Seven Tips for Optimizing Network Performance - Part 1
August 10, 2021

Jay Botelho
LiveAction

Share this

The network has grown increasingly complex within an incredibly short amount of time — and it's only getting more complicated with each passing day. In fact, according to Enterprise Strategy Group, 66% of organizations view their IT environments as more or significantly more complex than they were two years ago. This has put increasing pressure on networking teams to have increased visibility across new network landscapes and to solve problems quickly. But sorting through the mountain of alerts, trouble tickets and traffic to isolate whether a problem is the network or an application can be a daunting task.

Despite careful planning and monitoring, users still experience stuttering video calls, slow downloads, and dropped calls — all symptoms of common network problems. That's why proactive monitoring and optimization of the network is critical to keeping business operations running optimally. To help, let's look at some network performance management tips that can keep your team ahead of the curve.

1. Continuously Monitor Network Performance

With infrastructure now pushing into the cloud, new technologies like SD-WAN and SASE being a reality, having real-time insight into how traffic is moving across the extended network (including with remote workers) is basic table stakes. This rapid rise of new technologies has left some network performance monitoring solutions in the dust, and as discussed above, there's no management without monitoring. These legacy solutions have a clear focus (and strength) in data center monitoring, but fall short in areas like SD-WAN and oftentimes have nothing significant to offer regarding cloud monitoring.

Plan for upgrading these monitoring systems, including vendor migration if necessary, as part of your infrastructure upgrade, and find a single solution that can monitor your entire infrastructure. Too often the monitoring system update is trumped by the infrastructure upgrade, resulting in blind spots and reducing the effectiveness of determining the success of the infrastructure upgrade, not to mention the ability to troubleshoot issues with the new infrastructure.

2. Compare Network Performance

How can you tell if your infrastructure updates have improved your network performance if you don't have good data on the performance of your current infrastructure? The ability to compare baseline performance before and after a network change is the way network engineers measure success. The data that drives these baseline comparisons comes from network monitoring solutions.

Having a monitoring solution that best meets your needs in place before making network changes, especially major infrastructure changes, will set you up for success.

3. Determine When the Network is at Fault

When problems do occur, quick remediation is expected. There are often debates over whether it's the network or the application team's responsibility. Flow-based network monitoring data can provide some insight into the network vs. application question, but supplementing that with network packet data, and having it all available in a single solution, is the best way to isolate the problem.

Once you've isolated a network flow in question, packet data almost always provides clear evidence of whether the network or the application is at fault. Packet data provide a packet-by-packet view of the conversation — you can see every request, response, acknowledgement, etc. By reviewing the packets in the conversation, you can easily see what the network response times are, and the application response times.

If you see quick network acknowledgements, and then see long delays in getting any packets with data, it's a clear indication of an application problem and not a network problem. And packets provide the bonus of having detailed information in the payloads. Assuming the traffic is unencrypted, or can be unencrypted, packet payloads provide clues as to what is happening in the application, usually in the form of error messages embedded in the packet payloads.

Go to Seven Tips for Optimizing Network Performance - Part 2, with more tips for optimizing network performance

Jay Botelho is Senior Director of Product Management at LiveAction
Share this

The Latest

November 28, 2022

Many have assumed that the mainframe is a dying entity, but instead, a mainframe renaissance is underway. Despite this notion, we are ushering in a future of more strategic investments, increased capacity, and leading innovations ...

November 22, 2022

Most (85%) consumers shop online or via a mobile app, with 59% using these digital channels as their primary holiday shopping channel, according to the Black Friday Consumer Report from Perforce Software. As brands head into a highly profitable time of year, starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's imperative development teams prepare for peak traffic, optimal channel performance, and seamless user experiences to retain and attract shoppers ...

November 21, 2022

From staffing issues to ineffective cloud strategies, NetOps teams are looking at how to streamline processes, consolidate tools, and improve network monitoring. What are some best practices that can help achieve this? Let's dive into five ...

November 18, 2022

On November 1, Taylor Swift announced the Eras Tour ... the whole world is now standing in the same virtual queue, and even the most durable cloud architecture can't handle this level of deluge ...

November 17, 2022

OpenTelemetry, a collaborative open source observability project, has introduced a new network protocol that addresses the infrastructure management headache, coupled with collector configuration options to filter and reduce data volume ...

November 16, 2022

A unified view of digital infrastructure is essential for IT teams that must improve the digital user experience while boosting overall organizational productivity, according to a survey of IT managers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from Riverbed and market research firm IDC ...

November 15, 2022

Building the visibility infrastructure to make cloud networks observable is a complex technical challenge. But with careful planning and a few strategic decisions, it's possible to appropriately design, set up and manage visibility solutions for the cloud ...

November 14, 2022

According to a recent IT at Work: 2022 and Beyond study, there have been a few silver linings to the pandemic ... The study revealed some intriguing trends, which will be discussed in turn ...

November 09, 2022

The absence of topology can be a key inhibitor for AIOps tools, creating blind spots for AIOps as they only have access to event data. A topology, an IT service model, or a dependency map is a real-time picture of tools and services that are connected and dependent on each other to deliver an IT service ...

November 08, 2022

A modern data stack is a suite of technologies and apps built specifically to funnel data into an organization, transform it into actionable data, build a plan for acting on that data, and then implement that plan. The majority of modern data stacks are built on cloud-based services, composed of low- and no-code tools that enable a variety of groups within an organization to explore and use their data. Read on to learn how to optimize your data stack ...