5 Considerations When Choosing a Network Performance Platform
We’ve dedicated the month of February to exploring the ins-and-outs of the innovative Network Performance Platform. Check out our comprehensive series on how to choose a network performance platform, where we take a deep dive into everything a modern, digital business needs from the solution. In addition to this article, readers are encouraged to review the following:
- Read the Buyer’s Guide: Five Criteria for Choosing an Enterprise Network Performance Management (NPM) Solution for Cloud Managed Service Providers
- Explore the Business Use Cases: Is Your Network Monitoring Tool Meeting Business Objectives
- Watch the Webinar: Discussing the Five Criteria for Choosing an NPM featuring Timothy Rhodes of Apprize360 Intelligence
- Not in the mood to watch the webinar? We’ve distilled it into a PDF if you’d prefer to read the slides: Webinar Slides PDF
- Get the definitive FAQ for Buying an NPM Solution: Ten Questions to Ask When Evaluating Network Performance Management Solutions
Key Factors to Consider in a Network Performance Management Platform
When selecting or replacing a network performance management solution it’s critically important that has a wide array of features and is not only addressing current needs but will be able to grow with the organization. Network monitoring is a key component of any modern business, whether you’ve completed a digital transformation or not. Monitoring bandwidth usage, keeping an eye out for threats, or maintaining up time and efficiency are commonplace issues that can be addressed with a thorough NPM.
More than a tool used to monitor and manage, a proper NPM can save your (already overworked) IT professionals with something we all could use more of – time. It can eliminate the need to spend endless hours glued to a screen, waiting for the inevitable to happen. Which gives back to your business in more ways than one. Ready to put your platform to the test? Let’s explore the five key factors to consider in a network performance management platform.
Does it Provide Full Network Visibility?
Network Management teams routinely perform several activities to plan, deploy, upgrade, maintain, troubleshoot, and monitor the network. Each of these activities are extremely data-driven and are heavily dependent on the network team’s accurate understanding and interpretation of the data coming from applications, network devices and the traffic moving over their network. One piece of the puzzle when looking to alleviate these stressors on NetOps is empowering them with a network performance management platform that provides full end-to-end visibility.
Legacy tools are no longer an option when it comes to network monitoring. If your tool does not monitor and manage the entire network – SD-WAN, Cloud environments, wireless devices, datacenters, VoIP, and applications you are incapacitating your NetOps professionals from being able to accomplish their jobs efficiently and effectively. The reasons for full network visibility is seemingly endless, enable faster troubleshooting, create intuitive workflows, performance insights, root-cause analysis and more.
Promotes Network Scalability and Growth
No enterprise is looking to stay stagnant, so why should your NPM? Every day, whether you realize it or not, the network is evolving. For this reason, decision-makers should look beyond today’s needs of the network and look to the future. While this may be difficult, especially if a proper IT roadmap is not in place, but it’s crucial to understand where not only your business is going, but the technology that supports it as well.
Considering tool sprawl plagues the majority of IT professionals, who utilize three or more tools to monitor the network, the NPM you are considering should support and scale past single use. Unknowingly creating a blind spot in the network by ignoring its ability (or inability) to scale can create chaos for IT staff.
Analytics and the Data of it All
A comprehensive NPM solution should do more than provide monitoring and visibility into the network, it needs to give IT staff with the right data as well. Network traffic monitoring is a given, but what about packet capture analysis, application performance (more on that later), and pinpointing painful challenges within the network itself.
An NPM should give real-time visibility into packet data, flow data, WI-FI data, and device data. Having a single platform to manage and troubleshoot the network from the campus, WAN, cloud, data center and SD-WAN is imperative for the modern business. Additionally, gathering real-time and historical data can help you understand any ongoing current issues and historical challenges.
Application Visibility and Performance
Applications have seen quite the evolution over the last few years. Networks would host a few applications that were business-critical, but the business was not reliant on them as we are today. Today, especially as of 2020, applications are key to day-to-day functions of the average office worker. Looking to meet with teammates across the globe? If your VoIP applications are not up to par, you’ll find it almost impossible to share your screen and hold a meeting at the same time.
Applications can be hosted either on-premises or in the Cloud, so be sure your NPM can serve both or either. To be honest, the average person doesn’t care where their application is hosted, it simply needs to work and drive business objectives. The NPM should provide insights when troubleshooting applications deployed in the datacenter, public cloud, or hybrid network. Additionally, there must be an understanding into how a network is being used, how applications are performing, and which sanctioned or unsanctioned applications are being used.
Trend Alert: AIOps, Machine Learning and Advanced Detection
You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard that AIOps is the next big thing in innovative tech. Machine learning can support scalable anomaly detection, dependency mapping, & event correlation, which is a big must-have if you’ve been paying attention to this list. Enabling a solution that is able to learn and predict anomalies in the network before it happens is a true gamechanger to the field. Imagine the time and cost savings you can look forward to when your NetOps team is alerted to problems well before they’ve begun to impact the network!
Additionally, AI and ML tools are able to quickly visualize and provide valuable insight into how the network is performing. Algorithms are able support dynamic performance correlations, including determining which voice traffic to prioritize, when to throttle bandwidth, and whether a user’s access should be blocked.
LiveNX Optimize Your Entire Network – From Core to Edge to Cloud
With LiveAction’s unified platform, LiveNX, enterprises are able to eliminate the cost and complexity of managing point solutions, reduce meantime to resolution, and save days documenting activity by leveraging automated reporting.
Our customers become more proactive by leveraging network analytic and AI/ML techniques to identify and fix issues before an application or network problem impacts the business. Enterprises can proactively plan for change in the network, whether a new SD-WAN deployment, critical business application, or migration to the public cloud. Want to learn more? Reach out to one of our experts for a one-on-one demo of everything we can do.
What’s in Your Network?
To deliver maximum value and easily support future initiatives, organizations must ensure the network meets business objectives, full network and application visibility for better decisions, and reduce cost to operate the network operation.
Interested in learning more about what criteria every network performance management solution must have to stay ahead of the curve? Check out this exclusive NPM Buyer’s Guide! The guide contains profiles on the top NPM Vendors on the market today and scores them against five key criteria that is absolutely necessary for every modern digital business.