Ah, spring is here. The birds are chirping, flowers are poking their heads out of the ground after long winter hibernation, and the traffic flowing over your network just increased—again. According to a report from Cisco, annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2015, and will reach 1.4 zettabytes per year by 2017.
Some of that data will undoubtedly flow through your data center. If you’ve been putting off your network spring cleaning until your traffic starts to push the upper limits of your capacity, it’s time to take a serious look at where you stand now and what’s coming down the road. The best way to do this is to embrace a network monitoring strategy that helps you understand not only the volume of your traffic but also what and who is creating it, and when. Networking monitoring can help you discover:
- What type of traffic is consuming network resources. Video and VoIP traffic can be especially troublesome, since it requires priority routing over other traffic, and all signs point to this traffic continuing to grow steadily.
- Who is causing the traffic. Is marketing creating strategic videos for YouTube or is Jack in accounting streaming NCAA games live? Knowing who is using bandwidth across the network—and understanding what type of traffic that person or group is using—can provide valuable insight into whether you have a bandwidth or an HR issue.
- When the peaks and valleys are. If your CEO calls a company-wide video conference every Wednesday at 10 a.m., you can be sure that your network administrators will assign priority to the video conference traffic, potentially slowing down other business activity. Being able to plan for peaks is a key benefit that network monitoring offers.
- How current trends map to historical data. Networking monitoring can help administrators discover how their needs have grown over time and help them plan for potential future upgrades.
If you haven’t reviewed your networking monitoring goals lately, it’s time to brush away the cobwebs. Unlike many spring cleaning tasks, you’ll be glad you took time to clean house and understand if a different network monitoring solution can help make a big difference in your network.