Your 6-Item To-Do List for Effective Network Monitoring

At SevOne, we’ve been working on and solving tough network and infrastructure monitoring challenges for some time now. Most often we work with very large enterprises, carriers and MSPs. From helping them to get more performance and value from their existing networks, to helping them make smooth transitions into the software-defined world, we’ve pretty much seen and done it all.

During thousands of engagements with hundreds of customers, we’ve come to understand the process required for success, regardless of the performance monitoring challenge at hand. Remarkably consistent, that process includes six basic steps:

  • Collecting
  • Baselining
  • Alerting
  • Reporting
  • Analyzing
  • Sharing

Using these six building blocks, we’ve helped customers to walk (monitoring all of their networks’ performance), trot (analyzing that activity) and run (generating actionable insights about network health in real time).  And we’ve worked with them to refine their specific processes to eliminate wasted time and energy, and to maximize their success.

Many people tend to boil this process down to a Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) number. Our view is that the right metric to track is Mean Time to Action. In other words, how long it takes your NetOps or IT team to spot, analyze and address a network performance issue. The shorter the time the better, especially given how fast and dynamic our networks have become.

Ultimately, you’re looking to make decisions on the best possible data, in the shortest amount of time. This requires a clear understanding of the steps in the process and how you can shave critical minutes off of each phase.

Organizing your performance monitoring process into our six fundamental steps will help you to clarify your overall strategy.  It will enable you to answer key questions, such as:

  • “How much and what types of data should I be collecting?”
  • “What does normal performance look like in my environment?”
  • “What’s happening right now in my network that I need to know about?”
  • “Can I look back and see historical data and compare it to present activity?”
  • “How can this network performance information help me with capacity planning?”

Whether you’re trying to coax a little more performance out of your existing network, close a risky performance visibility gap, or making the big switch from hardware-centric to software-defined networking, this six-step process will keep you on the straight and narrow.

It’s all covered in our whitepaper:  “6 Steps to an Effective Performance Monitoring Strategy.” The paper will let you leverage what we learned the hard way and strategically apply it to whatever network performance monitoring challenges you’re trying to solve.