5 Critical Network Management Capabilities for Modern Enterprises
March 10, 2021

Jay Botelho
LiveAction

Share this

Gone are the days when enterprises viewed the network as an assortment of technology infrastructure and assets. It has become a critical component of modern corporate strategy in the digital age, one capable of supporting and driving business operations and growth. The consequences of any kind of IT disruption are severe.

In fact, an hour of downtime can cost businesses anywhere from $300,000 to $540,000 in total, according to Gartner. That's an average of $5,600 per minute (at the low end!). As such, today's IT teams must proactively boost network performance and reliability. Doing so, however, is easier said than done.


Network management teams routinely perform several activities to plan, deploy, upgrade, troubleshoot, maintain, and monitor the network. These processes are all tremendously data-driven and dependent on your team's visibility into and understanding of the data coming from applications, network devices and the traffic traversing the network.

There are many challenges when it comes to collecting, organizing and analyzing this data. The volume, speed and variety of network data can make it difficult and time-consuming to analyze. Today's enterprise networks are vast and intricate, and can obfuscate the data and its context. And the sheer variety of network domains and architectures today makes data analysis much more challenging, especially with specialized tools or siloed data collection.

So what can you do in the face of all this complexity to ensure network experiences and performance levels that satisfy the needs of the business?

The truth is, there's not much you can do if you lack the fundamental capabilities today's digital enterprises require.

Here are five key questions to ask that will serve as a starting point for ensuring your team is up to the task:

1. Can you monitor the entire network?

Today's enterprise IT environments span a wide range of domains, including LAN, WAN, data centers, SD-WAN, cloud, Wi-Fi, applications and distributed campuses. Do you have the visibility you need to monitor and manage the entire hybrid network from end to end, at scale?

Siloed visibility can be terminal in the long run. If you're experiencing performance issues with a specific application or site, the effects can extend across any number of other domains. With so many moving parts to monitor, and blind spots can prevent you from tracking down the root cause and preserving business-critical digital experiences.

Your team must be able to collect and correlate performance data throughout the entire hybrid network. Measuring metrics such as top network users, availability, common traffic patterns, application jitter, latency, and loss, and more will help you establish baseline and trending metrics. This will ensure you can proactively identify abnormalities that might cause downtime or performance issues that impact the business.

2. Do you measure and correlate granular network traffic analytics?

Whether users access key applications hosted in the cloud or on-premises, it's critical to correlate real-time application performance data with end-user experience analytics. This way, your team can avoid analyzing every issue (and false-positive or alarm overloads) that might come up, and focus their valuable time on solving problems that genuinely impact users.

The best way to establish this correlation is with deep, real-time processing and packet-by-packet analysis that present network transactions with performance insights, even for complex, multi-tiered applications. With this level of visibility and network domain awareness, your team should quickly isolate and resolve network performance issues.

3. Are there any application visibility gaps?

There's no way to support a seamless, high-performance digital experience without granular application visibility. Can your team effectively monitor and analyze application paths?

Are you able to discern when network devices cause application performance issues?

These are critical capabilities that require application detailed performance baselines and usage insights and packet-by-packet analysis. Any application monitoring deficiencies can dramatically extend the time it takes you to identify and resolve performance problems that degrade user experiences.

4. Can your team handle tens of thousands of devices?

Large-scale performance management across numerous devices and distributed environments is a business requirement for most enterprises today. Can your team maintain performance at this scale securely and without latency?

If not, this should be a top priority. You must also ensure you're capable of maintaining performance as device and infrastructure monitoring requirements expand due to new computing environments such as SD-WAN deployments, multi-vendor WANs and new public or private cloud implementations.

You need to be able to monitor all current environments and devices, as well as have the network visibility you'll need to support capacity planning to avoid both over- and under-provisioning resources as the business and its IT needs grow.

5. Is AIOps a priority today?

Scale-related performance is critical. If your team hasn't incorporated AIOps to detect, correlate and visualize anomalies, you're stuck in a reactive stance. How can you effectively manage the increasingly complex IT domains you're monitoring without capitalizing on machine learning (ML) to understand and leverage big data trends?

ML algorithms can support critical performance corrections, including determining which voice traffic to prioritize, when to throttle bandwidth, and whether to block a user's access. AIOps can alleviate many of the time-consuming manual components involved in network performance management by detecting any departures from baseline metrics at a level of speed and accuracy human engineers simply can't.

Questions Worth Asking

Networks have never been more complex, and the need for reliable network performance has never been greater. Demands and challenges for enterprise networks and the IT teams that support them will continue to change over time, but your desire to continually re-examine and evolve your approach should remain constant.

To better position your team and business for success in 2021, take a step back and explore the above network performance management considerations. Identify any gaps and assemble a strategy for building any key capabilities that might be absent. Doing so will help ensure you're able to effectively monitor and manage your entire network, proactively remediate performance issues and incidents, improve user experiences and support your business as it grows.

Jay Botelho is Director of Engineering at LiveAction
Share this

The Latest

May 25, 2022

Site reliability engineering (SRE) is fast becoming an essential aspect of modern IT operations, particularly in highly scaled, big data environments. As businesses and industries shift to the digital and embrace new IT infrastructures and technologies to remain operational and competitive, the need for a new approach for IT teams to find and manage the balance between launching new systems and features and ensuring these are intuitive, reliable, and friendly for end users has intensified as well ...

May 24, 2022

The most sophisticated observability practitioners (leaders) are able to cut downtime costs by 90%, from an estimated $23.8 million annually to just $2.5 million, compared to observability beginners, according to the State of Observability 2022 from Splunk in collaboration with the Enterprise Strategy Group. What's more, leaders in observability are more innovative and more successful at achieving digital transformation outcomes and other initiatives ...

May 23, 2022

Programmatically tracked service level indicators (SLIs) are foundational to every site reliability engineering practice. When engineering teams have programmatic SLIs in place, they lessen the need to manually track performance and incident data. They're also able to reduce manual toil because our DevOps teams define the capabilities and metrics that define their SLI data, which they collect automatically — hence "programmatic" ...

May 19, 2022

Recently, a regional healthcare organization wanted to retire its legacy monitoring tools and adopt AIOps. The organization asked Windward Consulting to implement an AIOps strategy that would help streamline its outdated and unwieldy IT system management. Our team's AIOps implementation process helped this client and can help others in the industry too. Here's what my team did ...

May 18, 2022

You've likely heard it before: every business is a digital business. However, some businesses and sectors digitize more quickly than others. Healthcare has traditionally been on the slower side of digital transformation and technology adoption, but that's changing. As healthcare organizations roll out innovations at increasing velocity, they must build a long-term strategy for how they will maintain the uptime of their critical apps and services. And there's only one tool that can ensure this continuous availability in our modern IT ecosystems. AIOps can help IT Operations teams ensure the uptime of critical apps and services ...

May 17, 2022

Between 2012 to 2015 all of the hyperscalers attempted to use the legacy APM solutions to improve their own visibility. To no avail. The problem was that none of the previous generations of APM solutions could match the scaling demand, nor could they provide interoperability due to their proprietary and exclusive agentry ...

May 16, 2022

The DevOps journey begins by understanding a team's DevOps flow and identifying precisely what tasks deliver the best return on engineers' time when automated. The rest of this blog will help DevOps team managers by outlining what jobs can — and should be automated ...

May 12, 2022

A survey from Snow Software polled more than 500 IT leaders to determine the current state of cloud infrastructure. Nearly half of the IT leaders who responded agreed that cloud was critical to operations during the pandemic with the majority deploying a hybrid cloud strategy consisting of both public and private clouds. Unsurprisingly, over the last 12 months, the majority of respondents had increased overall cloud spend — a substantial increase over the 2020 findings ...

May 11, 2022

As we all know, the drastic changes in the world have caused the workforce to take a hybrid approach over the last two years. A lot of that time, being fully remote. With the back and forth between home and office, employees need ways to stay productive and access useful information necessary to complete their daily work. The ability to obtain a holistic view of data relevant to the user and get answers to topics, no matter the worker's location, is crucial for a successful and efficient hybrid working environment ...

May 10, 2022

For the past decade, Application Performance Management has been a capability provided by a very small and exclusive set of vendors. These vendors provided a bolt-on solution that provided monitoring capabilities without requiring developers to take ownership of instrumentation and monitoring. You may think of this as a benefit, but in reality, it was not ...