Don’t Let ‘Top Talkers’ Slow Your Network

Don’t Let ‘Top Talkers’ Slow Your Network

Lagging network performance can be one of a company’s most frustrating problems. Something is creating more traffic than the network can handle. That much is clear. But the exact nature may not be clear to IT administrators.

That’s because service incidents may be due to any of several root causes, including:

  • Administrator oversight
  • Improper classification of services
  • Application bandwidth usage
  • Asset capacity
  • Configuration error
  • Software vulnerabilities
  • Hardware failure

All this matters — a lot. Eighty percent of companies lose revenue when their networks go down, with the average loss at $140,000, according to a recent survey of IT professionals in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Often network lags are caused by a “top talker,” a user, device or application that’s using too much bandwidth, using bandwidth at inopportune times or even operating without IT’s knowledge. And until these top talkers are identified, the network’s issues are difficul to resolve.

For example, when one of our clients complained of network issues, we discovered that the company was replicating its storage area network (SAN) during a time that, while off-hours for the headquarters location, was peak time for another of its regional operations. That created a major bandwidth logjam. Resolving the issue was straightforward: Reschedule the SAN replication for another time that doesn’t overlap with peak hours of business operations.

Also, due to the rise of easy-to-launch cloud services and the expansion of “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, users may be generating traffic from applications and device their CIOs and other senior IT executives don’t even know exist.

How Masergy Helps

Masergy’s Network Operations Center (NOC) is staffed by network engineers on a 24x7 basis. When a customer calls the NOC, they speak directly to an engineer who can resolve their issue. The tools that help our NOC engineers are the same ones we make available to our customers, including:

  • Intelligent Network Analyst, which provides sophisticated WAN monitoring and analysis in real time. INA helps our engineers see which users and applications are the top talkers by identifying the IP addresses that are generating the most traffic.
  • Intelligent Service Control delivers software-defined network control with bandwidth on demand. If our engineers discover that a bandwidth-hungry task is creating network lags by executing during peak periods, they can use ISC’s calendaring feature to reschedule the task for times of lower demand. That eases overall network load, and delivers smoother, faster performance.

Masergy engineers can do even more by determining whether a device or application has been properly classified. Improper service classification can lead to big network issues. For example, if a UCaaS application is not tagged as voice, it might receive a lower level of network service, leading to dropped packets, poor reception — and employee complaints.

To assure proper classifications, Masergy offers 6 layers of always-available quality of service (QoS) at no extra cost:

  • Voice
  • Video
  • Critical
  • Priority
  • Normal
  • Limited

By properly designating and tagging an application, customer applications will get appropriate bandwidth that will enable them to perform at peak performance.

Further, because Masergy’s network has been designed with a single, integrated network fabric, it offers consistent performance around the globe. That lets us deliver ultra-high performance with guaranteed service levels to connect your corporate offices and data centers where ever they may be.

So if you’re struggling with network performance issues, let Masergy help you get to the bottom of it. Learn more about Masergy’s hybrid networking solutions.

About Ethan Blodgett

VP, Network Operations & Customer Support, Masergy
Ethan Blodgett is Vice President of Operations as Masergy where he oversees the Network Operations Center and its staff of engineers. Ethan has spent his career in IT and data center operations. His expertise spans computer networking, cloud computing, VoIP and managed services. Prior to his decade of work experience at Masergy, Ethan worked in network operations at several telecommunications service providers and end user organizations. Ethan is a graduate of Texas State University.