Pressure gauge

With high-profile network outages hitting the news more regularly, IT pros are paying close attention to advancements in network monitoring technologies.

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Pressure gauge Anand: The automation of troubleshooting is an increasinly popular demand among customers.
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By  Tom Paye Published  March 18, 2014

Top 10 network outages in 2013

1. Microsoft Windows Azure: A sub-component of the system failed worldwide. The outage lasted more than 20 hours.

2. Google: Services went down, causing global Internet traffic volume to plunge by about 40%.

3. Amazon Web Services: Connectivity issues affected a single availability zone, disrupting a notable portion of Internet activity.

4. NASDAQ: Software bug, and inadequate built-in redundancy capabilities, triggered a massive trading halt in the US.

5. OTC Markets Group: Network failure prompted a shut-down in over-the-counter stock trading in the US for more than five hours.

6. Healthcare.gov: Downtime caused by a service outage at Verizon Terremark data centre in the US.

7. Amazon.com: One hour of interrupted service may have translated to $5 million in lost revenue.

8. Microsoft/Hotmail/Outlook.com: Firmware update caused servers to overheat. Hotmail and Outlook.com suffered a service loss.

9. Google Drive: Slow download times caused by a network control software glitch, resulted in latency and recovery problems.

10. Gmail: Slow download times triggered by dual network failure affected 29% of users.

Reliance on Ethernet

According to Andrew Lane, European marketing manager at Ideal Industries Networks, organisations that rely heavily on Ethernet need to be able to troubleshoot quickly and effectively to avoid downtime.

“Any user of Ethernet has to accept that there will inevitably be network problems from time to time; devices can’t always connect to other devices, there can be IP (Internet Protocol) address conflicts, servers can go down and of course, the network can run slowly,” he says.

“Critically, there are always going to be cabling problems.  In fact around 70-80 per cent of network issues relate to cabling.  For example, two very common problems in an office environment which can affect data transmission are a) damaged cables – often caused by mice chewing through them – and b) disorganised and untidy patch panels.”

Lane admits that Ethernet and cabling problems are almost impossible to avoid sometimes, but as a way to ensure that the effects of downtime are kept to a minimum, he suggests investing in a purpose-built troubleshooting tool.

“Since we know that network issues will invariably occur, and they need to be rectified as soon as possible, it makes sound commercial sense to invest in a purpose-designed troubleshooting tool,” he explains.

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