Business-critical applications rely on the performance of the network within organisations. However, complex applications are increasingly placing a strain on the organisation’s network and server infrastructure.
According to Chris Taylor, Regional Sales Director - Asia Pacific, HATA Region, Fluke Networks, network infrastructure is now vital in supporting business-critical applications, providing the data that drives decision-making while facilitating communications with customers, partners, suppliers and co-workers. Being a strategic asset within any business, any downtime or degradation in network or application performance will directly impact on an organisation’s bottom line.
He explains that networks are also becoming more complex, with virtualisation extending from the data centre to the desktop and a continued growth in cloud services, making visibility across the network more difficult. Performance problems may result from a proliferation of Wi-Fi devices, excessive use of bandwidth by unauthorised applications, configuration errors or poor application delivery infrastructure among many other reasons. The increasing inclusion of voice and video adds more complexity and pushes bandwidth to its limits.
Taylor observes that the performance of both applications and the network must be maintained at the highest levels to keep the business running smoothly.
Where the traditional approach has been to monitor network and application performance separately, using different systems run by different teams, the increasing interdependency of applications and networks today means that organisations need an integrated solution if they are to identify the source of any performance problems quickly and solve them before incurring costly downtime.
Complete end-to-end visibility across the network from the data centre to the branch office can help tackle the issues facing applications and the network infrastructure they run on; Fluke helps businesses realise this visibility through Application Aware Network Performance Management (AANPM).
AANPM helps organisations optimise the performance of business critical applications while speeding up network and application troubleshooting and minimising downtime. Involving a process of monitoring, analysing and troubleshooting both networks and applications, AANPM takes an application-centric view of everything happening across the network, providing end-to-end visibility of the network and applications and the interdependencies, and enabling engineers to monitor and optimise the end user experience.
Six reasons organisations should consider using AANPM
1. End-to-end visibility of the IT infrastructure.
An AANPM solution brings together the key data points from the network monitoring system (NMS) and applications. Performance management systems provide a single dashboard view of critical applications and the underlying infrastructure. Organisations can ‘see’ what is going on in the network, who is using it, where they are connected and the path from ‘here’ to ‘there’. Reporting can be provided at a granular level, helping to monitor KPIs and track device performance and use, which is particularly useful in understanding the performance of virtualised equipment.
2. Faster problem solving.
When a performance problem hits a key application, AANPM’s cross-platform visibility provides all the information needed to track down the root cause quickly, from the wireless environment and across local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) connections, through the physical and virtual network infrastructure and into all tiers of the server and application environment. IT teams can more fruitfully spend their time working together using common tools to resolve the issue.
3. Improved user experience.
Today’s applications can exist in many different places and different infrastructure tiers, making it difficult to discover the root cause when a user experiences a problem. AANMP provides a comprehensive view of all infrastructure elements and how data and messages move between them, letting organisations monitor the end user experience and identify the source of problems more quickly. By proactively examining performance, they can also identify and fix small problems before they have a significant impact on users.
4. Enhanced productivity.
By finding the root cause more quickly and speeding up mean time to resolution (MTTR), an AANPM system reduces expensive downtime and improves overall quality of service. It also gives engineers more time to work on strategic projects to optimise performance and benefit the business.
5. Cost savings.
A single AANPM system replaces multiple separate systems, providing significant cost savings.
6. More time and data to support infrastructure optimisation.
An AANPM system can collect and correlate all types of critical performance data. In addition to giving engineers sufficient visibility to find root cause more quickly, it lets them spot poor performance and identify where the paths of applications or servers are running slowly so that the slowest and most critical paths can be addressed. This can be used to prioritise and make the business case for projects such as server upgrades, verify that they have been implemented and have not reduced performance elsewhere, and prove the impact of changes such as virtualisation, WAN optimisation or data centre consolidation. The data also supports capacity planning, helping engineers identify where more bandwidth is needed.