Network performance issues are only second to downtime on IT Manager’s list of things to dread. When network performance is an obstacle to how effective your business operates, things can get ugly very quickly. SLAs are the yard stick that determine how well (or not) IT provides crucial and peripheral services, and the best way to ensure that you get a great report card is to employ network performance management tools that aid in consistent provisioning of IT services.

This week we discuss the importance of effective network performance management that maximises uptime, optimises performance and keeps the business running like a well-oiled machine. Service providers and enterprise managers understand too well the importance of providing bandwidth at consistent optimal speeds. With a culture of insatiability when it comes to bandwidth, the pressure is on to keep up with growing demands.

So, what does effective network performance management entail?

Network performance management typically entails a set of tools that allow IT Managers and engineers to keep their ear to the ground in terms of their environments, including how bandwidth is being consumed by users, devices, applications, etc.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure your network performance management yields some tangible results:

  1. Applications – Applications and their associated databases grow over time. Monitor your applications’ changing requirements and make sure that you plan for growth and increased business reliance.
  2. Understand utilisation – Getting to grips with utilisation trends give you an understanding of where things are heading and how to provision services consistently at acceptable levels to the business.
  3. Performance testing – Use the “quiet” time on the network to test new measures of increasing performance. Improper testing can turn out to be a major regret once the effects thereof become clear. Set up a testing environment and make sure you understand the implications of planned changes before going live.
  4. Trends – Keep your finger on the pulse of your network. Understanding the ebbs and flows gives you the correct perspective and allows for informed decision-making.
  5. Security – Close all security loopholes. Nothing can rob you of productive time more than a bandwidth-hogging piece of malicious software in your environment. Of course, the implications of having malicious software can be much more serious that merely affecting performance.

It is impossible to escape the reality that more complex websites, applications and devices will arrive on the technology scene. Digging your head in the sand isn’t going to make this go away. Enterprise and ISP Managers who accept this and take a proactive attitude toward future proofing their infrastructure share the correct mind-set.

Employing a network management system (NMS) will assist in the ongoing task of providing quality IT services to customers and keeps IT informed on developments. NMS solutions aid in the understanding of complex environments and provides tools for accurate capacity planning and network expansion undertakings.