A recent UK survey of 150 enterprise networking professionals, sponsored by Network Instruments, found that 62% are of the opinion that the lack of information about problems and their causes is the most common network issue. In addition, 55% are worried about having insufficient tools to perform adequate application monitoring.
The survey highlights that a significant component of any business today is its network, forming the foundation on which many critical business applications are based. Management software capable of monitoring and administering the network becomes an important element of the overall IT operational equation, as does the ability to proactively manage network resources, and to be able to react before a problem becomes critical.
The end result is that organizations are relying on their networks more than ever, with outages, or degradation of performance, jeopardizing all parts of an enterprise’s operations, which can incur lost sales and quickly lose customer goodwill.
Communications convergence is an opportunity that comes with some serious operational demands, and a considerable increase in the need to closely and effectively monitor network traffic. The complexity of networks is also increasing as they encompass different topologies, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Wi-Fi, making the network more difficult to deploy, configure, and maintain.
A key driver for the use of protocol analysis software on the network is this move to one network. While this reduces the number of networks that have to be administered and maintained, this consolidation does increase the complexity of the remaining environment.
An area of recent focus for many organizations is how to exploit the potential benefits of voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia. Voice and video traffic are very susceptible to latency or ‘jitter’ and the loss of packets can impact on the quality of the streamed data. To eliminate or reduce the incidence of these problems, the network needs to be properly designed and deployed. The need for monitoring and control solutions is now a prerequisite, providing the ability to avoid the creation of bottlenecks that would choke voice packets as well as other data.
There are security implications and benefits to be obtained from closer regulation; traffic and network analysis solutions are now being recognized as an invaluable tool for protecting the network from malicious attacks. In addition to the increased resource overhead that network inefficiencies can cause, administrators have a growing number of other challenges. These include balancing bandwidth provision, wireless network security, monitoring remote locations, capturing information for troubleshooting, and identifying who is doing what on the network. If an organization is making use of wireless networking technology as well, then the need for effective and proactive management becomes even more urgent. Network management tools can help to alleviate all of these issues.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)