Think solutions not problems...

In addition, many companies, no matter from which industry, are in the process of moving voice communication towards a partially or even fully integrated Voice over IP system. As a result additional data (VoIP control and call traffic) will be transported on the existing data network. Together with the fact that MPLS has reached many companies as well, there are new challenges IT managers are confronted with today if they have aligned their IT strategies to follow these trends.
    
Collaboration
Monitoring and troubleshooting converged environments also means that the different groups (silos) within the IT organisation will have to grow a lot closer together because they are sharing the same infrastructure to deliver different services to the end users. As a result, there will be a larger overlap with respect to the monitoring and management tools the different IT groups (functions) will use. The fact that different management solutions will present similar information from different data sources in a completely different way does not help the communication between the members of the IT organisation either…
    
Hence, there is a need for an integrated platform to manage Application, VoIP and Network Performance, which is capable of delivering broad enterprise or carrier network visibility as well as deep analysis and troubleshooting allowing IT organisations to maximise the value and performance of their IT infrastructure and deliver a superior end-user experience.

Challenges
Organisations face many challenges. Those challenges include: Data centres – escalation process owner: There are multiple infrastructure pieces in a data centre that can have a negative impact on the performance of an application (Data or VoIP). Depending on what you would include in the data centre, this could be the router connecting the data centre to the outside world/the company network, the firewalls protecting the data centre, the distribution switches, the load balancers and of course the servers running the applications. In case of application performance degradation the question is who owns the escalation? Is it the network, server or application “department”?
    
Solution: One integrated performance management system (Network, Server and Data-/VoIP-Application) that is capable of sorting out the escalation by pinpointing the problem domain.
    
WAN Management – Lack of visibility: The WAN becomes more and more of a “Black Hole”. The reason is MPLS. Carriers are migrating their networks to support higher traffic volumes as well as the need to reduce distances between branches and/or headquarters to support new technologies such as VoIP. MPLS allows the carrier to create a virtual network for each customer with what we call “any to any” connections. The positive effect is that headquarters traffic volumes drop dramatically. In addition, distances a packet (VoIP or data) has to travel between two sites could be reduced by 100 per cent or more, which has a great impact on performance. The challenge is the visibility! In a traditional environment, where all traffic was routed through headquarters it was easy to understand what was going on on the network and to troubleshoot a performance problem. With “any to any” connections, the visibility from the central location is gone.
    
Solution: Depending on the depth of information needed, existing infrastructure information from the routers (even from carrier edge routers) can be used to gain back the broad visibility. For the in depth analysis and troubleshooting dedicated HW can be deployed at key locations. All the information from the sources can then be managed in the integrated performance management system.
    
Monitor and manage
Fluke Networks’ Visual Performance Manager equips your IT staff with a set of integrated tools to monitor and manage the core of your network, any branch or remote office as well as the connecting network in between to ensure the delivery of high quality application, VoIP and network services to your end users.
    
All teams throughout the IT organisation will need unique views respective to their function. Regardless of user, any custom view can be created to meet each unique need. Cross-functional teams can easily see the problem domain, using the same data source and performance management system, helping to speed MTTR.
    
Some of the objectives a unified performance management system like Visual Performance Manager helps achieve the different levels within an organisation:

  • Technical user – rapid identification, isolation and troubleshooting of performance problems
  • Director level – introduce new business and application services faster, more efficiently and with less risk
  • Executive level – integrated system that drives collaboration and empowers executives to optimise and sustain efficient business service delivery

For more information
Find out more at www.flukenetworks.com/vpmGB

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