What is the impact of updating network software?
Updating network software is an important part of your IT strategy. There are security and performance benefits which are crucial to have installed, as well as new features that may become available from time to time. These benefits can improve your experience with the network and provide a greater range of convenient features. There can be down sides; sometimes introducing new software can bring with it unexpected operation, introduce bugs and interfere with the smooth running of the system. In this blog post, we reveal the usual impacts of performing software updates on your company’s network.
Quality of life features
The main benefit of these updates should be an optimised system. Newer products generally adapt to changing customer needs, allowing your business to benefit from the latest software trends. These latest editions are usually much more streamlined, with exclusive features that help your business even more, or changes to pre-existing ones which make them easier to use – saving your company time. These improvements are all very well when they just work, but sometimes incompatibilities and software conflicts can leave you worse off. Being able to measure changes in performance is a crucial step in ensuring that benefits are gained and performance is improved.
The hardware issue
The success of these software updates often depends upon your company’s hardware. Software updates can increase a program’s overall system requirements. This can push devices to work harder but may also cause failures as the software runs out of hardware resources. This can impact businesses by forcing hardware upgrades, and with most companies having a limited IT budget, this can be very undesirable. Even if your machines can handle the upgrade, there might be certain bugs that are only present on specific devices, and this can limit the effectiveness of software upgrades. You need a way to understand the full impact of the upgrade so you can be certain of the benefits and catch any undesirable operation early on.
The risks of updating network software
Upgrading network software or introducing new network features brings risk to the network environment. It is not always possible to test new software and even if you can, how many companies have a spare model of the network with sufficient functionality to completely model the real thing. This means you need to be able to easily implement change and also be able to remove or roll back the change. Very often the key is in knowing how well the change is performing. This means you need to capture a picture of what was happening before the upgrade and also be able to compare that with the new operation of the network.
Start monitoring your network
It’s paramount that you and your IT team have a full understanding of the network and how it performs after a software update. Our Network Audit and Managed Network Performance Service can be used to map the state of a system before and after changes. Layer3 Systems provides companies with a means to check your infrastructure after each software update to make sure it works as expected. To learn more about how we can help you, get in touch.