Performance Measurement

The implementation of a performance measurement program improves the network’s operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness by facilitating faster problem detection and resolution.

Performance Measurement and Down-Time

Reducing down-time and facilitating optimal usage of various applications will improve the overall quality of service.  Empowering the end-user and providing the network administrator with powerful problem detection tools will increase user-confidence both inside and outside the institution.  These benefits are described in greater detail below.

Performance Measurement: Improved Quality of Service

The quality of service required varies among applications.  Some applications are engineered for speed; others do not tolerate packet loss.  The overall quality of networking services will be improved through the provision of means for monitoring network performance on an ongoing basis so that, regardless of the performance required, engineers will be better equipped to address various problems.  Once a monitoring infrastructure is in place the task of monitoring performance and addressing evident problems will resemble maintenance more than troubleshooting.  Network administrators will act proactively to resolve networking problems and will be able to much more quickly troubleshoot those problems that are not anticipated thanks to better, more informative communication with end-users.  This reduces overall downtime and maintains a higher level of performance throughout the network. 

Performance Measurement: Reduced Detection Lag

Utilizing network performance monitoring tools reduces the amount of time a network administrator must spend tracking down problems along the path in question.  Certain tools allow a data path to be broken down such that the distance between each machine on the path can be independently analyzed.  This quickly isolates the problem and enables the network administrator to contact the proper engineer to get the problem resolved.  Trial and error troubleshooting will quickly become a less-used tool as more efficient solutions are devised. 

Empowered End-Users

End-users represent the ultimate customer for all networking services.  Without the use of measurement beacons and performance monitoring tools it is very difficult for end-users to participate in the resolution of problems they are experiencing.  Many users simply accept that sometimes the network is “slow” and fail to report problems.  When problems are reported the user can only provide sketchy details and the network administrator must devote a great deal of time towards tracking down the associated problems.  Through educational campaigns and regular performance testing end-users can become active participants in the resolution of network performance problems.  Not only does this help users attain the quality of service their applications require but generates positive attitudes in end-users and builds good will within the information technology department.

Network Transparency

Providing public, or semi-public, performance measurement statistics creates an atmosphere or transparency around the network.  End-users and connecting networks alike will be able to monitor and evaluate the performance of the institution’s network.  The increased exposure creates an incentive to maintain high performance and because of our highly trained staff Alpha University can expect to build a solid reputation as a reliable and consistent networking partner.