How to Keep Networked Applications Humming During Organizational Change

By Joel Trammell  |  Posted 2009-10-13 Print this article Print

Applications are the lifeblood of any business, and ensuring their quick and efficient delivery across the network to all parties is a challenge even in the best of times. But the current economy is exacerbating this challenge by reshaping organizations via increased merger and acquisition activity, staff reductions and outsourcing. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Joel Trammell explains what risks these challenges pose to the performance of networked applications and gives CIOs 10 steps to follow to ensure they don't negatively impact business.

As your organization seeks to efficiently connect, integrate or even dissolve teammates, partners and infrastructures in other companies, time zones and cultures, there are certain risks posed to the performance of your networked applications. But there are ten important steps CIOs can follow to mitigate these risks and efficiently and seamlessly maintain the performance of business-critical applications as their organizational structure evolves. Let's take a look at these ten steps.

Step No. 1: Take an inventory of applications

Do you know what's running on the merged network? Many organizations don't have any idea what applications are running on their network and how much of the traffic is business-related versus recreational. This has implications for performance and security as well as bandwidth provisioning.

Look for network performance monitoring tools that use a technology called NetFlow (created by Cisco but now an industry standard called IPFIX) to identify the who, what, when and where of applications traversing the network, as well as how much bandwidth is being consumed.

Step No. 2: Determine all application dependencies

Do you know what infrastructure components are used by each critical application? Understanding the infrastructure is critical to mitigating risk. For instance, a large commercial vehicle parts manufacturer that spun off from its giant parent corporation was immediately faced with delivering network services to thousands of employees in 30 countries.

The network group had to quickly understand its global network infrastructure and application environment. The group also had to quickly discover which resources belonged to them-including WAN links, servers, shared buildings and applications-in order to transition the appropriate resources away from the parent company and ensure optimal network and application performance. Network traffic analysis, application response time monitoring and device performance monitoring technologies are all critical in this situation.

Joel Trammell is co-founder and CEO of NetQoS, Inc. Since co-founding NetQoS in 1999, Joel has led the company to become one of the fastest growing in the U.S. In 2005, the Austin Business Journal recognized Joel as its Private Company Executive of the Year. In 2006, he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Joel's achievements in IT span more than two decades and include numerous positions of leadership and management, most recently with Advanced Micro Devices, UST Computers (where he was the President and CEO of the Austin-based provider of computer hardware and network services), and HomeSmart, a company that he co-founded in order to provide sales and marketing products for the residential construction industry. Joel began his career as an Officer and Instructor/Division Director at the U.S. Navy's prestigious Naval Nuclear Power School, instructing more than 400 naval officers in thermal sciences and nuclear reactor plant systems. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal and the designation of Master Training Specialist before moving on to build products and solutions that would empower clients to solve their long-standing IT problems. Joel graduated Magna Cum Laude from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering. He remains a recognized expert in network solutions and large-scale IT systems deployment. He can be reached at

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