Your network’s performance can be broken down into several different metrics. Analyzing these metrics together allows you to figure out how your network is performing and how or where it can be improved. Depending on your business, however, there are certain metrics that provide more valuable insights into your network performance. Network availability, for example, is a metric that most enterprises want to improve without knowing what the benefits of focusing on it are.
Network availability, or uptime, simply refers to the network being up-and-running. It’s obviously important for users to be able to connect to a network, and as such, network availability should be a priority. However, how important is uptime in regards to network performance? How much does network availability affect the performance of your network? Read on to discover the best way your enterprise should approach network availability.
Improving network availability
Your network team should bring its uptime as high as it can be in order to provide the best service for your users. The best way to improve availability is to shield your network against factors that can bring it down. To keep your availability up, here are some tasks your enterprise can do:
Network performance testing
You need to understand your network performance at every end to find anything that can affect your uptime. If there are any areas of your network where throughput, bandwidth usage, and other network metrics are at critical levels, it could be a sign that your network (or at least a portion of it) might fail. Using tools, such as a network performance monitor (NPM), you can test the performance of your entire network to determine areas that need specific work.
In order to keep your network operational at all times, your network team should install redundant systems. This allows your enterprise to maintaining the availability of your network even if part of it goes down.
You can never guarantee 100% network availability
Companies want their network to run 24/7/365, but this is impossible. Even if you implement the best practices to increase your uptime, there will always be factors that you can’t control. If your enterprise suddenly loses all power because of weather or other natural forces, your network will inevitably go down. Having a backup power supply can negate this, but you may have to set it up when your main power source fails, which could take a lot of time. You’ll also occasionally need to shut off the network in order to make repairs or replacements. Thus, 100% availability is unattainable.
Communicating with your users
The most important thing your network team can do in regards to availability is staying in communication with your enterprise during downtime. If your network goes down, you need to inform your company as soon as possible. You’ll also want to keep them updated as your team works on the problem, giving them any information you learn about the network’s uptime.
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