How IT Organizations Reduce Network Brownouts
November 19, 2019
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Unexpected and unintentional drops in network quality, so-called network brownouts, cause serious financial damage and frustrate employees. A recent survey sponsored by Netrounds reveals that more than 60% of network brownouts are first discovered by IT’s internal and external customers, or never even reported, instead of being proactively detected by IT organizations.

Surveyed companies reported experiencing more than ten brownouts over the past two years, causing damages related to lost productivity, lost revenue and bad will, plus direct costs related to restoration. The average surveyed company reported $400,000 or more in financial damage, with larger enterprises being damaged by $700,000 or more.

"Even before conducting the survey, we knew that network brownouts were common, but we were rather surprised by just how damaging they are to businesses," says Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds. "It is clear that many IT organizations rely on traditional monitoring solutions that are unable to mitigate network brownouts, as these solutions are looking at network devices and infrastructure, instead of focusing on how IT customers are able to use the network and applications."

A main reason for the high costs of brownouts is that many IT organizations are failing to resolve the problems fast enough. Top-performing companies in the survey solve more than half of their problems in less than four hours, whereas bottom-tier companies only manage to solve every sixth problem in the same time frame.

The survey distinguished the top-performing organizations as being 1.5 times as likely to run activation tests from the customer’s perspective before giving access to new applications or network connections. Top-performing organizations were also 70% more likely to initiate specific active monitoring scenarios for new applications or network connections when they were launched.

"Our survey concludes that network brownouts can be reduced by actively mimicking customer behavior close to their locations, across the network and application layers," says Mats Nordlund. "Active service assurance should be automatically deployed at the same time as applications and network services are being handed over to customers, to ensure any issues are discovered proactively by IT organizations rather than by internal and external customers."

With the adoption of new technologies such as hybrid cloud, SD-WAN and network virtualization, the cost of brownouts is likely to increase dramatically without the deployment of active service assurance solutions. Companies prioritizing investments in these solutions will enjoy reduced financial damage and can embrace their digital transformation journey with peace of mind.

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