The amount of data in our world has been exploding, and analyzing large data sets and big data will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation and consumer surplus, according to research by MGI and McKinsey's Business Technology Office. Making the most of big data means quickly analyzing a high volume of data generated in many different formats.
The ability to respond efficiently to network problems and establish the true root cause of service-affecting issues is critical for large organizations that depend on their networks for business continuity. How quickly engineers can investigate, troubleshoot and diagnose network, security and application related problems is directly related to how much network visibility they have.
Endace is a company that can be referred to as the most important network monitoring company you’ve never heard of. The reason you’ve never heard of them is because it spent the last 10 years solving really difficult network problems for government agencies, big banks and big telcos—essentially, people that don’t like talking to the media at all. Right at the core of its business is the concept of network recording. It helps organizations record their network traffic at very high speeds.
“We effectively use big data to solve the problems of time-to-resolution and solve end-user problems,” said Tim Nichols, VP of corporate marketing for Endace. “The data that we aggregate and record and store and index is huge amounts of network traffic, terabytes of network traffic, which we then index and we make available to end users to be able to drill right down to the packets they need to find the problem. We use a big data technique to resolve network issues.”
A provider of intelligent network recording infrastructure that captures, indexes and records 100 percent of your network traffic, Endace recently conducted a survey, “Endace 2012 Network Visibility Survey,” that explores the impact that he latest wave of network-centric technologies, such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), are having on organizations.
“We decided to go out to the market and went, ‘Look, let’s see where the problem that we solve is really hurting organizations,’” said Nichols. “What we learned was that essentially, organizations are becoming more and more dependent on their networks.”
Companies are shifting their networks to becoming Web-based and moving their networks into the public or private cloud, making themselves hugely dependent on connectivity for productivity. The survey found that nearly 40 percent of respondents noted that they do not know which applications are in use on their network, while 53 percent admit that employees use applications that violate IT policies.
“Data organizations have the ability to monitor for applications and indeed enforce application usage policies in their own rights,” said Nichols. The survey revealed that organizations had application policies but no way to either monitor or enforce them. “We were quite surprised at the number of organizations that have effectively policies that are entirely mute in their ability to be enforced.”
The survey also found that 23 percent of organizations experience serious service-affecting problems on a daily basis, an additional 25 percent admit to experiencing serious network issues each month, organizations’ hardest network problems can take up to the 30 days or more to rectify, making maximum time-to-resolutino an expensive issue for large, resource-constrained organizations and organizations can have up to 250 performance-related trouble tickets open at any given time, with half of respondents reporting that at least 50 percent of their trouble tickets stay open for more than 24 hours.
This is where Endace steps in; it gives organizations and engineers the network history they need to solve their problems.
“If you’re a network engineer and you get an emergency or urgent trouble ticket that says the Chicago office is offline, go fix it. if you’re an engineer what you really want to be able to do it go back to the time that the problem occurred and literally look at the network, all the traffic on the network and the specifics of the network at that exact point in time,” said Nichols.” If you do that then you will get to the root cause of the problem very, very quickly.”
According to Nichols, in terms of network investments, organizations are not putting the focus in the right place. Companies are investing in more and more tools to give them early warnings to things going wrong, what Endace likes to call detection technologies, but they’re not investing in the technologies that help them solve the problems once they go wrong.
“The benefits in terms of helping them helping engineers respond and solve network problems is incredibly valuable if you’re sensitive to network downtime,” said Nichols.
Endace’s advice to organizations is to stop measuring time-to-resolution by mean average time and instead focus on the maximum – the 30 day stretch is what is affecting your mean time anyways. The company recommends investing in recording technologies as opposed to detection technologies so it is easier to find an issue once it’s happened and be able to resolve it quickly.
To learn more about Endace and its services and solutions, visit www. endace.com.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo