liveactionWe typically express availability as a percentage of a year — 99.5 percent uptime has been widely recognized as the unofficial standard by service providers. However, the flip side of that metric is the amount of expected downtime. One-half of a percentage point equates to 3.6 hours every 30 days, which is more than enough time to disrupt business operations and impact the end-user experience.

increasing availability demands have caused that uptime requirement to creep up to 99.99 percent for many organizations. This would reduce downtime to a more tolerable 4.32 minutes every 30 days. The challenge organizations are facing is how to meet this requirement in a cost-efficient way, even as network traffic and complexity increases.

Effective network performance monitoring and management is essential to maintaining high availability. Network performance monitoring and management involves the use of technology to observe traffic usage and availability across the network, collect performance data, assess network behavior and health, and quickly respond to issues that cause network performance to drop.

A network performance monitoring and management solution closely analyzes application traffic, detects application anomalies, and pinpoints the cause of the issue. It will then determine the scope of the problem and its potential impact, and respond accordingly to resolve the issue at the source. Analytics tools also provide the insights needed to enforce service-level agreements and develop proactive strategies for reducing bottlenecks and troubleshooting issues, all of which will produce cost savings in the long run.

There are certain characteristics to look for in a network performance monitoring and management solution. The ability to provide dependency information, such as device connectivity, network topology and routing protocols, enables you to prioritize alerts. An intelligent alerting system that can fully leverage dependency-aware monitoring will reduce the number of alert tickets resulting from similar or duplicate events. Look for dynamic network mapping capabilities so you can display dependency data and a variety of performance and utilization metrics on a single screen.

You should be able to use a networking performance monitoring and management solution to create a baseline for normal network performance and accurately forecast capacity requirements. This will allow you to recognize changes and provision additional capacity when needed. An application-aware solution will also enable you to identify the specific cause of an issue with an individual application, whether it’s a server, the network, or the application itself.

LiveAction recently announced enhancements to LiveNX, its network performance monitoring and management solution. LiveNX promises to help enterprises maximize their existing investments and accelerate software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) deployments by offering API-based integration with SD-WAN controllers, end-to-end network visibility with application awareness, and multi-vendor network insights.

New enhancements include an advanced traffic visualizer that makes it easier to quickly identify, troubleshoot and repair network problems. New integration with the Cisco Application Policy and Infrastructure Controller – Enterprise Module enables users to visualize and manage Cisco’s IWAN solution from the LiveNX dashboard. In addition to delivering visibility across the network, LiveNX uses a patented approach for capturing and visualizing network data on three customizable dashboards.

Downtime can cost enterprises hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour. Let us show you how LiveAction’s Live NX network performance monitoring and management solution can help you meet high performance and availability standards and manage network resources more efficiently.

By Michael Hritz, Senior Business Development Manager, Sigma Solutions