The widespread digitization of our lives has raised expectations of IT networks and their capabilities. Secure and reliable data is needed in vast quantities and in ever-narrowing time frames.
Our increasing reliance on data and the high network performance are placing pressure on enterprise networks that enable a wide range of activities, such as video calling, internal communication, and e-commerce. In our turbulent economy, it’s no longer enough for networks to perform at previously acceptable standards. Rather networks are being pushed to their limits as they are expected to manage high volumes of traffic while providing sufficient bandwidth and nonstop availability.
As such, IT teams and network managers everywhere must proactively manage and improve network performance, or they risk increased downtime and loss of revenue, which can prove catastrophic to businesses needing constant continuity in the endless world of digital business.
What is network optimization?
Network optimization encompasses a wide range of tools, strategies and best practices used to monitor, manage, and enhance network performance and functionality. The primary goal of network optimization is to provide a fast and efficient network experience for all users. Network performance monitoring and optimization are part of an ongoing process and are continuously being adapted to meet emerging needs and performance requirements.
Why is network optimization important?
The growth of distributed IT and remote working means network optimization is key to managing an increasing number of network devices and software applications. Implementing network optimization facilitates remote access to networks, while customers can easily access and share data or documents from any digital device.
Efficient network management ultimately aims to improve usability and encourage a positive end-user experience while driving productivity. To achieve this aim, network optimization improves the overall network experience by enhancing reliability, security, and speed across the entire enterprise network.
How to measure network optimization?
Network managers use a range of network optimization tools to monitor and assess network performance metrics. This often involves identifying potential issues to gain a deeper insight into the necessary steps involved in improving network performance.
Traffic usage, or utilization, measures the least and most active parts of the network, known as ‘peak’ traffic. IT teams track usage percentages and peaks to further understand which parts of the network infrastructure are experiencing the most external and internal usage.
Measuring network optimization also involves monitoring latency and round-trip time (RTT). Latency refers to how long it takes for the data to reach its destination and any delays in network device communication. High network latency can lead to delays caused by bandwidth congestion, which has a negative effect on user experience. Similarly, RTT refers to the time it takes for data to go from the source to the destination and back again, which provides further insight into the speed and reliability of the network connection.
Network jitter is another crucial network performance metric that measures the overall level of consistency and latency across a network. It can reduce network performance and is commonly related to network congestion and defective or overloaded network hardware. Network jitter typically comes down to the unstable or disruptive flow of data packets, small segments of data sent individually over computer networks.
To send files, emails, and other types of information over computer networks they are broken down into individual data packets: small segments of data sent from one point to another. Once they reach the right destination, they are then put back together. The transfer of these data packets can result in packet loss, which occurs when a packet is damaged or discarded before reaching the destination. Packet errors can also occur when network data packets are not formatted correctly or are corrupt. A large amount of packet loss can negatively impact business activities and could be a sign of a larger network problem.
Availability is another network optimization metric used to measure network uptime and how frequently network software and hardware function correctly. The goal is to achieve maximum availability and minimal downtime, which occurs when systems are not functioning to the required specifications. Attaining 100% availability is ideal for network optimization, however, this can prove challenging as networks become more complex.
Using these network performance metrics, IT teams can identify and minimize any potential network issues, which helps facilitate network optimization and ensure a better user experience.
What are the best network optimization practices?
Network performance monitoring helps network managers take steps toward mitigating network issues and improving network performance. However, there are additional network optimization tools and techniques which help maximize network system resources.
Quality-of-service (QoS) uses traffic control mechanisms or technologies to control network traffic and encourage the high performance of applications, traffic aggregates or sessions. Using QoS enables network managers to optimize various network applications and increase the visibility of jitter, bit rate, delays, and packet rates of the network. The goal is to achieve low network latency and controlled bandwidth utilization to enhance performance and allow networks and organizations to prioritize traffic.
Leveraging an SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) also improves network performance by selectively routing network traffic and unifying network connectivity. An SD-WAN manages and simplifies complex networks by allowing IT teams to increase their control over the network infrastructure and quickly react to changing business requirements. Moreover, the tracking of link health and redirection of traffic also enhances application performance and availability.
To optimize network performance and reduce latency, data compression is an effective technique that can help manage increasing network traffic. A compressed data file needs less time to transfer and will consume less network bandwidth, resulting in fewer delays and higher productivity. Many optimizer appliances and network devices provide compression functions to minimize data and reduce buffer utilization. Redundant data elimination can also support more efficient data packet transfers.
What are the benefits of network optimization?
Network optimization aims to improve network performance monitoring which helps reduce delays, manage traffic, improve application performance, and boost productivity.
In doing so, user experience across the network domain is enhanced as they can easily and quickly navigate network resources, including transferring files, making VoIP calls, and connecting to meetings. Time and money spent on troubleshooting and waiting to fix network issues are also resolved and downtime is subsequently reduced.
Likewise, network optimization provides significant advantages for customer experience as services can be accessed quicker with less delay. Increased functionality of network performance improves brand image and helps retain customers, ultimately driving revenue.
The benefits of network optimization also include improved network reliability and predictable network performance. A reliable network and greater traffic visibility make it easier to identify malicious behavior through network security appliances and 24-hour network visibility.
How can Evernex help optimize your network?
Evernex can help organizations with network optimization through our global network maintenance services. Our team of local field engineers have the expertise to diagnose network issues quickly and can provide on-site or remote support to prevent potential downtime. To ensure business continuity, we offer 24/7/365 support and a wide range of spare parts from leading network brands to resolve issues promptly and make any critical repairs.
Our goal is to help businesses boost productivity by optimizing network equipment and preventing hardware disruption. Contact our team of experts who can help you achieve an optimized network.
The goal of network optimization
The primary objective of network optimization is to provide a fast, reliable, and efficient network experience for all users. This goal encompasses several key aspects:
Reliability. Network optimization aims to enhance the reliability of network connections and minimize downtime. Reliable networks are essential for maintaining business continuity.
Security. Network optimization includes strengthening security measures to protect data and network resources from threats and vulnerabilities.
Speed. Faster network speeds improve user productivity and enable the smooth operation of bandwidth-intensive applications.
Usability. Optimized networks offer a positive end-user experience, making it easier for individuals to access and share data from any digital device.
Why continuous network optimization is important
Continuous network optimization is important due to the ever-evolving landscape of digital business. Network optimization is not a one-time task but an ongoing process.
In today’s dynamic environment, where digital demands are constantly changing, networks must adapt. Continuous network optimization ensures that networks remain resilient, scalable, and responsive to emerging requirements.
As new technologies and applications emerge, network optimization allows businesses to stay competitive by delivering the best possible user experiences. It helps organizations keep up with the demands of remote work, cloud services, and evolving customer expectations.
By proactively managing and optimizing network performance, businesses can avoid downtime, reduce revenue loss, and maintain uninterrupted digital operations.
Best network optimization metrics
Network managers rely on several key metrics to assess network performance and optimization progress. The following are the most common:
Traffic usage. Monitoring peak and average traffic usage helps identify network hotspots and areas requiring optimization.
Latency and RTT. Low latency and fast round-trip times are essential for a responsive network.
Network jitter. Reducing network jitter improves overall network consistency and performance.
Packet loss. Minimizing packet loss enhances data transmission reliability and user experience.
Availability. Maximizing network availability minimizes downtime and ensures continuous network functionality.
Problems affecting network optimization
Common network problems that affect optimization include the following:
- Congestion. Network congestion occurs when there is an excessive amount of data traffic, causing delays and performance degradation. Optimizing network resources helps alleviate congestion and maintain smooth operations.
- Security threats. Network security breaches can disrupt network performance and compromise sensitive data. Network optimization strategies often include enhancing security measures to protect against cyber threats.
- Bandwidth limitations. Limited bandwidth can slow down network operations, leading to poor user experiences. Network optimization aims to allocate bandwidth efficiently and prioritize critical traffic.
- Latency and jitter. High latency and jitter can result in delays and inconsistent data transmission, affecting real-time applications like video conferencing. Network optimization aims to minimize latency and jitter for a seamless user experience.
- Packet loss. Packet loss occurs when data packets are dropped during transmission, leading to data retransmission and decreased network efficiency. Optimizing network infrastructure helps reduce packet loss.
Common network optimization strategies
Network optimization employs various tools and techniques to enhance performance and functionality. Some of the most common strategies include:
Quality-of-Service (QoS). QoS mechanisms prioritize network traffic to ensure high-performance applications receive the necessary bandwidth.
SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network). SD-WAN technology simplifies network management and enhances performance by intelligently routing traffic.
Data compression. Compressing data reduces transfer time and network bandwidth consumption, improving overall network efficiency.
Redundant data elimination. Eliminating redundant data packets minimizes network congestion and enhances data packet transfers.