Not that long ago, network availability was what kept IT managers and NetOps team members up at night. They hoped that the operational status of their network environments stayed good. They feared that 3 AM issue escalation call informing them that the network was down – or worse yet, that there was an outage during the middle of the business day.
In simple terms, network availability was metaphorically represented by those little lights on the front panels of rack-mounted servers. More specifically, it was all about their three colors: red, yellow, and green. Green meant they were on East Street. Yellow meant “Hmmm. Better keep a close eye on things.” And red, of course, meant “Oh no. We have a major problem.”
Back a technology generation or two, network monitoring systems were a far cry from those we use today. With lengthy device polling periods and often spotty coverage, getting an accurate and up-to-date assessment of network availability was difficult.
It was like looking at time-lapse photos of traffic conditions at some (but not all) of the intersections you needed to watch. Did a crash just happen at the intersection of Main and Broad Street? With those earlier monitoring systems, you just couldn’t tell.
One example that the SevOne Field Team saw first-hand involved a US nationwide retail company. Prior to SevOne’s involvement, the company’s IT team were unable to get the type of complete and current data they needed from activity in its over 15,000 store locations. As a result, they have significant difficulties in locating, diagnosing and resolving and network issues that cropped up anywhere in their sizable network. They were hamstrung by their legacy system’s lengthy device polling periods, and even longer times needed for report generation. More often than not, it would hear about network problems directly from store managers before seeing them in their monitoring system.
Like the retail company’s tech team, IT and NetOps teams had an effective, if unpleasant, way to stay on top of their networks’ operational status. It was taking angry calls from users. Those were the not-so-good old days of focusing on network availability.
A New Operational Yardstick
Things have changed dramatically over the past ten or so years. Thankfully, network infrastructures have improved in leaps and bounds. Some of the important technological advancements that have helped include the following.
- Hardware improvements
- Improved router and switch designs
- Data center redundancy
- Virtualized network resources
- Software-defined networking
- Software-defined WANs
- Cloud-based network resources
These and other advances have all contributed to making our networks more resilient, and reliable, which is big step forward for increased network availability.
A New Focus on the Positive
So, with network availability, or rather a lack thereof, receding as a major concern, IT groups and DevOps teams could get out of reaction mode and start focusing on proactive ways to enhance their networks.
One such discipline that’s emerging is called ‘continuous network performance monitoring and management.’ The goal of these efforts is to make steady improvements to all aspects of a network’s operational performance. Doing so requires having timely and comprehensive network performance data – which means unified data from both traditional and next-gen network segments. It also requires fast and effective analysis of the data, full visibility through north-south and east-west views and drill-downs, intuitive dashboarding, streamlined workflow creation and sharing, and simplified reporting.
Suffice it to say that continuous network performance monitoring and management takes the old red, yellow and green status lights to entirely new dimensions.
The catch is that achieving effective continuous network performance monitoring and management requires a next-gen monitoring solution like the SevOne Network Data Platform. While there’s much more info about our Platform available on our website, let me just say that it’s the solution of choice for enterprise, MSPs, and CSPs worldwide that have the most demanding network monitoring requirements.
If you’re ready to step up from just watching out for network availability to really making a difference with continuous network performance monitoring and management, you’d do well to speak with the experts here at SevOne. They’re ready to share their knowledge. Take the first step on your path forward and contact us by Clicking Here.