Network performance testing

The importance of up-to-date network documentation & how network performance testing can help.

To examine performance, you first need to understand what the network was designed to do. You can then measure actual performance against a theoretical maximum for the design. This comes down to needing a clear diagram of the network and an operational description of how it works.

Your documentation should have clear records and up-to-date information to support network management and to facilitate performance testing. Good documentation allows your company to be aware of its current network and server configuration and supports reconfiguration and repairs if they face any issues. In this blog post, we look at the necessary documents for effective network support and the many benefits they provide.

Operational Description

This document sets out the system’s current structure and protocols – the team should edit this in response to any significant network changes. A comprehensive operational description ensures every party knows how this system works and what they expect it to achieve. This will also help teams manage the changes and occasional problems they might expect to face.

Ideally a network should have a copy of the configuration of every network device. This then supports repair or replacement of any device if it should fail.

Network Diagram

The system’s network diagram shows its overall topology, identifying each device in detail – this also includes a breakdown of VLANs and IP addressing schemes. This can save both internal and external repair teams time, as the document provides them with a full overview of how the network components fit together.

Combine the Network Diagram and the Operational description and you have the basis to understand the design of the network. If this can be combined with information on usage, preferably with trend information, then it is possible to design changes to support future growth.

Bill of Materials

Knowing which parts to order at a moment’s notice can significantly streamline the repair process if the network faces any issues. This document is a full inventory of your network’s physical components, and keeping this up-to-date allows your team members to quickly source any necessary replacements or hardware upgrades.

Configuration Guide

A configuration guide illustrates how every network device is configured, allowing the company to recover if it faces a serious operational failure. The team must update this whenever configurations change – and it should also be detailed enough that staff members can easily restore devices to the previous settings when necessary.

As described above, a network should have a copy of the configuration of every network device in use. Ideally this should be easy to automatically load, as that speeds repairs.

Up-to-date documents improve network performance

At Layer3 Systems, we can backfill any missing documentation and get your network operations back on track. Using our efficient network performance testing methodology, we can help your business develop and manage your network more effectively and provide comprehensive system documents. This lets you run your system better – and with far less downtime. To learn more about our services and their effect on network performance, get in touch.

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