WhatsUp Gold: Daily Network Monitor Blog

Network Monitoring News

Posts Tagged ‘ Network Management ’

By Ennio Carboni

Many cash-strapped UK government bodies are spending on network management tools offering features that they either don’t need, or will never use. And they appear unable to easily gather fundamental data about the growing number of devices on their network. UK Flag

How do we know this? We made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in the UK some months ago and surveyed 634 public sector organizations. We asked about their use of network management and network monitoring tools to manage present and future challenges. These organizations included local authorities, government departments, NHS trusts and universities.

What we found was a general lack of attention paid upon network management and application performance management. Case in point:

  • Even though the vast majority (93 percent) have invested in network management tools, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) cannot distinguish between wired and wireless devices on their network
  • The majority (87 percent) cited network performance as a key priority but less than a quarter (23 percent) bothers to review network performance regularly during office hours.
  • Additionally, just over a third (34 percent) review network performance on a weekly basis or less frequently while one in eight (12 percent) admit to not reviewing network performance at all

This is a perfect storm of device overload and application performance problems that they’ll struggle to manage. Government bodies in the UK should ask themselves what they really need to understand about their network, and ensure they’re using a solution closely aligned to this need.

Public sector organizations, including U.S. Federal agencies, can take control of their networks with a comprehensive, automated network monitoring solution run from a single dashboard. Empowered with this technology, IT professionals within any government organization can:

  • Respond to network problems before users notice, and keep critical systems operational
  • Discover and map an entire civilian or military IT infrastructure (Layer 2/3)
  • Receive network alerts when unauthorized changes are uncovered or when performance falls below preset service levels

 

 

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By Ennio Carboni

Ratings for the 2014 World Cup are beginning to surpass even the most optimistic television executive’s expectations. With the drama unfolding further after every match, viewers are tuning in with record numbers. While this is proving great for television, it is creating obstacles for organizations and their networks. One of the biggest issues facing IT pros is the bring your own device (BYOD) population. iStock_000041710126Medium

The average worker brings with them to the office each day two or more personal devices connected to the corporate network – each of which can be used for streaming World Cup matches. When you have a high-interest match such as the United States vs. Germany set to begin airing at noon ET on Thursday, this creates a situation where streaming is sure to surge resulting in large-scale bandwidth drain.

So the question becomes, how do those charged with network performance account for the sudden spike in usage caused by workers personal devices? There are several options that can help the IT manager limit or even eliminate these spikes.

  1. Substitutions – create alternative viewing options for employees that don’t require them to stream the game through their personal devices. Options could include setting up television viewing stations in break rooms, cafeterias, etc.
  2. Yellow Card – issue a warning to the BYOD crowd that bandwidth limits are being set for streaming and if it crosses a certain threshold, it will be shut down and the stream cut. This ensures that the organization will have sufficient bandwidth remaining to complete critical job functions.
  3. Red Card – block the ability to stream the match completely. While this is sure to illicit a number of complaints from your organizations diehard soccer fans and bandwagon jumpers alike, it is a surefire way to ensure that valuable bandwidth is not consumed for non-work activities and is available for critical business applications.

Depending on your organization and market, bandwidth spikes can have differing effects. It is important to understand patterns of usage and how streaming can affect business operations. Having a firm grasp on the demands of your network will ensure that business isn’t shut out by the World Cup.

 

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By Ennio Carboni

If asked to name the five most-viewed sporting events in the world, what would you say?

Perhaps The World Series, March Madness or Wimbledon?

All good guesses, but you’d be wrong in each case. Here are the top five events when it comes to attracting a media audience, with the most-viewed at the top:

  1. The World Cup
  2. The Olympic Games
  3. ICC Cricket World Cup Championship
  4. Super Bowl
  5. Monaco Grand Prix

iStock_000037172808MediumAnd while they are all on the same list, the standings aren’t even close. The World Cup is far and away the most watched sports event on the planet. Here are some interesting statistics from FIFA’s 2010 World Cup Television Audience Report.

In-home audience reach based on viewers watching at least:

  • 1+ minute of coverage: 3.2 billion representing 46% of the global population in 2010
  • 3+ consecutive minutes of coverage: 2.8 billion representing 41% of the global population in 2010
  • 20+ consecutive minutes of coverage: 2.2 billion representing 32% of the global population in 2010
  • 30+ consecutive minutes of coverage: 2.0 billion representing 29% of the global population in 2010

Think about that for a moment. Nearly half of the world’s population tuned in for at least a brief time to watch one of the 64 matches that make up the World Cup tournament. In fact, FIFA says 909.6 million television viewers watched at least one minute of the 2010 World Cup final at home between Spain and the Netherlands, and the total likely topped a billion when adding online and public screenings. One billion people for one match. Really mind boggling numbers when you consider that the highest-rated Super Bowl (a borderline national holiday in the United States) of all time, the New York Giants vs. the New England Patriots garnered 111.6 million viewers.

With the World Cup set to kick-off today, we thought it would be both an entertaining and informative exercise to look at this event and the potential it has to impact your corporate network. Over the next several weeks we’ll explore what increased viewership of this event, coupled with the increase in networked devices and availability of streaming options mean to your organization.

The world’s most popular sporting event is about to kick-off, is your network ready?

ipswitch_worldcup_june6

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By David Seuss

By the time a network manager at a Midwestern U.S. non-profit organization called us for help, his 5 year-old wireless infrastructure was buckling under BYOD. Employees trying to work during lunch were complaining that their applications were slowing or even failing to operate.

AirBender-BYODHe suspected the people who were trying to work were being affected by others listening to Pandora or watching YouTube from their personal devices while having lunch. But he just didn’t the ability have to confirm it. If he couldn’t control the use of wireless bandwidth he’d have to start paying his ISP a lot more money just to keep up.

An Ipswitch sales engineer listened to his story and suggested WhatsUp Gold to monitor his network, and Flow Monitor to analyze and manage network traffic and bandwidth utilization. Less than a day after downloading the products, a sysadmin on the network manager’s team shared a graph that showed midday spikes in wireless bandwidth consumption.

The sysadmin had used WhatsUp Gold to create and enforce BYOD and wireless network policies. The product’s wireless bandwidth consumption monitor automatically alerted her if usage exceeded a certain threshold. Once alerted, it only took a few minutes to determine who was eating both their lunch and wireless bandwidth.

Later that afternoon the two reviewed an Ipswitch log manager tool to access activity during lunchtime. It showed not only identified the worst offenders, but also their wireless bandwidth-hungry sites. A quiet word with the music and video fans reduced the spikes substantially. An email to all employees that covered the organization’s wireless bandwidth policy further smoothed out the midday data crush and nixed the need to write a bigger check to the ISP.

If you need to tame the BYOD beast and the wireless bandwidth it devours, join our webinar entitled “Tips for Taming BYOD, Access Points and Bandwidth Abuse” tomorrow, November 19, at 8am US ET and 12pm US ET (a replay will be available afterwards).

 

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By Sarah Meyer

IPS WUG LOGOToday we are glad to announce the availability of WhatsUp Gold version 16.2, a new upgrade to our flagship product that provides network, server and application monitoring. It helps make our customers’ jobs a lot easier to do while they work hard to manage and tame networks at companies and government organizations around the world.

Before I continue to share how our customers’ use the product, here’s what’s new in Version 16.2:

  • Integration with wireless network technologies from Meru Networks and Ruckus, Cisco WAP321 wireless access points and Cisco Nexus data center switches
  • Added seed discovery for the IPv6 protocol
  • Other updated discovery and monitoring features (I’ll spare you from reading through the rather long list)

Now back to our customers. These folks can attest to how WhatsUp Gold has helped them save a lot of time and money. And quickly pinpoint problems that are otherwise really hard to find. Here are just a handful of stories from the front lines:

Sort out the root cause of slow application performance, and save money in the process.

A customer who works at a national fast-food franchise was about to spend a lot more money to make up for lagging wireless bandwidth. The checkbook was put away after discovering the culprit was a user streaming Pandora.

Avoid buying a bunch of expensive, incompatible products –and spending money on more staff to manage them.

A customer who works at a large logistics company realized he could solve his network management issues with one product that centralized monitoring across every office. As did another customer who works at a large bank in Europe.

Tame the BYOD chaos brought upon by folks who bring their own devices to work.

A customer who runs a large university’s network used WhatsUp Gold to fix his wireless bandwidth problems caused by BYOD. His team had been literally running around campus to troubleshoot their 2,500 wireless access points. Another customer of ours had a similar problem that was solved thanks to our unified dashboard. (Side benefit: our product can save both rubber soles and tires).

What people are saying about WhatsUp Gold version 16.2:

Matt Cline, senior systems administrator from Optim Healthcare:

The latest version of WhatsUp Gold will give me more visibility into my network and improve wireless network management through its unified dashboard. It will also help further address the challenges caused by employees who bring their own devices to work or chew bandwidth with streaming media.”

Ennio Carboni, president and general manager of the Ipswitch Network Management Division:

WhatsUp Gold provides capabilities to cost-effectively deliver diverse IT services based on their value to the business. In comparison, other so-called affordable network monitoring products don’t offer a unified view or fully encompass heterogeneous environments. Additionally, expensive, complex solutions from BMC, CA, HP and IBM  take months to implement and include features often not used.”

Care to try WhatsUp Gold in your own network environment? Download a free 30 day trial and see how it can make your job easier too.

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By Sarah Meyer

Today’s tale from the front lines of network management comes to us from an IT operations specialist who works at a British university.

mi_cerebro_es_electronico_1969His team supports a network used by more than 8,000 students, faculty and staff. His story was a long one so we’ll sum it up:

Lighting up Shadow IT: The IT operations specialist had been plagued by network and laptop issues. Students had been downloading torrent programs and other software that isn’t allowed. IT now knows who has downloaded what program and can share policy with those who skipped their class.

Keeping it cool: When there’s a power outage, a UPS system kicks in to keep the servers from frying. The IT team uses Application Performance Monitor to track the time remaining on the system so they can initiate scripts to shut down server groups based on importance and priority.

Dude, where’s my PC?: There are 350 PCs in the five story library for students to use but sometimes the students can’t find an available machine. The IT folks created custom SNMP monitors to track PC availability and display them on Layer 2 Maps. “We display these maps on TV monitors on each floor and color code the PCs as green, red or gray depending on the status.”

Get the max for the minimum: “WhatsUp Gold not only shows us the source of a network management problem so we can address it, but gave us more features than other products, at a lower price.”

 

 

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By Sarah Meyer

 

Today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring comes to us from an IT director for a major container transportation company. To keep the containers moving, the company has a big network of virtual and physical servers and desktops across 12 locations. The IT director was told that service levels had fallen and an overhaul of the dated network was probably necessary. disconnect1

His staff shared an 8 month-old network map that had taken 3 weeks to create manually. A quick look around the data center showed a lot of changes since the map was created. He assumed the company’s other 11 locations wouldn’t match the map either.  He started to search for a solution but all he could find were products that were either too expensive, too loaded with features he didn’t want, or required extensive training to get up and running.  

Overwhelmed, he reached out to a former colleague who recommended he try Ipswitch WhatsConnected, a Layer 2 and Layer 3 network diagram product for network discovery and network mapping.

Getting a new view of the situation

Within hours after downloading WhatsConnected, he was had an accurate discovery of his entire data center. After performing a discovery on all 11 locations he was able to quickly sort out what needed replacing. As a result, SLAs went way up, while the need for manual audits became a thing of the past.

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By Gregory Tompkins

Today’s tale from the front lines of network management comes to us from a company that’s been in business for eleven decades. They’re a logistics company with offices around the U.S. And they literally started with a horse and a cart. They have bought several companies along the way, keep their eyes on the future, and learned the value of technologies that help them grow.

Horse-Before-CartBuying other companies means buying incompatible systems that are managed with different tools. The IT team at the company decided they needed to do three things before system issues got out of hand:

  1. Choose one network management product
  2. Centralize monitoring for all locations
  3. Commit to an internal service level agreement

They agreed that the network management product they picked would have to scale for dozens of locations and hundreds of devices, handle the distributed environment, and give them the ability to be more proactive. They assumed they’d buy a solution from one of the big vendors, but, as one IT manager said, “Not only were these solutions high-priced, they required extra dedicated staff and extensive training. It was not cost effective for a company of our size.”

Then a network administrator spoke up and recommended WhatsUp Gold from Ipswitch. He had used it at his last company. According to the IT manager, “We downloaded a trial and liked it right away. We quickly saw that WhatsUp Gold could monitor what we need to monitor – it had what we needed without unnecessarily complicated features or excess cost.”

So the company that started with one horse and a cart, and grew because they knew how to look ahead, picked WhatsUp Gold. Scalable? Check. Distributed monitoring? Check. Support for proactivity? Check.

piggy_coin

Oh, and the price not only fit within the budget, they actually saved money by replacing lots of licenses for different tools with just one license for WhatsUp Gold Premium and the plug-ins they needed for managing network bandwidth, configurations and applications.

Happy? Check.

 

[Care to take our product out for a spin?]

 

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By Gregory Tompkins

Todays tale from the front lines of network management comes to us from the UK. When a new network manager joined a British toy retailer with a huge store in London and nearly a dozen more spread throughout the UK, he immediately came face-to-face with complaints that business users were being dropped off the network intermittently.

aliens-action-figures-toys-necaHe frustratingly tried to chase down the intermittent drop-offs that would later seemingly resolve themselves. He found the firm had purchased Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold network management and monitoring software some time before he came on board but it hadn’t yet been put into production.

Although he was new to the product, he and his team were able to set it up quickly. WhatsUp Gold attacked the intermittent performance problems, performing a trend analysis linking performance metrics to the dates and time when a user got dropped from the network. This helped uncover the root cause and prevent future occurrences.

The IT team leveraged a single dashboard view to see the status of every device and real-time alerts to catch problems early. Combined with reports to correlate network performance with network problems, the mostly generalist IT staff can optimize network performance without specialized trouble-shooting skills.

IT service levels boosteduntitled

WhatsUp Gold continues to make his team proactive in addressing and solving problems quickly. He reckons that his team’s quality of service has risen to the same or higher level than larger, more specialized teams he has managed. “WhatsUp Gold deserves credit,” he says. “It does everything it says it does on the box.”

If you want to play with network management software from Ipswitch, download WhatsUp Gold free for 30 days.

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

By Gregory Tompkins

Today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring comes from a sysadmin from a large CT-based financial services company. One day not long ago he was performing routinely scheduled website maintenance at his office in Tampa, FL. Everything seemed rather normal. The web servers were humming along.

Until the complaints started pouring in. About a problem they couldn’t see. And neither could he.

invisibleAs it turns out, users – including middle management – hadn’t been able to get access to the website for 45 minutes. And they were seriously unhappy.  

Naturally, I was blamed for the outage,” he reports.

He used WhatsUp Gold from the network management division of Ipswitch to see the problem he had only heard about. A few minutes later, after checking out the single dashboard and glancing at a few reports, he saw that HTTP/HTTPS/Ping had gone down on several sites. He traced the problem to an F5 load balancer issue.

In a flash, he restored access to the site.

donkey“[Without WhatsUp Gold] it would have never been solved and I would have been blamed for a production outage! CYA – cover your ass – because the blame was pushed off of me and my maintenance!”

“Also, people actually being able to work again was a nice bonus.”

If you’ve found yourself in this situation (or are looking not to be), you can try our software free for 30 days and see for yourself.

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit