Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) is one of those acronyms used in excess, but what about MTTI ( Mean Time to Innocence)?
Sounds like a joke, but there’s truth in this fairly unknown acronym. It’s equally important as we move applications to the cloud, but often gets a bad reputation as a cover your “you know what” exercise when something goes awry. So what is it exactly?
The main purpose of MTTI for most organizations is to prove that either the application team or network team isn’t to blame. Or internal versus external service provider for that matter. By using the right method of assessing, the pinpointing of the issue can be on a provider such as your WAN telco, internet carrier, or cloud/hosting provider.
While IT departments are spending an excessive amount of time locked in war rooms pointing fingers, we’re all losing sight of the common goal of providing a high-quality end-user experience and reducing the cost of having teams “pointing fingers.” At the end of the day, no matter who is to blame for the slowdown, failure, or user complaint, it benefits everyone to have the tools to create context and dependencies through the IT infrastructure for easier root cause isolation.
3 Common Network Problems Damaging the Cloud App End-User Experience
Behind the doors of the war room, IT is ticking through the usual suspects behind performance issues. Is it network packet loss, a firmware upgrade, an application error, or maybe a resource consumption issue? When you’re using the cloud, you count on the provider to ensure adequate resources for performance, but the rest of the application delivery path and any poor network performance remains your responsibility.
One way to keep everyone honest and focused is to track the following three network problems:
1. High Network Latency
As cloud applications proliferate, IT may begin building an overlay network, relaying a blend of application services across the plain old data network and continue to rely on backhauling. The result -- application data packets traveling unnecessary distances that cause latency.
It’s not just distance that causes the common problem, there’s also busy networks with applications competing for resources. For example, if employees are watching videos on Facebook and there is only a firewall regulating traffic instead of other prioritization business services through software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), the non-work-related sites become devastating to performance.
Last but not least, consider bandwidth. Organizations typically over-provision bandwidth with little insight into actual usage requirements, including bursts. This is unnecessary, and a hidden cost in most IT budgets. WAN providers rarely give you money back or capacity you didn’t use last month, Insight into usage, bandwidth, business vs. recreational becomes all part of how to handle the requirements of today’s cloud applications.
2. Network Misconfigurations
If you’ve ever fat-fingered commands in a CLI, you know where we’re headed. Behavior of applications and the network depend on error-free configurations. Even the tiniest mistake in setting network configurations can lead to noticeable performance degradation of business-critical applications for end-users. Pre- and post-configuration change management is an essential part of Change Management. Utilizing synthetic transaction testing, an active network monitoring capability allows you to detect the results of change immediately.
3. Network Device Dependency
Routers, switches, wireless access points, firewalls -- intermediary devices come in different forms to interconnect end devices and ensure that data flows across the network. And more importantly, are typically racked or stacked on top of each other. Each play a vital function in regulating network traffic. Any misconfigurations can lead to delays, outages, and perceived application performance issues.
Reduce MTTI Drills, Increase End-User Experience
Instead of spending hours locked in a room isolating or resolving issues, or wasting hours on the phone with vendors to diagnose a problem, consider using visibility tools that deliver active monitoring using performance analytics end-to-end.
Before choosing your visibility approach, be sure that it provides an end-to-end view designed for the cloud -- because if your applications aren’t there yet, they will be soon.
End-to-end monitoring should include:
Visibility into traffic on the public internet and when it reaches the cloud provider
Round-trip analytics on application behavior from the device level, to the cloud application, and back
Compatibility whether an employee is on the corporate network, connecting via WiFi, VPN, or LTE
Synthetic transaction monitoring to simulate exact application (VoIP, UC) and user behavior (web-based app access) and depict how the overall application is performing
As traffic moves beyond the firewall and into the cloud, IT will need the right modern network monitoring software and tools to end the useless finger pointing and deliver on technology that actually works for the end-user. After all, they don’t care who is at fault, they just need to remain productive (and leadership wants that too).
At Edgeworx we help customers ready their networks for the changes that cloud applications bring with network performance assessments that offer baselining, capacity planning, and network simulation modelling. With our independent, objective analysis we make recommendations on improvements and monitoring tools for end-to-end visibility of the entire IT infrastructure. If you’re ready to reduce MTTI and MTTR while improving the end-user experience, contact us today at +1.647.793.4731.