The importance of a clean network operating environment
Your network environment has a major impact on your system’s quality and performance. Anything that is happening on the network that is not doing useful work, you should consider to be noise. Quite often faulty software, poor configuration, poor network design or load impacts on the network can produce a lot of incidental and noisy traffic.
Maintaining a good level of efficiency by minimising noise and keeping the environment ‘clean’ will greatly help a network reach its full potential. In this blog post, we look at the many ways a clean network operating environment benefits your business.
The packet loss problem
One of the key things to understand about a network is, how a network handles data overload. Once a network device has more data arriving than it can process, some of the data being transferred will be dropped. This is known as “packet loss”.
This packet loss in small volumes is not generally a problem. The network will automatically request data again and everything will function almost as usual. If however traffic levels get very high or a faulty piece of software forces large amounts of traffic into your network then a great deal of packet loss will occur and your network will grind to a halt.
As a result of this, the business might face a range of general performance issues including slow operation, communication errors, network security impacts and serious data loss or corruption. All of these can severely impact the profitability of a business.
How a clean network environment helps
Beyond making sure your system is secure and doesn’t lose valuable data, a clean network environment allows customers and team members to enjoy faster response times. Without the latency of a poor environment, this helps both your system and website perform more reliably. Improving the network operation for staff members may also reduce frustration and help them enjoy work more.
From a technical standpoint, having a clean network environment helps make it easier to tune for higher performance and to identify failures in the network more easily. A busy network can produce many gigabytes of log information per hour. A badly configured network with noisy or faulty applications can produce terabytes of logs per hour. Even with powerful tools, the smaller (and cleaner) the logs the easier it is to understand failures and tune in performance.
Preventing network ‘noise’
The key to preventing noise in a network is in ensuring that all network services and network applications are doing only what is expected and not producing more network traffic than required. Simply checking the operation of each protocol or application will reveal how much traffic is generated, in most cases there should be few retries and no sudden termination of transfers of data between devices. Packet loss should also be reviewed as this needs to be minimised if possible.
The issues of an inefficient or ‘noisy’ network could soon grow out of control and lead to major outages if you don’t address them. Apart from packet loss impacts that generally impact everyone, some issues manifest in a way that seems to effect only specific users, if this is sporadic enough, it may never be understood as a network fault and much time can be wasted looking for application or database problems.
A poorly tuned and noisy network can cause difficulty for users. In the worst cases this can lead to a network outage every day; staff productivity can become impacted and customers might be left without a way to use your services for hours. This will seriously affect the firm’s brand, reputation and ultimately profitability.
Cleaning your network environment
Layer3 Systems is able to audit your network to check for inefficiencies and correct them before they spiral into major concerns. In doing so, they remove the ‘noise’ which might be causing issues across your system. At Layer3 Systems, we can inspect your network and keep it clean – contact us to learn more.