What are the elements of network performance management (NPM)?
Network performance management involves establishing policies, workflows, and network operations to solve issues affecting network performance. Deciding upon which management protocols to set and enforce depends largely on the specific needs of your business, however, the following network performance management practices can help improve IT operations while mitigating the possibility, or effects, of performance issues.
Collect good data
Having the appropriate performance metrics to review is a critical step in effective network performance management. A complex network generates a wide range of data, and sifting through that information to identify relevant performance clues can be a challenge.
Network monitoring tools streamline the process by examining data relating to packet loss, network traffic analysis, network node outages, SNMP performance, or bandwidth usage. Relevant information is then conveyed to your team for evaluation, or analyzed by machine learning, artificial intelligence or AIOps.
Understand your metrics
With so many different components involved in keeping your network operational, network monitoring can result in a myriad of performance metrics that provide information about the health of your IT stack. Identifying the metrics that give you the most comprehensive view of your multi-layered network can increase awareness around areas of performance that experience problems more frequently. Using that data, your IT team can create a set of network management policies to mitigate issues and improve productivity and user experience.
Automated data collection
Sometimes it takes awhile to identify a pattern of performance issues. An effective network monitoring tool logs all performance issues, including relevant information such as under what circumstances they occurred. Being able to refer to a log of past concerns allows your team to assess problem areas that require more in-depth investigation or closer monitoring.
Recognizing security issues
Poor network performance is often the result of security threats such as malware, which can quickly become a disaster for both your network, and your business as a whole. The time, cost, and loss of reputation involved with a security breach can be arduous. Implement a network monitoring system capable of finding malware, unsecured network devices, and other network vulnerabilities so that your team can develop protocols to prevent and manage weak points before end users or confidential data is affected.