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How to Ensure Reliable Network Performance

Businesses have never been more dependent upon reliable network service. Increasingly complex business applications, communication and collaboration, mobile access, and streaming video are among the services that have significantly increased network traffic and intensified connectivity demands.

Unfortunately, most organizations say their networks aren’t meeting their performance requirements.

In an Infovista survey, 94 percent of senior IT professionals agreed that the network is mission critical, but 90 percent also reported user complaints about network performance. Meanwhile, 89 percent of IT pros surveyed by Talari Networks reported that their organization had a least one unplanned outage in the past year, and two-thirds reported more than two outages.

At a time when network reliability has become an operational imperative, slowdowns resulting from poorly performing IT systems also carry significant business costs. IDC estimates companies lose $26.5 billion in revenue each year due to IT downtime.

Beyond Bandwidth

Organizations often believe adding bandwidth can resolve all performance issues, but sometimes that just masks underlying issues. Improperly configured routers, switches and applications are often sources of performance issues.

Before embarking on an expensive network upgrade, organizations should evaluate their current setup to detect, diagnose and remedy any problems that may be affecting performance. Our Mitel customers have access to powerful monitoring and diagnostic tools through the Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA) solution, which is included in your Mitel Premium Software Assurance subscription.

MPA is fault- and performance-management software that monitors and manages your entire network, with a special focus on voice quality. The result is faster problem detection and resolution and reliable network performance.

Best Practices

Here are five ways MPA helps organizations avoid downtime and keep their business running smoothly:

  • Greater insight. Many network quality issues are caused by a failing or misconfigured router or switch. Network performance monitoring tools can identify chokepoints and automate device configuration. They can also speed the analysis of data packets, calculate application and network response times, and identify abnormal traffic patterns that may be impairing the user experience.
  • Continuous testing. Identifying poorly performing devices and applications can be a time-consuming process. Highly automated continuous testing tools can identify a variety of network problems without requiring manual intervention. Synthetic testing tools that simulate users can produce end-to-end alerts about issues with latency, jitter or packet loss. The ability to test directly from the monitoring system’s dashboard to find the root cause quickly helps avoid costly downtime.
  • Specialized tools. Generic network monitoring tools may not provide enough insight into some network services. For example, MPA’s advanced unified communications testing solution features diagnostic tools customized for voice and video, and it provides a single dashboard view into the entire portfolio of applications that make up your business communications suite.
  • Increased analytics. Usage reporting like SIP trunk and port usage can tell you in advance when it’s time to expand your network or add new licenses to maintain optimal performance. Alarm analytics can inform you of the most important issues on your network faster, so you can plan effectively and make more-informed business decisions.
  • Stay current with software updates. The Software Assurance program is a cost-effective way to deploy the latest updates, which protect against aging infrastructure, security vulnerabilities and interoperability problems.

Most businesses today cannot function without around-the-clock network availability. However, the need to support more devices, applications and services is making it increasingly difficult to monitor and maintain network health. Mitel’s Performance Analytics can help you avoid downtime and performance issues by rapidly detecting and resolving critical issues.

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