• United States

We are still too reactive in our approach to network management

Mar 23, 20063 mins

* Not much progress in implementing proactive network management practices

We have written numerous newsletters over the last year on the topic of network and applications management (see the newsletter links below). In those newsletters, we frequently discussed the proactive vs. reactive nature of current management practices. Being eternal optimists, we often found a data point or two that we could use to justify saying that at least some IT organizations are becoming more proactive with their management practices.

However, we recently came across a couple of data points that caused us to wonder just how much progress we have made as an industry relative to implementing proactive management practices. In particular, at the time of writing, Jim is currently in the midst of moderating a Network World seminar tour that is devoted to both innovation and best practices in network and applications management. To date, the tour has averaged more than 100 attendees per seminar.

During each seminar, Jim and six leading-edge vendors give presentations that identify suggestions for how IT organizations can improve management practices, typically by becoming more proactive. The seminar itself is set up to encourage a lot of two-way dialogue between the attendees and the speakers. However, while the speakers are talking about the value of being proactive, the feedback from the audience is that the management practices of most IT organizations are still highly reactive. For example, in each city the vast majority of the attendees whose companies have implemented VoIP indicated that they do not actively monitor VoIP traffic. In addition, the vast majority of attendees also indicated that if the performance of an application is degrading, the user will typically notify the IT organization before the IT organization notices the problem.

We would really like to hear from our readers on this topic. If you have deployed VoIP and do not actively monitor the traffic, why not? Also, if you generally notice application degradation prior to your users calling the help desk, kindly write to us and let us know what tools and processes you have implemented to make this happen. We are also interested in hearing from those of you who may have looked at the issue of monitoring for application degradation and determined that it is either too tough of a problem to solve or just not worth the effort.

Recent newsletters about application and network management:

Survey finds users are becoming proactive with WAN mgmt.

Jim has a broad background in the IT industry. This includes serving as a software engineer, an engineering manager for high-speed data services for a major network service provider, a product manager for network hardware, a network manager at two Fortune 500 companies, and the principal of a consulting organization. In addition, Jim has created software tools for designing customer networks for a major network service provider and directed and performed market research at a major industry analyst firm. Jim’s current interests include both cloud networking and application and service delivery. Jim has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Boston University.

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