Factors to consider when analysing your network performance
Performance analysis is a vital part of every corner of your business. You keep track of revenues, profits and losses, work out why they happened and use that intelligence to improve your business bottom line. You monitor staff performance, and run appraisals to help your employees develop. But what about analysing the performance of your network?
Efficient network communications are a cornerstone of business efficiency. If different parts of your business canâ€™t communicate with each other, or with external parties, then day-to-day operations will suffer. If emails fail to reach their destinations, mistakes will happen and relationships with customers or partners may deteriorate. And if your network performance is already sluggish or inefficient, then business growth becomes very difficult.
In short, keeping on top of your network performance is essential if you want to be agile and flexible. Here are the key factors you should consider when analysing your network performance:
- Bandwidth, which is all about the capacity of your network. Is there plenty of room for expansion, or are you nearly at your networkâ€™s limit? And if you are nearly at the limit, what happens during periods of peak demand?
- Throughput, or the amount of content actually passing through your network.
- Latency, which is an expression of how long it takes data to travel from one point in your network to another. Fairly obviously, the longer this takes, the less effective your network communications are over a wide area network.
- Error rate, which related to how often data packets are dropped, altered or arrive at the wrong destination.
- Expansion, do you have capacity on your network devices to accommodate a surge in business.
- Visibility, do you know what is on your network.
Collectively, these qualities can add up to smooth, speedy and accurate network performance â€“ or something rather more cumbersome and risky.
In order to treat your network performance with the same rigour as your financial or staff performance, you need a reliable way of measuring and evaluating these qualities â€“ and you need to feed the results of this monitoring into any network development.
This is where network monitoring comes in. You need a way of analysing all of these qualities in real-time, with immediate alerts if any factor dips below a minimum level of performance. You require access to reports that show the performance of each factor over time, so you can quickly identify trends and ascertain whether a particular element of your network architecture needs development.
Such monitoring can be performed using a specialist product like Mutiny. Automatic discovery of every element on your network, including routers, switches, servers, security and other IP devices, ensures that every part of your network is mapped. Monitoring can ensure that your chosen network management technology is configured properly. Automated monitoring should perform continuous, multi-level monitoring, with a clear alert process to follow whenever one-off alerts or longer-term trends are observed that could impact negatively on your network performance.
If you would like to see a live demonstration of the Mutiny monitoring product or discuss the options available, please get in touch.