Seven Tips for Optimizing Network Performance - Part 2
August 11, 2021

Jay Botelho
LiveAction

Share this

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 more network performance management tips that can keep your team ahead of the curve.

Start with Seven Tips for Optimizing Network Performance - Part 1

4. Update Software and Firmware

This is obviously critical for security, but when it comes to network performance, older software and firmware can also be a big problem. No one knows better than the manufacturer about the strengths, and weaknesses, of their products. Most products today, whether hardware or software, are essentially driven by the software and firmware that they run. Even though it may seem like the product you're using is stable, the "if it's not broken don't fix it" rule is not the optimal choice. Manufacturers know when there are underlying problems in their products that you may not see or may not be experiencing right now.

5. Establish a View of Network Topology

It's every network engineer's dream: a clear and concise dashboard that depicts the network topology from end to end. It sounds simple, but of course it's not. Network topologies take different forms, depending on the perspective of the user. But many agree that at least one depiction (that of each flow traversing the network, from client to server and back) is extremely useful for visualizing and troubleshooting network performance issues. The ability of solutions to provide this visualization is being taxed by many new technologies, including SD-WAN and cloud.

Make sure the network monitoring and visualization solution you choose can trace flows across and within all these different technologies. This is especially true for cloud since so much processing has already been pushed to the cloud, and the cloud infrastructure is very dynamic. It's imperative to track your network traffic not only to your cloud providers, but inside the cloud infrastructure whenever possible to retain the same level of troubleshooting you had when you hosted your applications in your own data center.

6. Implement Bandwidth-Friendly Policies

From the network engineering perspective these policies are bandwidth-friendly, but users may not see it the same way. Bandwidth is a commodity, and with most commodities users will use as much as they can if they see the commodity as free. And your corporate infrastructure users see bandwidth as being free and unlimited, even though we know that is far from the case. From a corporate perspective, bandwidth-friendly policies are those that allow business traffic to flow unimpeded on your network, but limit or perhaps even block traffic that is not essential.

Fortunately, there are ways to limit non-essential business traffic without blocking it entirely, keeping the user revolt at bay. This can be done through QoS settings, using traffic-shaping technologies, or taking advantage of SD-WAN features, assuming SD-WAN is already in use. The choice depends on the degree of control needed.

7. Use Automation When Possible

Automation is the holy grail in network performance management and includes finding a solution that monitors your network 24x7, detecting every problem before it happens, and adjusting the network to prevent the problem. But every network is different, and every situation is different, making true automation one of the most difficult areas to address in network management, never mind the blind trust required. But with the strides made in end-to-end network monitoring, along with the predictive capabilities of AI/ML solutions for detecting problems, the industry is moving forward. We can't expect automation in every area, and probably wouldn't trust automation in every area, so the best approach is to start small with technologies you can trust.

For example, relying on built-in automation between various solutions used in your network monitoring and management process. More specifically, integrating your network monitoring and trouble ticket systems such that critical alerts from network monitoring opens trouble tickets and begins feeding the system with key data so that network engineers can hit the ground running when they begin working on the issue.

Optimizing the network to ensure it meets the needs of users is becoming more and more complex. But the good news is that new tools and technologies are making it easier than ever to automate functionality, visualize performance and isolate problems before they become major issues for the business (not to mention providing tools for planning). Consider these tips when strategizing about your network monitoring and management to stay one step ahead of network problems.

Jay Botelho is Director of Engineering at LiveAction
Share this

The Latest

June 29, 2022

When it comes to AIOps predictions, there's no question of AI's value in predictive intelligence and faster problem resolution for IT teams. In fact, Gartner has reported that there is no future for IT Operations without AIOps. So, where is AIOps headed in five years? Here's what the vendors and thought leaders in the AIOps space had to share ...

June 27, 2022

A new study by OpsRamp on the state of the Managed Service Providers (MSP) market concludes that MSPs face a market of bountiful opportunities but must prepare for this growth by embracing complex technologies like hybrid cloud management, root cause analysis and automation ...

June 27, 2022

Hybrid work adoption and the accelerated pace of digital transformation are driving an increasing need for automation and site reliability engineering (SRE) practices, according to new research. In a new survey almost half of respondents (48.2%) said automation is a way to decrease Mean Time to Resolution/Repair (MTTR) and improve service management ...

June 23, 2022

Digital businesses don't invest in monitoring for monitoring's sake. They do it to make the business run better. Every dollar spent on observability — every hour your team spends using monitoring tools or responding to what they reveal — should tie back directly to business outcomes: conversions, revenues, brand equity. If they don't? You might be missing the forest for the trees ...

June 22, 2022

Every day, companies are missing customer experience (CX) "red flags" because they don't have the tools to observe CX processes or metrics. Even basic errors or defects in automated customer interactions are left undetected for days, weeks or months, leading to widespread customer dissatisfaction. In fact, poor CX and digital technology investments are costing enterprises billions of dollars in lost potential revenue ...

June 21, 2022

Organizations are moving to microservices and cloud native architectures at an increasing pace. The primary incentive for these transformation projects is typically to increase the agility and velocity of software release and product innovation. These dynamic systems, however, are far more complex to manage and monitor, and they generate far higher data volumes ...

June 16, 2022

Global IT teams adapted to remote work in 2021, resolving employee tickets 23% faster than the year before as overall resolution time for IT tickets went down by 7 hours, according to the Freshservice Service Management Benchmark Report from Freshworks ...

June 15, 2022

Once upon a time data lived in the data center. Now data lives everywhere. All this signals the need for a new approach to data management, a next-gen solution ...

June 14, 2022

Findings from the 2022 State of Edge Messaging Report from Ably and Coleman Parkes Research show that most organizations (65%) that have built edge messaging capabilities in house have experienced an outage or significant downtime in the last 12-18 months. Most of the current in-house real-time messaging services aren't cutting it ...

June 13, 2022
Today's users want a complete digital experience when dealing with a software product or system. They are not content with the page load speeds or features alone but want the software to perform optimally in an omnichannel environment comprising multiple platforms, browsers, devices, and networks. This calls into question the role of load testing services to check whether the given software under testing can perform optimally when subjected to peak load ...