How to Keep Networked Applications Humming During Organizational Change - Page 3

Step No. 5: Calculate bandwidth allocation

If consolidation is a goal, how much bandwidth is needed for the various remote locations to handle the merged application portfolio and employee base? Knowing which applications and hosts are consuming bandwidth across the network enables organizations to make informed decisions about bandwidth investments. For instance, a large chemical manufacturer helped ensure better performance of its critical applications and cut its global bandwidth budget in half by understanding its traffic composition.

The company was surprised to find that 50 percent of its global bandwidth was being consumed by e-mail, 30 percent by Internet browsing and 10 percent for print and other small jobs. This left less than 10 percent of the bandwidth for its business-critical applications. Because e-mail and Internet browsing are not time-sensitive, the company decided to use the less expensive public Internet to deliver this traffic. In doing so, they removed 80 percent of the traffic off its core Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network serving the business and lowered its service provider costs.

Step No. 6: Establish service-level agreements

What service-level goals, formal or informal, need to be put in place or modified? Establishing service-level agreements (SLAs) around application delivery-not just availability-provides a measuring stick for the level of service you are providing and when it degrades from normal. SLAs can also help you determine whether your external service providers are meeting their service guarantees.

CIOs should insist on performance-oriented SLA commitments from their service providers that are related to key business applications, not just availability guarantees.

Step No. 7: Implement and monitor QOS policies

If applications from the merged entities will share links, what quality of service (QOS) policies need to be created or updated? The ability to set QOS policies for which types of traffic get priority across your network is imperative, especially as your organizations uses more VOIP and video streaming. This requires the political will and ability to agree on priorities between the different lines of business using shared infrastructure. Ensuring that the policies are working is essential.