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Configuration Errors Got You Down?

Level 12

"60% of availability and performance errors are the result of misconfigurations"

Enterprise Management Association (EMA)reports that the main cause of network downtime and performance errors is – misconfigurations or badly executed network changes.

End users today expect the network to be available at all times. The network operations team is under constant pressure to maintain the highest levels of uptime and performance, even while carrying out software or hardware deployments and changes.

A typical network involves various types of devices from multiple vendors. And, trying to manually manage each device individually is a daunting and error-prone task. Each bad configuration can lead to costly downtime. Add to this, the amount of time and effort that goes into stabilizing the network after a high impact event. The end result is a slowdown in network operations and an unreliable IT infrastructure—all of which have a negative impact on the business. In short, network downtime caused by configuration changes impacts the overall performance and productivity of the business.

So, what can you do to recognize configuration issues, take timely action, and stay ahead of network problems?

Five Simple Steps to Ensure Control of Configuration Changes in Your Network

1.      Maintain a last known good configuration state and perform regular backups

2.      Record all changes, when they were made, by whom, and the business justification

3.      Test changes for impact before applying to production devices

4.      Be notified in case an unplanned or unauthorized change is made

5.      Regularly check if configurations are compliant with standards or best practices

Following a systematized and automated methodology to handle network change processes aids in eliminating time-consuming, tedious, and repetitive configuration tasks, and of course, the risk of human error.

Business Value-add of Network Change and Configuration Management

  • Reduce network downtime - Monitor network configuration changes in real-time and be automatically alerted when changes occur. Proactively identify potential network issues and quickly fix them before they cause major downtime.
  • Increase operational efficiency - Eliminate inefficient manual processes and meet increased demand for service requests through automation and consolidation. Manage your change process with change request approvals and verification prior to execution.
  • Improve network security and stability - Detect and report on policy violations to ensure network compliance with federal regulations and internal standards. Identify devices that do not comply with configuration policies or those that pose a security risk.  Protect your network from unauthorized, unplanned, or erroneous configuration changes.

Current­-day change management capabilities can help reduce the risk of network downtime by providing you with the necessary tools to stay in control of changes occurring in your network. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) is one such solution that automates your network configuration and change management activities. Stay confident knowing that you are in charge and can effectively tackle network changes and roll-out new technologies. 

1 Comment
Level 15

Change management is always a sore subject.  Companies need to have strong but flexible change management policies and procedures.  These are good points in the posting.  Thanks!