You’ve dealt with the lost time and frustration of network issues. Since even a small network issue can cost firms in lost productivity, enterprises are turning to centralized network management to streamline and improve the network troubleshooting process.
IT professionals spend 43 percent of their time troubleshooting, according to a survey by Cisco. No doubt you’ve seen this play out with your own IT team. Rather than moving forward with business growth and infrastructure goals, your team may be bogged down with putting out fires. Centralized network management can make putting out fires a much simpler process and help prevent those fires in the first place.
The Difficulty with Reproducing Problems
One of the most time-consuming aspects of network troubleshooting for your team members is reproducing intermittent network problems. Your team members may be trying to coax information about the problem out of a non tech-savvy end user. This process can be frustrating for both your team members and for the end users, who may not feel like their problem isn’t being taken seriously.
A centralized network management solution with data analytics puts your team in a proactive position. You and your team can review network performance and see the cause of the problem, rather than having to artificially attempt to recreate the problem.
The Challenge with Isolating Problems
Even with an experienced IT team, isolating a network issue can be time-consuming. According to the Cisco survey, half of WiFi issues take more than 30 minutes to resolve. Your team members need to determine whether the issue is with how the network is designed, how the network is handling traffic, whether there is interference from local equipment, or if there’s a potential security issue. Doing all this takes up their valuable time, delaying other important tasks like deploying new equipment.
You’ve seen how network troubleshooting eats into your department’s bottom line and overall efficiency. As your company grows and network issues arise, you’re faced with two options: hiring more staff, which can be expensive and requires a larger budget, or working more efficiently. Hiring more staff may be inevitable but improving efficiency can boost your company’s bottom line as well as the morale of your team members.
A centralized network management solution can make your staff more efficient when it comes to network troubleshooting. It provides you and your team with end-to-end visibility across your network. You can pinpoint issues much more easily, and analytical tools can speed up the troubleshooting process, which frees up your team to pursue other critical business goals.
Efficient Network Troubleshooting
DNA Center is Cisco’s powerful tool for intent-based network management. In addition to hardening your network security and simplifying policy setting, DNA Center Assurance provides your team with tools to speed up network troubleshooting and approach network problems from a proactive position.
Network Time Travel may sound like science fiction, but it’s actually a time-saving feature built into DNA Center Assurance. With Network Time Travel, your team members can go back up to 14 days and view network issues in a timeline view. They can view all the information on the user or device from every angle.
They can see exactly what the conditions were when the problem occurred and zero in on the problem. They no longer need to reproduce the issue; they can simply go back in time and find it. They can determine the root cause of the issue and resolve it quickly, which satisfies your end users and saves money.
Network Time Travel, along with DNA Assurance’s other tools, works based on the telemetry profiles that you set up and apply to the devices in your network. You can choose from DNA Center preconfigured profiles or create your own profiles. You can customize the telemetry profiles in several ways:
- Selecting a syslog severity level
- Selecting an SNMP version
- Selecting a NetFlow version and profile
- Choosing a visibility level from a preconfigured DNA Center profile
Once you have configured your telemetry profiles, you can apply them to your network devices with a few clicks. DNA Center proceeds to capture network data based on your telemetry data.
In addition to the telemetry data, DNA Center Assurance and Analytics also captures vital contextual data. It then ingests and analyzes the data, providing you and your team with useful, real-time, actionable information.
Proactive Troubleshooting with DNA Center Assurance
Network Time Travel works in conjunction with DNA Center Assurance’s other tools. These include:
- The Network Health Dashboard and Client Health Dashboard: This dashboard shows the health of your overall network. You can view the network globally or zero in on specific sites. You can drill down to individual network devices, and the dashboard will clearly highlight any devices with a poor connection.
- Device 360/Client 360: You can view every aspect and angle of network connectivity, including topology, latency, and throughput. You can view performance over time and in different contexts, which helps your team members quickly narrow down an issue.
- Path Trace: Although you may be familiar with this troubleshooting step, DNA Center Assurance speeds it up. Instead of taking an extended period of time, you can instantly see the path of an application or service by clicking on it.
With just a few clicks, you and your team can monitor network health at any level, from your overall enterprise to individual network elements.
In addition to Network Time Travel and DNA Center Assurance’s other tools, the system also provides guided remediation based on Cisco’s 30 years of expertise. It takes the guesswork out of troubleshooting and helps your team members quickly resolve expensive, frustrating network problems.
At Acadia Technology Group, we know that network troubleshooting is one of the most draining tasks your team faces. We understand that you need to keep up with your company’s evolving technology needs. We can provide your firm with individualized solutions that are based on our Cisco expertise.