We often meet customers who have made significant investments in technology solutions, yet they find their network uptime and performance levels to be under expectations. Why? Everything looked good on paper. Even the proof of concept was successful.
Over time, delivering maximized network efficiency on busy enterprise networks poses a number of challenges and questions for most IT departments. How do we quantify network efficiency? How do we become proactive in insuring our network doesn’t ‘slow down’ or ‘go down’? How do we get the information we need to manage network efficiency? What do we do with the information once we have it? Who takes the responsibility? What’s the key to insuring ongoing maximized network efficiency in the face of constant change?
Today’s enterprise data networks are highly dynamic. ‘As built’ deployments may be successful for day one, but will always need to adapt to change in order to continue delivering acceptable returns on the investment. Things change on busy data networks constantly. New users, new applications, new factors, new equipment, new conditions and new occurrences are always in play. The unique demands placed upon IT departments, combined with the nuances of maintaining enterprise networks, often prevent CIOs from achieving optimal efficiency. Constant change, a given, poses continuing obstacles to maintaining network efficiency.
In the face of constant change, IT professionals are required to successfully perform job one: Maintaining network uptime and optimizing networking performance. IT problems in the modern enterprise tend to be urgent, while IT resources tend to be limited. Profitable operations depend in large part on efficient IT operations. When the network slows down or goes down, it needs to be repaired quickly. In order to be repaired, the issues must be understood. Without the right resources engaged, this likely means large volumes of time are dedicated to putting out fires. And in most cases these reactive IT ‘cultures’ prevent the development of needed proactive resources and processes.
As change is the norm, proactively preparing for change and effectively responding to the impact of change are the keys for maintaining optimized network efficiency. Well managed network efficiency is possible by deploying three critical components.
TOOLS to notify on the presence of change is the basic element for any successful managed networking efficiency strategy. In an active and vibrant data network there will be constant new issues/factors/conditions/occurrences that, if left unattended, will cause networks to slow down or go down. Having the right tools to bring these potential threats to network efficiency to light is the first step in any
managed network efficiency effort. One thing is certain for any mission-critical data network; things will change. Receiving advanced notification of potential problems is the first step in managing network efficiency.
Defined and established PROCESSES which direct specific procedures for response to potential threats to network efficiency are also a necessary and indispensable component. Having accurate and operable information is one thing. Knowing what to do with it is another. Also knowing what information is actionable and what is not can make the difference between a successful managed network efficiency effort a colossal waste of time. The credibility of IT management is usually defined by its processes. False positives are a huge threat to sustaining successful managed network efficiency. Generating and/or not filtering large volumes of inaccurate, redundant or uncorrelated information will erode confidence in the tools and processes deployed and lead to complacency in the effort. The proper processes can insure that IT efforts to maintain network efficiency are appropriate, relevant and targeted.
Actionable information and established processes set the stage for effective network efficiency management. With the appropriate tools and processes in place, delivering maximized network efficiency is now in the hands of PEOPLE. The nature of dynamic networks does not lend itself to automated efficiency. There are simply too many moving parts and variables to automate the process. Maintaining the efficiency of highly dynamic data network requires the human element. TOOLS and PROCESSES are the prerequisites. And PEOPLE, trained and positioned to respond, are the ultimate antidote for sluggish and unstable data networks.
Maintaining the efficiency of dynamic, growing and mission-critical networks continues to pose a hefty challenge for today’s CIOs and IT management professionals. Defining, sourcing and deploying the requisite TOOLS, PROCESSES and PEOPLE is generally outside the reach of most mid-market organizations. Outsourced network efficiency solutions (e.g. Starnet’s STARWATCH) can pay big dividends in increased network uptime and maximized network performance. The technology partner that can bring this kind of outsourced service (NEaaS – Network Efficiency as a Service) to the mid-market enterprise can be an invaluable asset for today’s under-staffed and overburdened IT departments.