The Business Case for Better Network Planning and Management

  • Jim Metzler, Webtorials Editorial/Analyst Division
IT organizations are caught in a vice. On one side of the vice is the fact that the business value of the network increases daily in large part because on an ever-increasing basis organizations run their key business processes (i.e., sales, manufacturing, customer service) on the network. If the network is either not available or is not performing well, those key business processes are impacted. This results in customer dissatisfaction, lost revenue, higher costs and in some instance, the reduction in the market capitalization of the company.

On the other side of the vice is the fact that networks are becoming increasingly complex. For example, factors such as the need to access multiple data centers and the wide scale implementation of IP Telephony have caused most IT organizations to move away from having a simple hub-and-spoke network to having a meshed network. There is no doubt that a meshed network is more appropriate for the prevailing traffic patterns than is a hub and spoke network. There is also no doubt that a meshed network is notably more complex to plan and manage than is a hub and spoke network.

The bottom line is that just as networks are becoming more central to business operations, the planning and management of those networks is becoming increasingly complex. The goal of this brief is to demonstrate the business value that route analytics provides relative to the planning and management of large, complex meshed networks.

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