Network Performance Measurement: How Do You Evaluate Performance?

Network Performance Measurement: How Do You Evaluate Performance?

You network needs to perform well – there’s no doubt about that. Businesses rely on their network to achieve mission-critical tasks, so maintaining efficient network performance is incredibly important. How do you properly evaluate network performance, however? Your IT team can use network performance monitoring (NPM) solutions to gather several kinds of insights about your network. Which insights should you pay attention to for an accurate and helpful network performance measurement?

That question can be difficult to answer. Each business network operates differently, and thus requires its own strategy for proper performance measurement. Determining that strategy is a critical step for IT teams – but where should you start? Below, we explain how to create and refine a network performance measurement strategy so you can accurately judge your network’s behavior.

What are your network performance goals?

It’s important for your network team to set and work towards network performance goals. These goals should outline how your organization wants its network to perform; this might include improving a specific performance metric or maintaining performance across every area of the network infrastructure. The exact goals will vary depending on your business needs and your typical network behavior. Your network team should make these goals clear and defined, as well as ensuring that everybody on the team is aware of them. Otherwise, you run the risk of siloing your network performance measurement.

Determine which network performance metrics are important

Network performance can be broken down into several different metrics that businesses can analyze. While all of these metrics are helpful to know, not every one is necessarily great for determining your network’s performance. Latency, for example, would be great to analyze if you want to increase your network speed, but so might bandwidth usage. Which one should you look at? Many network monitoring tools are able to intelligently determine which aspects of your network are performing the worst based on data analysis. Using this analysis,

Network monitoring solutions can analyze network performance on a multi-leveled approach. This means that they examine and track various performance metrics, displaying them all in a dashboard. Your enterprise can visualize several different metrics at once, and most network monitoring tools have customizable interfaces. Thus, you can easily change your visualizations to prioritize the metrics you need to focus on.

Designing an efficient measurement strategy

Knowing what you want to look at isn’t the only step in developing a network performance measurement strategy. You also need to determine how you’re going to be looking at these metrics. If your network performance is stable but your goal is to optimize it, you don’t necessarily need to take immediate actions to address performance data. You may want to gather performance data over a period of time; then, your team can analyze that data to determine a future course of action. Whatever the case, your enterprise should think about the metrics you want to look at and determine a suitable plan to attack them.


Looking for a solution to help you improve your network performance? Our Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top network performance monitor vendors, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying.

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Daniel Hein

Dan is a tech writer who writes about Enterprise Cloud Strategy and Network Monitoring for Solutions Review. He graduated from Fitchburg State University with a Bachelor's in Professional Writing. You can reach him at dhein@solutionsreview.com
Daniel Hein