How to Safeguard Your Network During March Madness

1 - How to Safeguard Your Network During March Madness
2 - Monitor the Network for Availability or Poor Performance
3 - Identify Who Is Consuming Your Bandwidth
4 - Apply the Right IT Policy for Network Use
5 - Monitor App Traffic, Make Changes in Real Time
6 - Shape Bandwidth for Better Network Control
7 - Control How BYOD Impacts Your Network
8 - Fight Malicious Attacks and Anomalies
9 - Report on March Madness
10 - Investigate Your Traffic to Find Out the Root Cause
11 - Keep an Eye on Cost
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How to Safeguard Your Network During March Madness

by Chris Preimesberger

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Monitor the Network for Availability or Poor Performance

Your enterprise network transports vital, sensitive information. Any disruption in availability or performance degradation could spell serious damage to business and productivity. Every company should be focused on vigilant monitoring of its network availability and performance. If you haven't already done so, find and use a rich set of tools that provides your IT team with real-time visibility and analytics.

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Identify Who Is Consuming Your Bandwidth

At the end of the day, the primary purpose of your enterprise network is to boost productivity. But often, the unauthorized use of bandwidth-hungry personal applications impacts the performance of business-critical apps. With the right tools installed, IT teams should start monitoring network bandwidth traffic to optimize service levels and identify which users and applications are eating up the most bandwidth.

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Apply the Right IT Policy for Network Use

To keep employees happy, every organization needs to give some leeway for personal use of its network bandwidth. But keeping your team happy should never be at the cost of bringing the entire network down. Solve this problem through alerts based on bandwidth usage, and identify bandwidth abuse before the situation spins out of control. Companies should take advantage of real-time alerts and business-hour filters to be notified about and fix problems as they happen.

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Monitor App Traffic, Make Changes in Real Time

Do not let the network take all the blame for poor user experience. You also need to check on app performance and identify unnecessary application traffic that could compromise mission-critical apps. Assign the highest priority to critical apps—such as CRM, corporate email and client-server-based applications—and de-prioritize second-tier business (and personal) apps, such as YouTube videos and social media. You can also create IP groups to check the use of sports sites, online shopping sites and others.

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Shape Bandwidth for Better Network Control

Don't let your network slow down due to excess load. Instead, throttle down bandwidth to smooth out the performance of your entire network. You should ensure that business-critical apps are constantly up and running by monitoring bandwidth closely in real time and shaping the traffic appropriately based on priority. Tools should be able to allocate bandwidth percentage and classify the important traffic and thereby verify the performance of these policies.

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Control How BYOD Impacts Your Network

Bandwidth management has become more complicated these days, with everyone bringing their own devices and operating them on the enterprise network. IT must have the power to take control at any time and be able to regulate apps that run on any mobile device, whether corporate or personally owned. Having the right combination of policy and technology to improve user experience and lessen the strain on the network is crucial.

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Fight Malicious Attacks and Anomalies

Keep the bad guys out and protect your network against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and zero-day attacks by quickly initiating mitigation services before business is adversely affected. With BYOD, IT struggles to track so many devices and account for all of them to identify attacks and block malicious IPs without affecting legitimate transactions. Choose tools that can establish patterns and detect anomalies proactively to avoid sudden shutdowns.

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Report on March Madness

What implications do changing usage habits have for how we design and build networks? Assess the future of your rapidly changing IT requirements with capacity planning reports to make better infrastructure investments today. Stay ahead of your network by quickly troubleshooting issues with tools that provide various flexible reports on top users and applications—and their real-time bandwidth usage—that can be generated automatically as per the company's requirement.

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Investigate Your Traffic to Find Out the Root Cause

Get to the root cause of bandwidth issues to spot potential problems and drill down into any element's traffic using multiple views to get the perspective you need. You can investigate and isolate excessive network bandwidth utilization and unexpected application traffic. Carry out advanced forensics for troubleshooting to get to the root cause of the issue and avoid future network slowdowns.

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Keep an Eye on Cost

Don't let March Madness drive you mad. Always keep an eye on cost. Calculate the costs of streaming bandwidth and the cost of downtime, and measure them against the benefits you gain before making any enterprise-level decisions.

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