Accelerating Network Troubleshooting Requires a Modern Performance Management Platform

Executive Summary

Network slowness and downtime can cost digital enterprises revenue and customers. It is essential that network operation teams accelerate the troubleshooting process to better support the business. This eBook explores how network managers should take a platform-based approach to network troubleshooting with a unified network performance management solution.

The Network Troubleshooting Challenge

Once a network operations team detects a service problem, it must race to solve it. Every minute of downtime disrupts revenue generation, business processes, and customer relationships. Network operations teams can minimize these impacts by accelerating network troubleshooting, but they require a network performance management (NPM) platform that is optimized for the troubleshooting process. Unfortunately, a variety of factors complicate troubleshooting.

Network complexity

An up-down status will not give you a full explanation of a network or application performance problem, because networks are extremely complex. That complexity is driven by:

  • Multiple vendors across switching, routing, Wi-Fi and network security
  • Multiple network domains, including data centers, the cloud, local-area networks, and wide-area networks
  • Massive scale, with dependencies that grow exponentially

How to Establish Effective Network Troubleshooting Tools and Practices

The typical network troubleshooting workflow has four steps:

Align NPM platforms to the troubleshooting workflow NPM platforms and operational processes must support the basic troubleshooting workflows with the following:

  • Dashboards to provide context
  • Alerts to reveal indicators of trouble
  • Drill down workflows to locate reports related to a problem, where network managers can search for a root cause
  • Integrations with configuration management tools

Essential troubleshooting platform capabilities

Look for NPM platforms that can provide the following insights:

  • Application performance visibility, including application response time and packet drops
  • Quality of service visibility, including settings and service-level tags
  • Application bandwidth visibility
  • Service provider SLA visibility, including MPLS SLA reports and ISP outage reports
  • SD-WAN visibility via integration with your SD-WAN overlay provider, if applicable

These insights are gleaned from a variety of data sources. Enterprises need an NPM platform that can collect and correlate multiple classes of data and provide multiple layers of visibility with unified workflows.