Thursday, August 3, 2017

Virtual networking optimization and best practices

Virtual networking optimization and best practices
// Cumulus Networks Blog

Network optimization is an incredibly important component to scalability and efficiency. Without solid network optimization, an organization will be confronted with a quickly building overhead and vastly reduced efficiency. Network optimization aids a business in making the most of its technology, reducing costs and even improving upon security. Through virtualization, businesses can leverage their technology more effectively — they just need to follow a few virtual networking best practices.

Prioritize the most important applications

There are certainly applications that are optional, but there are others that are critical. The most important applications on a network are the ones that need to be prioritized in terms of system resources. These are generally cyber security suites, firewalls, and monitoring services. Optional applications may still be preferred for business operations, but because they aren't critical they can still operate slowly in the event of system wide issues.

Prioritizing security applications is especially important as there are many cyber security exploits that operate with the express purpose of flooding the system until security elements fail. When security apps are prioritized, the risk of this type of exploit is greatly reduced.

Install application monitoring services

Application monitoring services will be able to automatically detect when a system has gone down or when it is acting erratically. These systems track issues more effectively than manual monitoring strategies, alerting relevant parties any time a system has been disrupted. Not only can this have a positive impact on workplace productivity, but also it can reduce IT associated costs while enhancing security.

When applications act erratically, it may precipitate business disruption or may be symptomatic of a system breach or other security problem. Being able to prioritize and respond to application malfunctions system-wide becomes a critical feature, especially as networks become even larger.

Create a layered security system

Security is absolutely critical for any modern enterprise. But new cyber security threats have made nearly impossible to secure a system without advanced algorithms, monitoring, and scanning. The problem is that these systems consume a large number of resources. As the network infrastructure grows, it can become exponentially more costly to run. Scaling upwards becomes steadily more difficult, with organizations having to invest more and more into the digital infrastructure.

The solution to this is a layered security system. A layered security system only puts the company's most important assets under the strictest levels of security. Items that are not important to secure will not be under as much scrutiny, and the network will be separated so that the compromise of one part of the network won't impact other parts. This strongly reduces the amount of resources spent over the entirety of the network.

Keep an eye on expansion

Virtualization is a particularly useful strategy because it allows for near immediate requisition of system resources. Nevertheless, when developing any environment, it's important to future proof the system — this is done by outlining not only the company's current needs, but its future needs as well. Every organization should have a road map that spans three to five years in the future, with the understanding that new technology means that these plans are preliminary.

Continuously monitor and report packets

There are many types of data source monitoring available to a virtualized network, but continuously monitoring and reporting packets is often preferred over other options. Though it may require some investment of system overhead, continuous reporting and monitoring is more likely to be responsive and effective, thereby reducing costs associated with cyber security breaches and data malfunctions.
Other options range from distributed NMON analyzers to nGe ius probes, some of which will analyze data at a lower level or will provide a cursory analysis in return for a fairly low investment of resources. Smaller networks may not require real time packet monitoring and scanning, whereas it could potentially be vital for larger organizations and bigger networks.

Create an all in one troubleshooting center

There is no network that has one hundred percent uptime. All networks can suffer from downtime whether due to a system problem or a natural disasters. Either way, troubleshooters will need to be empowered to act. A consolidated troubleshooting center gives immediate access to the information that repair personnel may need to resolve issues.

Apart from the center, those responsible for managing, maintaining, and monitoring the network must have a clear hierarchy and be aware of their own roles. If a large issue occurs, a disaster preparedness plan should tell these individuals exactly what they should do and what they are responsible for. The goal with a virtualized network is to ensure that everyone is aware of their position within the spectrum of monitoring and maintenance, regardless of where in the world they are.

With the above best practices, you should be able to optimize your virtual network effectively with the lowest associated costs. A virtualized network offers a versatile infrastructure that can be easily adjusted and optimized through the use of strategic modifications and system process monitoring. By optimizing that infrastructure, your organization can reduce costs and improve system scalability moving forward.

The post Virtual networking optimization and best practices appeared first on Cumulus Networks Blog.


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