Solving 3 Painful Network Performance Issues

Network performance issues come in all shapes and sizes and can require vast amounts of time and resources to solve. The one thing that unites all network performance woes is the fact that network operations (NetOps) teams need to do everything in their power to correct the problem before it impacts end-user experiences and the proverbial bottom line.

Here are three examples of painful network performance issues you’re likely to encounter this year, and how to handle them:

1. Horrible VoIP / Unified Communications Interruptions

Picture this: A multinational pharmaceutical company with widely-distributed development, operations, and manufacturing recently installed an extensive (and expensive) telepresence solution. It enables global collaboration and helps the company bring products to market more quickly by leveraging the most talented employees, regardless of their location. But unfortunately, the quality is poor, resulting in team members constantly saying, “Why is the meeting quality we just experienced so bad? Didn’t we just spend millions on this system? It’s so frustrating.”

In most cases, poor performance can be traced to Quality of Service (QoS) misconfigurations. And this becomes ever more likely in a highly-distributed network where traffic flows through multiple network devices, all which must be properly configured. With LiveNX you can reduce configuration errors with easy-to-apply, rules-based QoS policies and templates. The ability to save, backup, and deploy automatically-scheduled configuration changes means policies are consistent and accurate across the entire network. As policies are implemented, real-time performance reports can quickly identify errors for immediate remediation. Competing solutions lack the end-to-end visibility LiveNX provides, making it the best solution to resolve QoS issues impacting UC performance across complex networks…and eliminate employee complaints about QoS for good.

2. The Dreaded “Poor Performance” Report

Imagine that a handful of Tier 1 support engineers at a global network equipment manufacturer with distributed, “follow-the-sun” technical support centers are reporting problems when using the online support software. The engineers only experience this problem occasionally, oftentimes making it all the way through the call, but sometimes experiencing long delays (10-20 seconds) per entry into the system. This is creating poor customer experiences and generating a needless increase in support escalations.

The problem is not specific to a location, and a number of users have experienced the occasional slow-down.

Intermittent problems like this can be some of the most challenging and time-consuming for IT to track down. But, not with LiveAction. Starting with an enterprise-wide topology map and the ability to set alerts for (in this case) application and network latency on the application in question, network engineers can quickly see who is experiencing the problem, when they are experiencing it, and the general conditions during which the problem arises. By comparing application and network latency measurements, NetOps can see the network is responding quickly, but at times, the application is not.

Assuming the network has been configured with a LiveAction packet capture appliance in at least one location where problems are being experienced, the network engineer can then drill into the network packets themselves, all the way into the payload, to see the specific application calls are made when the delays happen, and any errors reported as a result. With this level of detailed information in hand, NetOps is armed with the evidence they need to approach the application team and quickly address the problem. LiveAction is the only network monitoring solution that can go from an enterprise-wide topology view directly into the specific network packets for given network flow, making LiveNX the only solution capable of quickly solving intermittent problems across complex networks.

3. Wait – What Just Happened? We Need Instant Replay!

In just about every case, you hear about a network issue after it’s happened. That usually leaves you with two less than ideal choices. The first is to wait for it to happen again. Depending on the severity of the problem, that may not even be an option and even if it is, it just about always comes with some level of business impact. The second is to work to actively reproduce the problem. This is often very time consuming, and sometimes requires the time and cooperation of the person reporting the problem, hampering productivity for everyone involved.

Enter, LiveNX. Our solution actively stores raw Flow data that allows you to go back in time to replay a flow and watch the transport service across the network for forensic analysis. When using LiveNX, there’s no need to wait for the issue to happen again “in the wild,” or to attempt to recreate it manually. You already have a recording of the flow or flows in question. And LiveNX doesn’t average up the data. With other network management solutions, if you don’t catch the problem soon enough, the data gets rolled up into minute reports, which skew the data and often make it unusable for forensic analysis. When used in combination with LiveCapture appliances, the network packets that comprise the flow or flows in question are also stored by LiveNX, providing the most complete data set available for troubleshooting complex network and application issues.

These are just a few examples of the many types of network performance problems NetOps teams experience every day. As you can see, if you’re equipped with the right network management tools and in-depth insights, these issues can be identified, analyzed and resolved much more quickly.

To learn more about how LiveNX can help you with your most painful network performance issues, check out our capabilities here and/or request a demo today.

Jan. 8, 2019

Jay Botelho

Engineering Director