How to Ensure Your Network Makes the “Nice List” This Year
The holidays are here and with the new year just right around the corner, network operations (NetOps) teams at businesses across the globe are reassessing their networks, taking inventory of existing toolsets and prioritizing technology initiatives for 2019. After all, this is the perfect time to pause and reflect on your network management strategy, identify the problem areas and define the appropriate adjustments for the coming year. Here are three strategies every network engineer can focus on to ensure their network makes the “nice list” year in and year out:
1. Proactively anticipate bandwidth needs with capacity planning. Capacity planning is the process of ensuring that you have the resources you need to prevent poor performance or availability for business-critical applications and critical network functions. Done properly, it can be one of the most useful exercises for which NetOps are responsible because it allows you to identify utilization requirements based on site, application, device, and interface, verify load distribution and minimize network resource inefficiencies. All of this adds up to increased performance and better quality of experience for end users. Best of all, the process of capacity planning can help you reduce the costs associated with overspending (or underspending) on bandwidth. If you’re proactive about capacity planning, you can estimate the impact of upcoming changes in line-of-business requirements and new networking initiatives are likely to have on bandwidth consumption and make the necessary adjustments.
2. Understand and manage the network requirements for each application. Quality user experiences rely on high-performing applications. For instance, knowing the latency, packet loss, jitter and path quality are all key performance indicators (KPIs) that provide granular application visibility to isolate and resolve issues. So in today’s IT environment, it’s critical that every network engineer understands the network requirements associated with each business application and manages them accordingly. But this is a tall mountain to climb without granular insight into every site, link, application and device across the complex, hybrid networks that have become so commonplace today. That’s why the level of visibility provided by our network performance and diagnostics solution, LiveNX, is such a valuable tool for NetOps teams. Persistent application monitoring allows NetOps to receive automated alerts about minute changes within the networked application environment, conduct rapid issue isolation and root cause verification, and quickly remediate the issue. Without this insight, you’re often left at square one, wondering if it’s the application or the network! At the end of the day, end-user experiences can make or break a business, so visibility down to the performance changes and issues found in each individual application should be a top priority for NetOps.
3. Communicate network KPI success to leadership clearly and frequently. For some organizations’ executives, understanding the output and business impact of their NetOps team can be nebulous at best. This is not a position you want to find yourself in. One surefire way to convey the value your team delivers is to provide management with updates on network KPIs and metrics through regularly-scheduled executive-level reports. The reporting functionality provided by LiveNX does just that, offering top-level, easily-digestible updates on network performance metrics, SLA status, application conditions and more. Best of all, these reports are designed to be flexible and customizable, which enables each NetOps team to handpick and communicate the metrics and insights that matter most to their organization’s management team. Offering this level of reporting frequently ensures that the necessary stakeholders remain informed about the status of the network and engage with your team’s progress.
Failing to constantly assess and reassess your approach to network management can result in some Ho Ho Ho-rrible performance and end-user issues for your business! If you haven’t already, consider implementing these three strategies make sure your network makes the nice list each year.