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Category Archives: Network Analysis

More Data, More Problems?

Big data is perhaps the ultimate double-edged sword for businesses. On one hand, the ever-growing volume of information produced by contemporary technology contains valuable data companies can use to improve operations. For that reason, a wide array of verticals—from healthcare to financial services—are launching big data initiatives. On the other hand, the data needs to be stored somewhere and transmitted on the network. In fact, a recent report from Enterprise Management Associates revealed that “increased traffic load due to big data storage/backup” is the most common change observed to network behavior by respondents.

To meet these traffic and storage demands, many businesses are increasing their bandwidth, moving from 1G to 10/40 or even 100G networks. And although this makes them better-equipped to handle more information, the higher speed involved can make the network engineer’s job more difficult, as troubleshooting grows more complex.

Fortunately, organizations increasing their bandwidth now have access to tools that ensure excellent network performance. These network monitoring solutions help make certain that no packets are lost between the network and storage, and that network engineers have all the data they need for fast, accurate analysis. Data is available in real time for analysis and can also be recorded for post-capture network forensics that help engineers re-create disruptions or attacks and prevent similar incidents in the future.

By now, many executives understand full well the possibilities big data offers. But because networks are now the backbones of so many organizations, decision makers may feel that even valuable, actionable information isn’t worth risking network health. But with the right solution, businesses no longer have to choose between getting on the big data bandwagon and feeling confident about their networks.

Click here to download our white paper, “Managing Networks in the Age of the Cloud, SDN and Big Data: Network Management Megatrends 2014.”

Wireless Network Analysis Rapidly Becoming a Must for Businesses

Offering free Wi-Fi can be a huge asset to business establishments like hotels, coffee shops, bookstores and anywhere else people want to connect. But for guest Wi-Fi to be beneficial to a business, the connection has to work—and it has to work well.

Organizations that advertise free Wi-Fi service and offer only a slow or broken connection can actually do themselves more harm than good. Customers who come to these establishments expecting a strong connection—particularly those planning to do job- or school-related work—may grow annoyed, take their business elsewhere, and perhaps even take their frustration out on online reviews—doing further damage to the business.

A wireless network analyzer can mean the difference between retaining customers and forfeiting revenue. A top-flight wireless network analysis solution like WildPackets’ OmniPeek manages the entire life cycle of a network, including both wired and wireless segments simultaneously, ensuring optimal performance at all times. The product significantly reduces network outages by monitoring performance 24×7, 365 days per year.

Of course, OmniPeek is a game-changer for mission-critical operations within a company as well. With more companies using wireless as a primary medium for data service, a wireless analyzer that can manage both wired and wireless segments of a network to ensure the entire ecosystem is operating at capacity becomes critical. Just as customers grow frustrated with unstable Wi-Fi, employees are bothered by underperforming applications they need to do their jobs effectively.

A lackluster Wi-Fi network can adversely affect your business—but tools to avoid this issue are readily available. The bottom line is that a wireless network analyzer can save you time, money and frustration. Isn’t that worth an investment?

Market for Network Forensics Tools Expected to Keep Growing

Network forensics is often thought of reactively, as a tool to be employed only after something has happened. Today, however, in which the pace and frequency of ecommerce is consistently increasing, forensics can no longer be treated as an afterthought. Rather, businesses must focus on network monitoring and analysis in real time if they hope to avoid the huge costs— both in revenue and in consumer trust—that cybercrime can take on their operations.

This importance is highlighted in a recent study that valued the market for network forensics tools between $120 and $180 million. That valuation is only expected to grow as companies compete for a share of a widening pie and focus on tighter integration of security tools.

The wide scale adoption of network monitoring tools is a result of their immense utility. Some of the benefits of the tools include:

  • 24/7 capturing of network and security data exchanges
  • Reduced mean-time-to-resolution through the elimination of crime reproduction problems
  • Better understanding of compliance issues
  • Enhanced implementation of governmental and Human Resources regulations

If those benefits aren’t enough to convince you of network forensics’ utility, you might also consider some of their wide-ranging capabilities:

  • Comprehensive data collection: Allows quick access to any and all network data in a single, easily-searchable system
  • Flexible data collection: Easily tailored to specific ecommerce needs and setups
  • High-level analysis: Eliminates the need for forced or reactionary tactics, focusing instead on preventative measures

Whatever the scope of your business, powerful network monitoring tools can head problems off and, if and when problems should occur, allow for comprehensive understanding and troubleshooting. In such a rapidly growing and competitive global marketplace, network forensics can mean the difference between crippling security issues or enhanced customer loyalty and peace of mind.

View a recent WildPackets survey on Trends in Network Forensics to gain insight on adoption, uses and importance.