Network and Infrastructure Monitoring solutions can improve your business’ bottom line, your customers’ response, and your future growth in numerous ways. Among the top ten are: savings in bandwidth usage, refined asset usage, increased uptime, streamlined application performance, more efficient maintenance scheduling, usage-based billing, easy BYOD support, safe expansion capability, increased customer acquisition and reduced churn, and improved time to market.
Your father’s networks looked nothing like today’s fluid, flexible, scalable, ever-changing IT wonders that are the lifeblood of every successful contemporary business. So any attempt to keep a handle on your network — and all the traffic, applications, devices and virtual entities that access it, alter it, invade and infect it — using your father’s network management tools will doom you and your network to troubled times. Nowadays, there are better means that use modern tools to take charge of your network and put yourself in control of all the ways your network impacts your business.
Performance Management is Key to Network Management
At its most basic, network management today involves making the most efficient use of bandwidth by controlling its utilization, ensuring network availability so that business is not impacted, and when there is trouble, fixing the problem as fast as possible. The motivation is simple: bandwidth costs can eat up an IT budget faster than any other line item, and a network outage can wreak havoc to your business. So tracking and trending bandwidth and minimizing network degradation can help your business save money. But managing IT performance can do much more than simply improve your bottom line, and in the process Network and Infrastructure Monitoring can improve the way your business functions, your customers respond, and your growth potential succeeds.
Equipped with the most current and powerful IT performance management solution,
you can improve your business in numerable ways.
Here are the top 10:
- Create savings in Bandwidth UsageLet’s start with the basics. Proper network bandwidth capacity management will save your business money. Identifying flow characteristics on your network is the sine qua non of performance management. From applications to users, you need to know what traffic is on the network, what is the makeup of that bandwidth, how much bandwidth that traffic is utilizing, and when and for what purpose. By identifying which flows are causing congestion within the network without needing to deploy network sniffing technology minimizes operational and capital expenditures, and enables your capacity and demand teams to make better planning decisions through an increased understanding of the network traffic composition.
- Identify Over-and-Under-used AssetsKnowing what IT assets are being underutilized allows you to reassign and repurpose them in lieu of expending capital for additional assets. Identifying over-used infrastructure can help prevent disruptions, thereby saving downtime costs, and can be vital to long-term capacity planning. Keeping tabs on network health by knowing asset usage patterns can also be instrumental in garnering insights into other business metrics, such as transaction data, subscriber trends, customer clustering, etc.
- Increase UptimeA state-of-the-art performance monitoring solution will immediately detect changes on the network that impact performance, and will enable you to address the change before any disruption of service can occur. The speed with which virtual devices come and go on the network means that performance management solutions must monitor at the micro-second level in order to detect changes that can be fleeting but can leave behind potentially dire effects. Only the best solutions assess change within these minute, discrete time intervals.
- Streamline Application PerformancePoorly performing applications gobble up bandwidth, slow down traffic, diminish user experience and negatively impact customer response. They also cost time and money. Monitoring application performance and diagnosing where bottlenecks occur can lead to quick resolution of application performance issues. Moreover, speedy resolution of application performance degradations can significantly increase user productivity and vastly improve customer experience.
- Schedule Maintenance More EfficientlyProactive analytics and notifications from a vital performance monitoring solution not only increase business uptime, but also allow you to plan necessary maintenance windows for times of minimal business impact. Identifying traffic trends and usage patterns gives you the insight you need to assess when the optimal maintenance schedule should be enacted.
- Implement Usage-based BillingThe multi-tenancy and tracking components of an Network and Infrastructure Monitoring solution enables a company to assign infrastructure expenses to internal cost centers or end-customers based on consumption. For service providers, this capability is a must for usage-based billing which can greatly improve revenue streams. For others, the monitoring of infrastructure consumption can more equitably and efficiently distribute budgetary and manpower resources throughout a business. This same capability can be used to optimize facility management configurations to minimize infrastructure costs.
- Support BYOD EasilyThe use of employee-owned devices in the workplace (BYOD or Bring Your Own Device) is a growing phenomenon which many companies are now adopting. The concomitant IT support necessary to allow a broad range of devices and manufacturers’ protocols onto the company network has been problematic. A powerful Network and Infrastructure Monitoring solution provides immediate visibility into key performance metrics outside standard supported technologies, enabling a diverse population of devices to be accommodated without disruption to the network operation.
- Enable Small or Large ExpansionsWhether you are consolidating databases, adding branch offices or going through a merger or acquisition, the IT side of any moves or changes is always daunting. A performance monitoring solution’s pre- and post-analysis of the capacity and performance parameters for specific application services allows you to plan accurately for any physical plant migration. You can also perform specific individual testing of traffic flows, device implementation, virtual deployments and other assessments to ensure that all components of the network have survived the move intact and whole and have retained all their functionality and performance levels.
- Increase Customer Acquisition and Reduce ChurnEssential to retaining customers is the provision of consistent, quality service, whether in the service provider realm or in general business. Network and Infrastructure Monitoring solutions allow you to monitor SLAs to ensure that the service promised is what is being delivered or received, thereby making delivery of quality service an attainable and reportable goal. Delivering unique services substantiated with excellent and consistent performance is the surest way to acquire new customers in today’s markets, regardless of type of business. Performance monitoring solutions ensure that these unique services are being delivered and received without interruption or degradation of SLAs. You can even show your customer a dashboard through a customizable service portal that lets them see all the valuable services you are delivering to them.
- Improve Time to MarketNetwork and Infrastructure Monitoring solutions enable you to deploy new technologies and upgrade infrastructure simply and safely, thereby improving your time to market for any new strategy, advance or product introduction. Being able to ensure rapid and successful deployment with better monitoring capability, along with pre- and post-tests via IP SLA, means dramatically improved initial performance and greatly reduced deployment time. The analytics let you see how the network is doing now and after deployment compared to historic performance levels. Any deployment of new technology involves some, if not major, change to the infrastructure, which introduces significant financial risk. Readiness assessments, bandwidth measurements, outsourced performance levels, server utilization, and traffic composition — these are all performance management quantifiers that help improve the time to market significantly and mitigate the financial risk occasioned by any changes to the infrastructure.
IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM)
All Network and Infrastructure Monitoring solutions are not equal, and some look more like antiquated tools of older times. For one thing, most cannot scale to meet the thousands, even tens of thousands, of network devices on today’s complex networks. Many cannot meet the demands for speed that today’s virtualized, ever-changing network infrastructures require for proper monitoring. Many do not have the power to handle the flurry of countless applications, especially in the mobile realm, efficiently and securely. All these factors — scalability, speed and simplicity — are essential to an effective IT performance management solution.
SevOne NPM is designed with a peer-to-peer distributed architecture that has made the management of networks, servers, and applications faster, more efficient and more affordable than ever before. Packaged and sold as an easy-to-install virtual or physical network appliance, SevOne NPM provides, in a simple and elegant way, the speed and scale of collection, reporting and analysis needed for today’s networks. With high frequency polling done at the 1-second interval, SevOne NPM lets customers monitor every component on a network in whatever time increments are necessary, and detect, troubleshoot and help resolve developing problems before they can cause any negative impact on the business.
Infonetics Research has shown that 3.6% of annual company revenue is lost due to network outages and degradation. Other analyst research has shown 60-80% of network outages are due to people making changes to the network and breaking something in the process. SevOne NPM forestalls those outages and degradations by detecting those anomalies quickly and ensuring a timely recovery before outage or degradation occurs.
All of the “top 10” ways to improve your business described in this paper are integral to SevOne NPM . From custom web portals for customers or partners to monitoring SLAs and applications, and from identifying traffic patterns and usage trends to detecting changes no matter how small or how fleeting, SevOne NPM delivers.