IT has steadily evolved from a service and operational delivery mechanism to a strategic business investment. Suffice it to say that the business world and technology have become so intertwined that it’s unsurprising many leading companies within their respective industries attribute their success largely to their adoptive stance toward innovation.
Network Managers know that much of their company’s ability to outmaneuver the competition depends to a large extent on IT Ops’ ability to deliver world-class services. This brings traffic accounting into the conversation, since a realistic and measured view of your current and future traffic flows is central to building an environment in which all the facets involved in its growth, stability and performance are continually addressed.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at how traffic accounting places your network operations center (NOC) team on the front-foot in their objective to optimize the flow of your business’ most precious cargo – its data.
All roads lead to performance baselining
Performance baselines lay the foundation for network-wide traffic accounting against predetermined environment thresholds. They also aid IT Ops teams in planning for network growth and expansion undertakings. Baseline information typically contains statistics on network utilization, traffic components, conversation and address statistics, packet information and key device metrics.
It serves as your network’s barometer by informing you when anomalies such as excessive bandwidth consumption and other causes of bottlenecks occur. For example, root causes to performance issues can easily creep into an environment unnoticed: such as a recent update to a business critical application that may cause significant spikes in network utilization. Armed with a comprehensive set of baseline statistics and data that allows Network Performance and Security Specialists to measure, compare and analyze network metrics, root causes such as these can be identified with elevated efficiency.
In broader applications, baselining gives Network Engineers a high-level view of their environments, thereby allowing them to configure Quality of Service (QoS) parameters, plan for upgrades and expansions, detect and monitor trends and peering analysis and a bevy of other functions.
Traffic accounting brings your future network into focus
With new-generation technologies such as the cloud, resource virtualization, as a service platforms and mobility revolutionizing the networks of yesteryear, capacity planning has taken on a new level of significance. Network monitoring systems (NMS) need to meet the demands of the new, complex, hybrid systems that are the order of the day. Thankfully, technologies such as NetFlow have evolved steadily over the years to address the monitoring demands of modern networks. NetFlow accounting is a reliable way to peer through the wire and get a deeper insight to the traffic that traverses your environment. Many Network Engineers and Security Specialists will agree that their understanding of their environments hinges on the level of insight they glean from their monitoring solutions.
This makes NetFlow an ideal traffic accounting medium, since it easily collects and exports data from virtually any connected device for analysis by a NetFlow Auditor . The technology’s standing in the industry has made it the “go-to” solution for curating detailed, insightful and actionable metrics that move IT organizations from a reactive to proactive stance towards network optimization
Traffic accounting’s influence on business productivity and performance
As organizations become increasingly technology-centric in their business strategies, their reliance on networks that consistently perform at peak will increase accordingly. This places new pressures on Network Performance and Security Teams to conduct iterative performance and capacity testing to contextualize their environment’s ability to perform when it matters most. NetFlow’s ability to provide contextual insights based on live and historic data means Network Operation Centers (NOCs) are able to react to immediate performance hindrances and also predict with a fair level of accuracy what the challenges of tomorrow may hold. And this is worth gold in the context of the ever-changing and expanding networking landscape.