how a given application is performing at any moment. Simplistic tools merely report response times, but more comprehensive solutions enable network engineers to take a more detailed view of an application and provide some context into the reports being generated. With that information, the engineers have a much clearer understanding of how well or poorly an application or network is performing, and if poorly, what the possible causes are.
Match Equipment with Network Speed
Increasingly, organizations are turning to 10G and 40G networks. Unfortunately, many of these same companies are using the same network monitoring equipment they used with 1G, and often the legacy technology simply falls short. With a state-of-the-art monitoring solution that can handle today’s faster networks, information is available for real-time analysis, alerting, troubleshooting and post-capture “forensic” searches that pinpoint specific network faults or issues.
Implement Sophisticated Alerts and Notifications
With a top-flight alert system, when performance dips below a pre-determined baseline, important contacts are immediately notified. Network traffic is captured quickly, allowing for fast diagnosis and corrective action of minor issues before they become major problems.
Use a Network Traffic Dashboard
With a best-in-class solution that supports real-time dashboards, your IT team can take a broad view of your network or look closely at a specific node or protocol. Any of your IT personnel can instantly view and quickly make sense of information on the dashboard from anywhere on the network, meaning troubleshooting can take place from anywhere that you happen to be working.
Has your business used proactive network management tools to its advantage? Share your experience in the comment section below!