When it comes to managing a network, prevention is always crucial. Network outages can cause significant disruptions, leading to lost revenue, reduced productivity, and damage to your organization's reputation. To prevent such situations, you need to invest in network assurance, which involves understanding your network, being able to predict the outcomes of changes, and monitoring your network to identify and resolve issues.
What is Network Assurance?
Network assurance is a process of ensuring the availability, performance, and security of your network infrastructure. It involves a set of tools and techniques that help you monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize your network configuration. Network assurance involves the use of analytics, automation, and machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies, predict network behaviour, and prevent outages.
Network Assurance allows users or automation tools to interact with their network configuration and ask questions, like a path lookup between a source and destination; an assurance response is a fully documented topology with configuration per device. See below as an example, the connectivity would fail at the red device, the reason why connectivity fails is also provided.
What Network Assurance is not? Network Assurance does not involve continuous monitoring, its data is collect at lower frequency. Although many customers assume that assurance involves monitoring, we too had the same belief initially. However, network assurance extends far beyond that and does not involve activities such as traffic monitoring, replaying synthetics, or device polling through SNMP to see if a fan has stopped. It holds a greater significance than monitoring. Operationally you still need both.
The Importance of Prevention:
Prevention is crucial when it comes to managing a network. A proactive approach with network assurance can help avoid costly outages and minimize the impact of disruptions.
Safer Changes: With network assurance, you can make safer changes to your network by predicting the outcomes of those changes. This can help you avoid unexpected downtime and other disruptions, resulting in a more stable and reliable network. We help customers today to automate change validation and saves non-network users from guessing their way through connectivity.
Improved Network Performance: Network assurance tools can help you optimize your network's performance, ensuring that your applications and services run consistently (think global DSCP, TCP MSS). This can lead to improved productivity and customer satisfaction. Your network team can confidently say "its not the network, this time".
Enhanced Security: Network assurance can help you identify security threats and vulnerabilities, enabling you to take proactive measures to protect your network. This can help prevent data breaches and other security incidents that can cause significant damage. With network assurance, you know 100% what your network state is at any point in time.
According to a Gartner report titled "Avoid IT Outages by Following These Five Best Practices," the cost of an IT outage can range from $1 million to $10 million per hour, depending on the industry and company size. The report also notes that 80% of IT outages are caused by change-related issues. (Source: Gartner, Avoid IT Outages by Following These Five Best Practices, Published 22 October 2020)
In a Forrester report titled "The Total Economic Impact™ Of ServiceNow ITOM Visibility," the authors estimate that the average cost of a failed change is $20,000 to $25,000, including the cost of lost productivity, IT staff time, and revenue loss. (Source: Forrester, The Total Economic Impact™ Of ServiceNow ITOM Visibility, Published 11 December 2020)
The Importance of Monitoring:
While prevention is crucial, monitoring is key when it comes to identifying and resolving network issues. Network assurance can compliment monitoring capabilities, but it cannot replace the need for comprehensive network monitoring. Monitoring is king when it comes too:
Traffic Identification: Comprehensive network monitoring can help you identify traffic sources and destinations, enabling you to pinpoint the root cause of network issues quickly. example: unusual network traffic patterns like large transfers
Non-config related Issue Resolution: With comprehensive network monitoring, you can identify and resolve network issues quickly, minimizing downtime and reducing the impact of disruptions. example: high latency on an MPLS network or express route
Capacity Planning: Network monitoring can help you plan for capacity requirements and ensure that your network can handle future traffic growth. example: understanding long term application traffic overhead and forecasting future spend, lowering capacity
Prevention is crucial, but monitoring is key when it comes to managing a network. By investing in network assurance and comprehensive network monitoring, you can detect and prevent potential issues, identify traffic sources and destinations, and resolve network issues quickly.
If you're looking to ensure the availability, performance, and security of your network, a proactive approach that combines prevention and monitoring should be a top priority.
Talk to our team here: email@example.com for more information.