6 Ways to Stay Sane During March Madness
March 17, 2015

Arun Balachandran

Share this

March Madness is basketball ecstasy for college hoops fans. But it's network agony for the organizations and IT managers forced to deal with severe strains on the network and threats of poorly performing applications. Of course, ever-increasing cloud usage and bring your own device (BYOD) policies only heighten the challenge for IT.

With a little bit of proactive planning and with the right performance management tools in place, IT Ops can accurately monitor, identify and address application and network performance issues before they can impact the business. Here are a few tips to make sure administrators stay sane during March Madness.

1. Make Sure Your Internet Bandwidth Handles the Demand

During the college basketball season, employees are more likely to watch streaming video at work during business hours. This can have a detrimental impact on your company's bandwidth and can occupy more resources than other applications. It only takes a handful of viewers streaming videos to slow down the network. If your Internet bandwidth cannot handle the demand, it's not just the basketball enthusiasts who will suffer. Users can have difficulty accessing your company's web applications, and the quality of your business-critical applications can take a hit. This can lead to lost sales as well as decreased employee productivity.

To make sure you stay on top of bandwidth usage, you need to continuously monitor your network bandwidth and track bandwidth hogs. It is a good practice to educate your company's employees about the impact that streaming has on the network. You can even set up a communal space inside the office for watching games in a bid to reduce online streaming.

2. Monitor Your Business-Critical Apps

As an IT admin, you must keep tabs on the performance of your critical business applications at all times. It's a bad day when your users start calling your support team about poorly performing applications. You must set up your application performance monitoring tool to correctly notify you about unexpected downtime or performance slowdowns. You should then be able to isolate the problem, assess the impact of the problem on end users and resolve it as quickly as possible before the users start complaining.

3. Ensure Sufficient Compute Power with Auto-Resource Provisioning

If your web application competes with streaming NCCA game feeds or updating tournament news, then it is susceptible to sudden surges in traffic because many users can access it at the same time from different geographic locations. When traffic surges occur, the load on the related web servers spikes and the application's performance often suffers. To successfully handle such higher workloads, you may need to dynamically provision VMs or cloud resources on the fly to ensure sufficient server power for your applications at all times.

4. Prioritize Applications Based on Traffic

All your applications may not require the same amount of bandwidth. You need to prioritize bandwidth for the applications based on their importance. It's a good practice to configure a guaranteed percentage of bandwidth to critical applications and serve them on a priority basis. This ensures business-critical applications such as email and CRM remain functioning as expected. You might also want to consider having dedicated bandwidth on one network for streaming purposes.

5. Increase Security and Virus Protection

Major tournaments are a common target for cyberattacks. As employees bring their own devices to the workplace, the chances of spreading a virus increase. As things heat up on the basketball court, hackers may take advantage of fans who browse the web for updates and live streaming video. It is therefore crucial to have anti-malware technology such as gateways that detect and filter out malware in real time. You need to ensure that everyone applies critical security updates and installs the latest anti-malware technologies that detect and filter out malware. You may also want to look at blocking certain websites within your network as a precautionary measure.

6. Have a Plan in Place for Tackling Performance Issues

In spite of your best intentions and precautionary efforts, there are no guarantees that you will not face performance issues. No matter how careful you are or how much you prepare, it is impossible to account for every emergency. Therefore, it is better to plan your strategy for dealing with such situations by assuming that performance issues will occur. If you have already thought about possible issues and documented the options to handle them, you are less likely to panic when issues arise and more likely to resolve them quickly.

Arun Balachandran is Sr. Marketing Analyst for ManageEngine.

Share this

The Latest

October 14, 2021

Businesses are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to improve network performance and security, according to a new State of AIOps Study, conducted by ZK Research and Masergy ...

October 13, 2021

What may have appeared to be a stopgap solution in the spring of 2020 is now clearly our new workplace reality: It's impossible to walk back so many of the developments in workflow we've seen since then. The question is no longer when we'll all get back to the office, but how the companies that are lagging in their technological ability to facilitate remote work can catch up ...

October 12, 2021

The pandemic accelerated organizations' journey to the cloud to enable agile, on-demand, flexible access to resources, helping them align with a digital business's dynamic needs. We heard from many of our customers at the start of lockdown last year, saying they had to shift to a remote work environment, seemingly overnight, and this effort was heavily cloud-reliant. However, blindly forging ahead can backfire ...

October 07, 2021

SmartBear recently released the results of its 2021 State of Software Quality | Testing survey. I doubt you'll be surprised to hear that a "lack of time" was reported as the number one challenge to doing more testing, especially as release frequencies continue to increase. However, it was disheartening to see that a lack of time was also the number one response when we asked people to identify the biggest blocker to professional development ...

October 06, 2021

The role of the CIO is evolving with an increased focus on unlocking customer connections through service innovation, according to the 2021 Global CIO Survey. The study reveals the shift in the role of the CIO with the majority of CIO respondents stating innovation, operational efficiency, and customer experience as their top priorities ...

October 05, 2021

The perception of IT support has dramatically improved thanks to the successful response of service desks to the pandemic, lockdowns and working from home, according to new research from the Service Desk Institute (SDI), sponsored by Sunrise Software ...

October 04, 2021

Is your company trying to use artificial intelligence (AI) for business purposes like sales and marketing, finance or customer experience? If not, why not? If so, has it struggled to start AI projects and get them to work effectively? ...

September 30, 2021

As remote work persists, and organizations take advantage of hire-from-anywhere models — in addition to facing other challenges like extreme weather events — companies across industries are continuing to re-evaluate the effectiveness of their tech stack. Today's increasingly distributed workforce has put a much greater emphasis on network availability across more endpoints as well as increased the bandwidth required for voice and video. For many, this has posed the question of whether to switch to a new network monitoring system ...

September 29, 2021

When a website or app fails or falters, the standard operating procedure is to assemble a sizable team to quickly "divide and conquer" to find a solution. The details of the problem can usually be found somewhere among millions of log events and metrics, leading to slow and painstaking searches that can take hours and often involve handoffs between experts in different areas of the software. The immediate goal in these situations is not to be comprehensive, but rather to troubleshoot until you find a solution that remedies the symptom, even if the underlying root cause is not addressed ...

September 28, 2021

Evaluating which products and vendors can meet today's modern and complex IT business requirements is a challenge. To help, I'd like to explore 10 key questions every IT admin should be asking when evaluating or working with network performance tools ...