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Why Network Assessments Must Include Application Behavior

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Awareness of problems comes from different sources.  Sometimes it is a monitoring tool and sometimes it is complaints from business users. 

Monitoring tool notifications stay within IT.  With all the alligators to shoot, it is often left for a quieter time—that may never come.  Besides, such tools usually focus on Server Down, Switch Down alerts and ignore the far more subtle signs of a problem that cannot be discovered this way

Business user complaints are visible -- frequently high profile -- involve Business User engagement.  Such problems are discussed in management conferences and must be addressed quickly—and—successfully. 

A standard Network Assessment is usually a review of Network Architecture -- Bandwidth Utilization / Errors.  All important information—but third hand information at best.

Business Users see & feel how the Application ITSELF utilizes the Network—how it actually rides your LAN and WAN.  This is first hand information.

Unfortunately, this perspective gets minimal attention in a standard Network Assessment process.

Interpath Technologies’ Network & Application Assessment Methodology provides a two-pronged approach.

We simultaneously assess:

- Network Architecture
- Bandwidth Utilization
- Errors


  • How the critical Applications utilize the network themselves -- from the Packet Level.
  • We use tools such as Sniffer / Ethereal / WireShark as well as many other proprietary and open-source tools.
  • We identify All delays regardless of source (Network, Application, Servers, Database, OS, etc.)
    *We quantify this data to the byte and the microsecond.
  • We compare these results to the data from our Network Architecture Assessment.
  • The Interpath of every application is reviewed -- from Switch Port to Switch Port -- Router to Router.
  • Network Protocol behavior is evaluated regarding Network Transport times, TCP Tuning -- discovered issues.

This two-pronged approach -- capturing the actual way Applications behave on the Network -- from multiple locations -- and comparing it to the Network Architecture -- provides Clear Understanding of the causes of the problems and provides a path for resolution.

  • It is a “Departmentally Neutral” approach.
  • It does not assume the problem is network based -- although it analyzes the network.
  • It does not assume the problem is the application -- although the application’s network behavior is measured.

All results are quantified and objective.  They allow all departments come together onto the same point of view -- resolving the technical problem -- as well as the political one.

In many cases, the problem is one of balance.  Neither the Network -- Application -- or any other single source is the cause.  If you are only looking from the perspective of the Application Support Department, or Network Support—you will not discover issues that span multiple areas of responsibility.

The Interpath Technologies’ Network & Application Assessment Methodology will uncover the truth regardless of the cause of the problems.  Then we will diplomatically provide detailed documentation and guidance (if requested) on a path towards Resolution.

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Related Topics:

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Baselining--Stress Testing--Performance Testing--Oh My--Part TWO
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