There is hardly a Network Operations Center (NOC) professional who has not witnessed degraded network performance. Performance degradation is critical as it creates unhappy subscribers and therefore unhappy NOC supervisors! So the question is,
what can a NOC professional do to improve network performance using the variety of tools at hand?
As the network is at the heart of every Carrier Service Provider (CSP), when there’s a performance issue there’s a good chance that only one technology domain is somehow responsible although it affects bigger parts of the network.
With network optimization methods, NOC professionals can improve network performance. These methods include identifying network chains that impact end-user response times, isolating root cause, showing historical performance trends, and correlating metrics with response time and performance.
So, here are three optimization tips to improve network performance:
Tip #1: Get visibility into the entire network
The days of isolated network domain islands are over. Today’s NOC professionals must have visibility across the entire network; this means they need visibility across the network chain comprising the access, aggregation, backhaul and core domains. Visibility across the network domains will help identify performance bottlenecks and improve the end-user experience.
Tip #2: Drill-in beyond legacy dashboards
Many legacy monitoring tools provide static dashboards focused on availability and network status, typically including hard-to-interpret graphs and statistics. In addition, many of these tools don’t provide enough information or automation/colleration capabilities to easily diagnose a performance-related problem.
Monitoring tools with drill-in capabilities can help NOC professionals eliminate guesswork. They help identify how a network service is implemented across network domains and can show which devices and resources affect it’s performance. This type of tools provide far more actionable views into performance than static legacy dashboards.
Tip #3: Reference historical performance baselines
Network performance is dynamic as it depends on many conditions, many of them external to the network. This the case with wireless backhaul that is affected by … weather. It is critical therefore to be able to compare problematic performance with planned or usual performance.
The best way to do this is to create historic performance baselines that show how the network was planned to perform. It is also important to show how it performed at the same time on the same day last week, and the week before that, etc.
Comparing the current performance with these baselines will make it easier to identify degradation before it becomes big problem. Once a degradation is identified, it’s much easier to track the device, resource or configuration change that could be the root cause and solve the problem quickly.
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