Stay on offense with a proactive network performance management strategy

Guided workflows and real-time analytics help networking teams blitz performance problems and optimize the user experience.

It’s football season again, and I don’t want to miss a single game! Thanks to mobile streaming, multi-channel recording and interactive TV, I can catch all the action when, where and how I want. Well, that’s the theory.

Every on-demand digital service relies on the performance of a complex array of network and infrastructure components. Just one break in the chain and the user experience will be disrupted and you’ll miss that amazing one-handed catch in the end zone.

Today’s consumers won’t settle for second best; the experience has to be top of the league all the time, every time. But meeting these expectations is getting harder. Modern hosting and networking approaches, such as cloud and software-defined networking (SDN), are increasing complexity and decreasing visibility.

Passing time         

Monitoring and maintaining performance across such dynamic and diverse infrastructures requires great teamwork. Just like the quarterback and his wide receiver, the network operator and administrator need to be able to seamlessly pass tasks and issues back and forth.

As dynamic infrastructures continue to evolve, knowing what play to execute becomes increasingly difficult. As a result, IT operations teams often end up dropping the ball completely. Performance suffers, the user experience suffers and revenue suffers.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The latest generation of network performance management solutions are designed to not only cope with complexity, but to control complexity.

Different network issues require different responses. Instead of playing defense every time, best-of-breed performance management solutions include pre-defined and guided workflows that can be adapted to reflect the make-up of both an organization’s network and IT team.

Thanks to this ‘playbook’, everyone in the performance value chain knows the next play when encountering common scenarios, such as bandwidth utilization issues, devices not responding, or ‘slow’ services. This enables organizations to stay on the offense when it comes to handling potential issues that could degrade performance.

Instead of wasting time with repeated Hail Mary passes to colleagues, network operators and administrators can get to the root cause of problems faster. This not only safeguards the user experience, but maximizes networking resources.

Play to win          

Analytics also play a key role in increasing efficiency – whether it’s a football team or a network infrastructure. By looking back at historical data, such as network flow, SNMP or SDx API data, recurring problems can be detected – and eliminated.

Analytics, such as percentile reporting, baselining and projections, take monitoring solutions from reactive to proactive. Dynamic thresholding and windowing help operators spot the difference between transient and real problems.

Analytics don’t just resolve current obstacles; they identify future opportunities. For example, the owners of the New England Patriots have created a new company based on the team’s data collection and analytics capabilities.

By embedding analytics into the service assurance lifecycle, organizations can monitor not only the performance of networking assets in real time, but also the quality of the end-user experience. So next time I want to watch a game on my mobile, I won’t miss that game-winning touchdown. Go Pats!


Brian Jackson is a Sr. Principal Consultant for Presales at CA Technologies. An industry veteran…


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