Baselines

Over the past two weeks, my organization has been experiencing performance problems with Internet access as well as customers complaining about slowness in several of our externally facing apps. Such complaints happen not infrequently, but typically they are not consistent. These complaints were. After many years in this business, I am well aware that whenever there’s a problem, it’s ALWAYS the network. Yet this time it did indeed seem to be a network issue. Was one of our devices misconfigured? Had we been deficient in capacity planning?

With a lot of upset people looking for answers, I was lucky we had done some baselining to use as a point of reference for troubleshooting. We were able to identify an internal source initiative resulting in significant traffic increases. I am reminded again of the importance of baselining. Luckily, the rudimentary baselines I had were sufficient in this instance, but I need to better prepare for the next occasion. I will expand my baseline “database” to include traffic from the following.

  • Internet
  • backbone
  • all WAN connections
  • backup traffic
  • replication traffic
  • devices running critical apps
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