Avoiding the Circle of Death

We recently overheard this icon referred as the “circle of death”! Waiting for an app to load is not usually deadly but it can be very frustrating. Frustration is bad enough but even worse is the productivity that is lost while users wait for applications to load. With all the new people and devices joining networks across the globe, with apps moving to the cloud and content becoming more data-rich, it is not surprising that we are experiencing the “circle of death” more frequently.

Network managers are confronted with having to deal with this problem. Their job is made difficult by frustrated users, and by the increasing complexity of networks and associated technology. Will networks become ever-more congested and frustrating, or will they become a ubiquitous utility that can meet the demands of all users? We hope for the latter. What’s more, we know that network managers need to deal with performance issues quickly and easily so that users can get on with their work.

One common way to deal with the problem in the past has been to increase bandwidth to seemingly overcome congestion issues. However, no sooner is bandwidth added than more is required, as demand for data accelerates.

What are some of the other options available to network managers? There are many technology solutions touted in the marketplace, but for the average network, they are either eye-wateringly unaffordable, unbelievably complex or frustratingly inadequate. Not much use for most networks!

We believe network performance management should be simple - see your entire network (devices, hosts, URLs, users, links, applications etc), monitor the quality of your links (availability, delay, jitter, packet loss) and prioritise bandwidth to individual applications. Even better, put this information into the cloud and consolidate to a single screen. At the very least, the network manager is able to see where and when a problem arises.

Our in-field experience shows that up to 80% of network support time can be saved using this type of technology.

Peter Russell, 20 October 2015