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Category Archives: Network Monitoring

How Much Do You Really Know About Your Application Performance?

Oftentimes, when we think about network performance and reliability, downtime and its massive financial impact immediately spring to mind. But as executives and IT professionals understand, a network doesn’t have to crash completely to sap a company’s revenue. Sometimes it only takes one troublesome application to sap the bottom line.

Indeed, most business leaders are well aware of how important quality of service for applications is to customers. From online shopping carts to customer service chat, users simply won’t wait for an application that lags or stalls. In an era when consumers expect instant gratification, waiting is a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, many of the available tools for application and network monitoring are overly simplistic, reporting the application’s response time but offering no detailed analysis about what is causing the problem. In that regard, the difference between WildPackets’ solutions and other products is night and day.

The OmniPeek Network Analyzer allows network engineers to drill down through detailed analysis and reports to get to the heart of any problem and troubleshoot quickly. These detailed data views provide engineers an unprecedented understanding of how networks and applications are performing and how that performance is affecting end users. OmniPeek also offers application performance monitoring in the context of overall network activity with metrics like:

  • Round-trip network delay
  • Server responsiveness
  • Database transactions per second
  • Application vs. network response times

Even if your development team creates dynamic applications your competitors don’t offer, they can’t create value if they don’t perform optimally. Like any offering, applications are assets that should be protected—and with the OmniPeek Analyzer, yours will be safe and sound.

Click here to download our white paper, “Application Performance Index: Measuring the Quality of Experience.”

Security Series Part 4: Five Crucial Strategies for BYOD Security

The upside to the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and laptops is that they allow your employees to access important work-related information from just about anywhere, improving collaboration and productivity in the process. Personal mobile devices can also save your business money because you won’t have to lay out cash for company-specific mobile tools.

The downside to the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, however, is that anywhere, anytime access can create significant security concerns for both you and your customers. Efficient mobile communications are a necessity in today’s global marketplace. At the same time, companies must always be cognizant of what information employees are accessing on-the-go and how they are viewing it.

Fortunately for companies with dispersed workforces there are strategies and solutions that can severely limit BYOD risks. Let’s take a look at five critical ways companies can ensure their BYOD policies are as strong as possible:

  •  Go beyond device security: It’s important to maintain security protocol at the device level. It’s equally important to have visibility into the data traffic from these devices.  Effective Network monitoring tools give engineers a high-level view, along with their associated traffic patterns, of every node on the network at all times.
  •  Run a pilot program: There is no way to fully anticipate the problems you’ll run into when you launch a new protocol. That’s why running a trial program is crucial. Pilots allow your company to encounter and solve actual issues as they crop up, rather than just hypothetical scenarios.
  •  Invest in training: Employees can’t be expected to abide by BYOD policies they don’t fully understand. Nothing will prepare your workforce for the rigors of remote work quite like teaching them exactly how your company would prefer they use their devices, as well as covering what should remain off-limits.
  •  Involve all company departments and stakeholders: Network security affects every department, from billing to HR to customer service. A data breach in any of these divisions can wreak havoc across an entire organize. Employees in these departments need to understand that network security is everybody’s job, not just IT.
  •  Consider all industry requirements: As mobility proliferates, many regulations are continually put in place to keep it a safe space. Ensuring your company is up-to-date on the latest requirements will stave off many future issues. It’s especially vital that companies also understand their own verticals and the regulations—like HIPAA laws for healthcare, for instance—with which they must remain compliant to avoid fines and penalties.

Even when your company is on top of all these issues, it can never hurt to have a helping hand or a second set of eyes. For this reason, companies like WildPackets, who specialize in troubleshooting and wireless network forensics, can bring peace of mind to even the most forward-thinking organizations.

Click here to download WildPackets’ whitepaper on BYOD security for mission critical applications.

So You Have Decided to Adopt SDN… What Now?

Looking to reap benefits like traffic flexibility and self-monitoring capabilities, businesses are increasingly turning to software defined networking (SDN) as an alternative to legacy hardware-based architecture. But if your business recently deployed SDN, you might be wondering exactly how to maximize its effectiveness.

While SDN simplifies some aspects of network management by placing control of various devices in one place, it also creates some issues. For instance, the technology may:

Make application management more difficult because the traffic path is automated

  • Cause troubleshooting to be more challenging because not all network devices are produced by a single vendor
  • Require a significant learning curve for network engineers unfamiliar with the architecture

Network monitoring tools can be a cure for these SDN ills. For instance, real-time performance monitoring helps ensure that even automated applications are running smoothly and alerts network engineers to any potential issues.

Moreover, network flows analysis simulates the effects of possible events to ensure the network is able to handle any sudden changes. Additionally, network forensics help identify security threats and inform network managers of problems before they escalate and result in data breaches.

Like many emerging technologies, SDN offers real promise for organizations that are prepared for implementation. But refusing to adopt SDN in an environment where it makes sense, simply out of fear, is bad business as it may keep your network from operating at its full potential. Network monitoring tools are created to optimize performance; you simply have to let them do their jobs.

Download our whitepaper, “Managing Networks in the Age of Cloud, SDN and Big Data: Network Management Megatrends 2014,” by clicking here and learn more about getting the most of SDN.