Step No. 8: Consolidate network personnel
Will there be a combined network strategy and management team? Ensuring optimal network and application performance often hinges on the answers to the following five questions:
1. Who will need visibility into what areas of the network?
2. How will management of the combination of networks be centralized?
3. Who will be responsible for network planning and architecture?
4. Will they have access to the historical and trend data needed to make educated infrastructure investment decisions?
5. How will visibility into performance metrics be restricted to authorized users?
An effective network strategy also requires good lines of communication between other IT groups, including the application and server teams-especially with the advent of technologies such as virtualization.
Step No. 9: Manage network change and configuration
How will changes be planned and implemented across the combined network? Facilitating collaboration across your IT organizations is critical to maintaining high performance levels. What processes need to be implemented? How will changes be communicated across the different IT groups? What methods will be used to measure the impact of changes on application performance?
The answers to these questions will help you to successfully plan and implement changes across the combined network. Performance management tools with views that can be easily shared among different groups are essential.
Step No. 10: Fortify network operations
Who will monitor the combined network for application performance? How will they know what the "new normal" performance is? Network operations or help desk groups are often the first to tackle a performance issue and are taking on more and more responsibility for application performance.
Do your operations personnel have the tools and skills needed to monitor application performance across the network? Can they solve basic problems themselves without having to escalate every ticket to the more expensive level two or three engineers? Ensuring the operations group has the right data and means to collaborate effectively with network engineering and other groups is the key to solving problems quickly, at the least cost.
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 [email protected].