Home Networking company Gigamon emphasizes the importance of network optimization

Gigamon emphasizes the importance of network optimization

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A network is more than the sum of its parts; it’s a critical type of infrastructure that facilitates everything from cross-office hardware solutions (like sharing a wireless printer) to the very existence of the Internet, comprising hundreds of millions of smaller networks, all sharing information and resources.

Simply put, networks are an essential part of the way we do business. As such, optimizing network performance should be a major goal for any modern business.

Network optimization is an umbrella term that refers to a range of tools, strategies, and best practices for monitoring, managing, and improving network performance.

In today’s dynamic and highly competitive business environment, it is not enough for essential networks to function properly. As we move into the digital age, the world increasingly depends on reliable, fast, secure, available and available 24/7 data transfer.

Unfortunately, outdated or undersized hardware or suboptimal software can limit available bandwidth and introduce increased latency. Obsolete or underutilized network security options can affect performance and leave systems unprotected.

Sudden power surges or spikes in traffic can overwhelm critical network functions and slow response times. The list goes on and on, potentially creating hundreds of editing issues that can degrade the end user experience.

The main goal of network optimization is to ensure the best possible network design and performance at the lowest cost structure. The network should promote increased productivity and ease of use, and enable effective and efficient data exchange. This is achieved by managing network latency, traffic volume, network bandwidth, and traffic direction.

Network optimization can only occur after the current state has been fully assessed. However, to get a clear picture of network performance within an organization, a significant number of parameters and components are involved. Here are five essential factors to consider:

Latency

Latency describes the time it takes for data to travel between two locations (such as between two computers on a network), with lower latency indicating a faster, more responsive network. This delay in data transmission can be as little as a few milliseconds at each step of the journey, but when combined, it can add to a noticeable network lag.

Although the absolute upper limit of data transmission speed is the speed of light, some limiting factors, such as the inherent qualities of WAN routers or fiber optic cables, will always introduce some latency. Other causes can include increased data payloads, duplicate packet retransmission, the wide range of online security tools, proxies, switches, firewalls and other network elements scanning and adding to network traffic and retrieving stored data.

Availablity

Availability is a measure of how often relevant network hardware and software is functioning properly. The flip side is downtime, where the systems in question are not performing to desired specifications. Optimal uptime means that no hardware or software downtime negatively impacts network performance.

Network uptime can be calculated by dividing uptime by the total time over any period, with the most obvious goal being 100% uptime and 0% downtime. That said, it’s not uncommon for complex systems like networks to experience issues from time to time, so 100% uptime isn’t something a business is likely to achieve.

On the other hand, the pursuit of this high standard is an essential aspect of network optimization. Achieving “five nines” (99.999%) or better for uptime is paramount.

Packet loss

A network packet is a small segment of data that can be transmitted from one point to another within a network. Complete messages, files, or other types of information are broken down into packets which are then sent individually and recombined to reconstruct the original file at the destination. If a packet does not arrive intact, the origin will only need to resend the lost packet, instead of resending the entire file.

Although occasional packet loss is rarely a concern, a large number of lost packets can disrupt important business functions and can be an indication of larger network issues. Packet loss is quantifiable by monitoring the traffic at both ends of the data transmission and then comparing the number of packets sent to the number of packets received.

Network jitter

Jitter describes the degree of inconsistency in latency across the network, while latency measures the time it takes for data to reach its destination and eventually make a round trip. When the delays between data packets are inconsistent, it can affect a network’s ability to provide real-time communication, and especially in both directions. This can create problems with video conferencing, IP security cameras, VoIP phone systems, etc.

Network jitter is symptomatic of network congestion, lack of prioritization of packet delivery, outdated hardware, and overloaded network equipment. Other causes may include a poor internet connection or the use of inferior wireless networks.

Since network jitter can lead to packet loss, dropped connections, network congestion, and poor user experience, especially audio, voice, and video streams, this is an important consideration for the network optimization.

Use

Typically, anytime a component in the network is over 70% utilized, slowdowns occur due to packet buffering, head-of-line switch port blocking issues, and downtime. overloading their backplane. If the component is used heavily for long periods of time, the slowdowns turn into serious delays.

Internet connection can become a bottleneck when the number of concurrent interactions involving ISP-based applications and services exceeds what the service allows. Usage metering provides a big picture of your network to determine which sections are seeing what amounts of traffic and at what times peak traffic is most likely to occur.

Properly measured, usage can give you insight into which networks are carrying the most load, where the loads are coming from, and whether usage is too high in certain areas.

In terms of a measure, traffic usage can be represented as a ratio of current network traffic to the peak amounts that networks are designed to carry, represented as a percentage.

Advantages

Managed effectively, network optimization is able to help organizations build more effective and efficient internal and external networks. This has a number of distinct advantages, including the following:

Increased network throughput

Network optimization removes the barriers that stand in the way of optimal data transmission speeds. This means lower latency and jitter, faster response times, and a more connected IT ecosystem – and therefore, increased throughput.

Increased employee productivity

Latency, packet loss, and internal network downtime prevent employees from accessing and using critical tools and information when and how they need it most. Network optimization keeps data flowing smoothly, so your staff don’t have to sit idly by while your network catches up.

Improved analysis and security

An important part of network analysis and security is traffic visibility. By closely monitoring the traffic flowing through the network, where it is going and what it is doing, users have the advantage of being able to identify and respond to threats faster, and to track various critical metrics, including those described above.

Armed with this insight, organizations using Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD), Application Performance Monitoring (APM), and security tools can analyze captured data and turn it into valuable and actionable information.

These tools can be further enhanced with advanced metadata, including application layer attributes, to solve more advanced use cases. Network analysis can also be used in predictive modeling, providing accurate predictions of future network usage.

Client experience

Customer-centric networks also benefit from network optimization, with faster and more available services. When customers take advantage of all the features without having to wait longer than expected, they’re more likely to want to continue doing business with your business.

Network performance

Obviously, the overall goal of network optimization is to optimize the functioning of the network. This means better performance at all levels and improved returns from all services and systems that rely on network performance.

Efficient network optimization

Gigamon is the leader in hybrid cloud network visibility solutions and a critical partner in enabling efficient network optimization. Gigamon offers the power to put a network and all network traffic under a microscope.

The technology can acquire all relevant workload traffic and, using NPMD, APM, and security tools, identify which network elements and applications are consuming the most bandwidth or performing the most compromised. Gigamon also helps ensure clear, comprehensive visibility and control over all of your hybrid cloud deployments.

Gigamon Hawk, the hybrid cloud visibility and analytics framework, provides a next-generation network packet brokerage solution that is critical to ensuring your network security and performance monitoring tools can help you get the most out of build on the networks you and your customers depend on, and push network optimization further than organizations ever thought possible.


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