How to get clear insights into network performance | #corporatesecurity | #businesssecurity | #

Machine Learning & Artificial intelligence-based systems are proving to be scalable solutions to monitor complex and large scale networks.

There’s no question that a well-performing network is the underlying foundation that every company now relies on. It needs to operate securely, without congestion, and without the friction that connectivity or authentication issues mean for business users.

And, equally, it’s every IT decision maker’s worst nightmare to have helpdesk tickets rapidly piling up, without an ability to easily identify the root cause of a problem. It can become a very expensive problem quickly as vendors are brought in on emergency day rates to find the source of the issue.

These sorts of risks are coming to bear more often, as networks become more complex. Mainstream adoption of cloud computing and hybrid architecture means troubleshooting performance and application issues can be much more complicated than on wholly on premises-hosted infrastructure.

While organisations everywhere are treating accumulated data as a core business product, processing it to gain insights into tweaks that can be made to the business to achieve better efficiency and profitability, the same thinking can be applied to managing a network.

Monitoring data is being churned out by the terabyte across network infrastructure; the problem is not the availability of it, but how to analyse it and present in a clear and understandable format. IT organisations are often focused on simply “keeping the lights on”, with little time to give strategic consideration to architecture.

As IDC’s Brandon Butler astutely observes, “Enterprise networking professionals can’t protect, or automate, what they can’t see.”

Network vendor Commscope says that understanding your network’s choke points or security weaknesses can be quickly brought under control with the help of artificial intelligence. In fact, machine learning works better the more data is available to it, allowing patterns and anomalies to be identified. 

Welcoming your new ML & AI assistant

Commscope’s new Ruckus Analytics product can sit atop a Ruckus-based corporate network, aggregating that valuable raw data, and processing it into something easy to understand and actionable for network admins.

For example, it can visualise a network hierarchy and show hotspots of where issues have occurred, then analyse further to provide metrics that show what the likely source of the problem is.

As IDC’s Butler observes, “One of the strengths of ML algorithms is recognizing anomalies in data. If an ML platform monitors an environment, it learns what “normal” behavior is and, even more important, what abnormal behavior is. Anomalies usually represent a problem, either in security or performance degradation. The ML-powered system can create an alert based on the anomaly, notifying network operators of the issue and even recommending a way to fix it.“AI-driven systems take automatic actions to maintain the optimal operating environment based on ML insights.”

AI can take on the mundane tasks like monitoring and reporting on performance SLAs. Ruckus Analytics’ network health monitoring layer monitors a variety of metrics across the categories of connection, performance and infrastructure provide a single pane of glass to SLA reporting.

It can also descend from the 35,000-foot view right down to individual client level. It logs and allows you to hone in on clients that are having successful, slow or failed connections, high disconnection events, roaming problems, radio connection issues and more.

The suite comes with a large number of pre-designed reports that show all aspects of your network ecosystem, but also has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop report builder that makes generating reports absolutely customised to your needs simple and rapid.

This new tool makes support operations dramatically more efficient and boosts productivity.

Insights are the key to improvement 

The scale of the challenge of monitoring network performance is immense as networks grow in size and complexity. The best way to get a firm grasp on all the performance metrics available within the network is with the assistance of an AI-based system that can do much of the work for you.

Find out more about Commscope’s Ruckus Analytics suite

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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