Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Virtualization, cloud services make a new network/app management world

laptops surrounding a world globe

In my last post, I pointed out that today’s speedy, low-cost connectivity is impacting network and application management. This time I’ll concentrate on the other significant trend changing network and application management: Virtualization and cloud services.

Today’s datacenter environments are not only quickly becoming hyper-connected, most have also undergone at least some degree of virtualization and use of cloud services. The combination results in new kinds of business applications and, ultimately, a new kind of network infrastructure that exhibits…

  • Greater traffic volume, notably storage traffic
  • A shift in traffic flows from top-down/bottom-up to peer-to-peer, server-to-server, and virtual machine-to-virtual machine (now as much as 80% by some estimates)
  • Increasing amounts of synchronization and replication data across the network
  • A flatter network hierarchy

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Cloud Computing best practice: Always monitor your Cloud services

In order to know whether your Cloud provider is meeting the performance and availability parameters set out in your service-level agreement (SLA), you have to be able to monitor your Cloud services.

While you might not need or care to see detailed reports about the performance of your provider’s various infrastructure elements (VMs, storage, etc.), since this information doesn’t really provide a sufficient view into overall Cloud performance, you can and should seek information from your provider regarding application and/or workload performance.

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Automating network performance: 6 key capabilities

Capabilities to look out for in a Network Performance Monitoring Provider

The right network management capabilities will provide the feedback you need to eliminate bottlenecks and IT failures while also enabling your network’s ability to deliver data, voice, wireless, Internet, and video services.

Which is why adequate performance management, trending and capacity planning, protocol analysis/fault isolation, and onsite/remote network health monitoring have become so essential.

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Is server virtualization messing up your network’s performance?

Impact of Server Virtualization on Network Performance

Thanks to virtualization, network dynamics are changing — fast.

Server virtualization consolidates resources on fewer physical servers in ways that require distributed workloads to communicate with each other. This boosts utilization of servers, but it also increases — and changes the nature of — network traffic.

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Isolating and resolving network problems

How to resolve Network Problems.

When it comes to keeping your IT network performing optimally, finding and fixing network faults certainly is crucial. But it’s just as crucial to sustain network operations while the issue gets resolved.

Which means that the first order of business is to ensure that your network has entered one of the failure modes you’ve designed for it so that remaining network resources are allocated according to your organization’s business priorities.

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Network performance planning: About performance baselines and failure modes

Network Performance Planning & Monitoring

Even before you automate your network performance monitoring and management, you’ll need to do some planning. If you don’t have experts on hand, consider bringing in a reliable, dependable network advisor to help you:

  1. Establish a performance baseline
    Planning involves establishing baseline performance thresholds — called quality-of-service (QoS) rules — using historical data, estimates of how existing services will grow, and anticipated demand for new services.To determine if your plan is working, you’ll need to measure current network behavior. Such metrics include the traffic generated at certain interface points and the load levels of trunks and devices.

    This is how network administrators monitor and manage network conditions. When conditions are out of whack, an alert is generated.

    These alerts can indicate an emerging issue, such as a need for additional resources, or a serious problem, such as load levels so high that network and/or application performance has been impacted.

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3 Tips To Improve Network Performance

Tips to Improve Network Performance

One of the greatest threats to your company’s productivity comes from poor IT network performance. Yet it can be tough to maintain a healthy network in the face of cost constraints, changes to your business, and constantly evolving technologies.

Which can put you between a rock and a hard place, because when it comes to your organization’s IT network, what you need — regardless of whether you’ve undertaken virtualization or cloud computing or unified communications — is a stable framework for delivering communication, applications, and services that provide a consistent, reliable experience under normal conditions.

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6 signs of network performance problems

In my experience, poor network performance can cause outages that cascade unpredictably through the business and cost you plenty. Are you experiencing any of these signs of trouble?

  1. Network-dependent applications have become sluggish — and your employees, customers, and suppliers are letting you know how unhappy they are.
  2. Network administrators struggle to isolate the cause of poor network performance.
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Data backup/recovery best practices #3, #4, and #5

Last time, I described the first two backup/recovery best practices. Here are the next three:

#3 Make sure your backup/recovery strategy adheres to all governance and compliance rules that apply to your organization.

Rules abound about data privacy, security, retention — and vary by industry and region. Look for a reputable advisor who has the experience needed to understand your compliance environment and who successfully completes SAS-70 Type II audits.

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Trick or treat — or paradigm shift? What do you want to accomplish on your way to the cloud?

Anybody seeking to overcome the limits of traditional IT environments and streamline their business has to consider one of the most significant paradigm shifts of our time — cloud computing.

But take note: Cloud computing takes planning, because each move to the cloud is unique.

To figure out whether cloud computing will deliver what you need, ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish?”

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