Network Graphing and Optimization – Part 1

Cloud Report for network visibility

Our previous post on network troubleshooting covered the various ways in which traffic monitoring tools can be helpful; today we’ll be focusing on how network graphing tools can help inform optimization decision-making. Even when things are working and traffic is flowing correctly, analyzing traffic patterns can be helpful in understanding bandwidth needs and can assist in planning for the future.

Some of the simplest graphs to explore are ones displaying the WAN network utilization. Essentially, these graphs display the amount of bandwidth being used over a time period that you specify. So if you want to see bandwidth usage of your fiber connection over 30 days, you can do that, or maybe you want to see how much bandwidth is used during the lunch-hour last Thursday, or even what bandwidth is being utilized in real-time – you can do that too!

Being able to see overall bandwidth usage and how that usage changes throughout the day or over time, can be helpful in determining if needs are growing or changing.

One way this is helpful is that you can begin to make intelligent optimizations regarding your network. If you see that bandwidth utilization is getting close to a connection’s capacity, perhaps you can configure Quality of Service rules to ensure that your critical applications aren’t being crowded out by less important traffic. Or you can adjust routes to force less important traffic out a different line entirely, freeing up bandwidth for your critical apps… knowing what’s going on with the connections allows you to make informed adjustments.

In many cases this would allow you to get more efficient use out of the connectivity you’re already paying for, or at least give you plenty of warning (and plenty of time to shop around) if your business is simply beginning to outgrow your existing connectivity and you need to investigate obtaining additional connectivity.

Next time we’ll look at some of the other graphs and how they can be used in conjunction with the WAN utilization graphs to ensure performance for critical traffic during outages and other unforeseen disruptions. As always, please feel free to contact us to recommend a topic if there’s something you’d like us to explore more thoroughly.

For more information about Ecessa wide area network solutions, please call (800) 669-6242, email or fill out our contact form.

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