The Changing Face of Network Downtime
October 02, 2014

Vess Bakalov
SevOne

Share this

Our connected world continues to transform into a mobile one. The network is a constant and fascinating companion, which grants us 24/7 access where communication is instant and takes place across an array of devices, unconstrained by physical barriers. As a result, the IT infrastructure is more critical than ever for business operations. Companies and organizations are calling upon a variety of technologies that are changing the face of today’s network — from mobile devices, to cloud services, to web-based applications.

And the strain on the network is not expected to decrease. In fact, Cisco reports that in two years, the number of devices connected to IP networks will be nearly three times that of the global population. At the same time, network management and performance challenges are also on the rise. The explosion of mobile, cloud and web-based apps make it difficult to determine where in today’s evolving world, the network begins and where it ends. As a result, service issues and outages are becoming more commonplace, prompting losses in revenue, customer satisfaction and employee productivity. A recent survey from Avaya speaks to the cost of network downtime, addressing the large degree of variance based on the characteristics of a business and environment (i.e., your vertical, risk tolerance, etc.), indicating the range is from $140K to $540K per hour.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen high-profile network outages capturing headlines across the US. A large number of service providers were affected by the 512K Day issue – when the Internet routing table grew beyond what many legacy routers were designed to handle. Then, in August more than 11 million Time Warner Cable (TWC) subscribers across 29 states lost service for about three hours, and just a week later, Facebook suffered its fourth outage over the past five months. Unavailability in two of the three previously mentioned cases was blamed on configuration glitches and as a result, quickly resolved.

The Most Important Word for Every Network: Availability

But why do network outages seem to be popping up more frequently, affecting more people? It’s really a question of perception – more people are consuming more services and everyone expects to be connected around the clock, around the world, using any device.

In a blog post earlier this summer, Andrew Lerner, a Research Director for Gartner, zeroed in on the most important word associated with every network: availability. As he notes, “Performance, scalability, management, agility, etc. all require the network to actually be online.”

Unfortunately, availability is assumed to be table stakes to most companies. I am not sure I agree with him entirely. Availability is table stakes. However, modern infrastructure — especially in service providers — is massively redundant. Pure availability is rarely the problem. More often service outages are due to poor capacity planning, spurious events or changes that bring unanticipated consequences (like Pakistan inadvertently re-routing all YouTube traffic).

For smaller businesses in particular, unavailability of core services not only represents a loss of control and a loss of earnings, but also potentially a lesson in reputational damage. Without network performance management solutions, businesses are unnecessarily exposing themselves to risk. Technology should be detecting and even preventing outages automatically, without the need for manual intervention. Technical staff cannot be expected to continually gather and analyze data that might indicate an impending outage, nor can they be expected to act quickly enough to stave off an incident. While the likes of TWC and Facebook can rapidly recover from disruptive infrastructure issues, smaller organizations can’t, and that is why they must take steps to protect themselves.

Reacting to performance thresholds is not enough. To ensure a company’s network is available 24/7, it’s critical to predict problems before they become service impacting. The deployment of solutions that log data and provide real-time analytics on large volumes of unstructured data are crucial to every IT department. These solutions provide IT organizations the opportunity to gain better insight into the behavior of users, customers, applications and networks, allowing businesses to spot issues before they happen – significantly reducing, or in some cases, eliminating downtime altogether.

Vess Bakalov is SVP, CTO and Co-Founder of SevOne.

Share this

The Latest

December 12, 2019

Industry experts offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2020. Part 2 covers AIOps, AI and Machine Learning (ML) ...

December 11, 2019

As the New Year approaches, it is time for APMdigest's 10th annual list of Application Performance Management (APM) predictions. Industry experts offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2020 ...

December 10, 2019

Enterprises with services operating in the cloud are overspending by millions due to inefficiencies with their apps and runtime environments, according to a poll conducted by Lead to Market, and commissioned by Opsani. 69 Percent of respondents report regularly overspending on their cloud budget by 25 percent or more, leading to a loss of millions on unnecessary cloud spend ...

December 09, 2019

For IT professionals responsible for upgrading users to Windows 10, it's crunch time. End of regular support for Windows 7 is nearly here (January 14, 2020) but as many as 59% say that only a portion of their users have been migrated to Windows 10 ...

December 05, 2019

Application performance monitoring (APM) has become one of the key strategies adopted by IT teams and application owners in today’s era of digital business services. Application downtime has always been considered adverse to business productivity. But in today’s digital economy, what is becoming equally dreadful is application slowdown. When an application is slow, the end user’s experience accessing the application is negatively affected leaving a dent on the business in terms of commercial loss and brand damage ...

December 04, 2019

Useful digital transformation means altering or designing new business processes, and implementing them via the people and technology changes needed to support these new business processes ...

December 03, 2019
The word "digital" is today thrown around in word and phrase like rice at a wedding and never do two utterances thereof have the same meaning. Common phrases like "digital skills" and "digital transformation" are explained in 101 different ways. The outcome of this is a predictable cycle of confusion, especially at business management level where often the answer to business issues is "more technology" ...
December 02, 2019

xMatters recently released the results of its Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity research study to better understand the range of various incident management practices and how the increased focus on customer experience has caused roles across an organization to evolve. Findings highlight the ongoing challenges organizations face as they continue to introduce and rapidly evolve digital services ...

November 26, 2019

The new App Attention Index Report from AppDynamics finds that consumers are using an average 32 digital services every day — more than four times as many as they realize. What's more, their use of digital services has evolved from a conscious decision to carry around a device and use it for a specific task, to an unconscious and automated behavior — a digital reflex. So what does all this mean for the IT teams driving application performance on the backend? Bottom line: delivering seamless and world-class digital experiences is critical if businesses want to stay relevant and ensure long-term customer loyalty. Here are some key considerations for IT leaders and developers to consider ...

November 25, 2019

Through the adoption of agile technologies, financial firms can begin to use software to both operate more effectively and be faster to market with improvements for customer experiences. Making sure there is the necessary software in place to give customers frictionless everyday activities, like remote deposits, business overdraft services and wealth management, is key for a positive customer experience ...