Now that we’re past all that holiday madness and safely into the new year, it’s a great time to sit down, take a breath, and take stock of where your IT infrastructure is and where you’d like it to be.

 

I recently got into a conversation with our Head Geeks at SolarWinds about monitoring best practices, asking specifically, how do you know when you have enough coverage to be proactive and avoid issues? Their sage advice, “It depends.”  In a nutshell: “Don’t focus on interfaces, nodes, and volumes. Think about the criticality of the services you are delivering, and decide how much - and what to monitor - based on that.” We all have growing networks, and networks that are growing in complexity and density via IT onvergence. All of this deserves a bit of a think once in a while, to make sure everything in staying in line.

 

Here are a few other things to ask yourself while you’re having that think:

 

  • Sure, I’m monitoring what I need to with NPM, but am I getting the full benefit of IPSLA technology to ensure remote campuses also have reliable access
    to applications hosted on the internet or at headquarters?  Productive users are happy users.

 

  • Am I keeping support costs in check by ensuring all desktops are patched? Am I truly deploying those patches automatically?  Your IT staff is too valuable to assess and patch machines one by one.

 

  • Are you getting maximum value for your WAN connections by using QoS policy shaping to ensure non-business traffic isn’t choking out the critical traffic? Don’t let YouTube steal all the bandwidth from video conferencing!

 

  • As the number of virtual devices on your network increases and more services are concentrated into a smaller number of devices and links – are you able to adequately monitor those converged elements?  As you know, IT convergence increases the criticality of every piece of network gear, making single failures have larger impacts on your network. Every one counts in large amounts.

 

  • The added complexity of virtualization drives additional monitoring requirements – do you monitor your virtual infrastructure as well as you monitor your physical one? If not, is that costing you something? Could it in the future? Hmmm.

 

  • Do you continue to add additional subnets to your network? Are you moving forward with an ipV6 transition? Have you had an acquisition that caused overlapping subnets? How are you managing IP addresses? If it’s by spreadsheet, would you like to move to something more modern? It’s 2013 for gosh sakes.

 

  • You’re monitoring your business critical applications. Would you like to provide that same level of availability throughout your organization? Perhaps baby steps are in order.. Or squeaky wheels get more monitoring first. But in general, better monitoring, stability and uptime is a win win for everyone.


So, some food for thought.  Let us know how you’re doing and if we can help. And don’t forget to keep your maintenance current.

 

And don’t forget to keep your maintenance current. We are constantly delivering updates that offer new features to enhance the depth and functionality of your products. Stay on maintenance and get all your product updates for free.  Here’s to a healthy, happy admins in 2013!