Have you ever put your company's network through assessment? A network assessment comprehensively evaluates your company's current network infrastructure, which an external consultant or an internal IT staff member usually performs. A network assessment aims to identify any potential bottlenecks or problems that could impact network performance.
There are many benefits to conducting a network assessment. Perhaps the most important benefit is that it can help you avoid potential problems before they occur. By identifying potential issues early on, you can take steps to prevent them from causing disruptions to your business. Additionally, a network assessment can also help you improve network performance. By identifying areas of improvement, you can make changes that can positively impact network speed and reliability.
That being said, if you are considering a network assessment for your business and want the most out of it, here are the key metrics to be paying attention to:
This is perhaps the most important metric of all. Uptime is a measure of how often the network is available and functioning properly. A business needs to have a high uptime percentage to ensure that its network is always available when needed. In fact, the nearer to 100% uptime, the better because even a 1% downtime can lead to significant losses.
Latency is a measure of how long data travels from one point to another on the network and is usually measured in milliseconds (ms). For example, if you are sending a packet from your computer to a server and it takes 1 second, the latency would be 1000 milliseconds. This is quite high.
Low latency is essential for real-time applications such as voice and video. This is because these applications require a quick response time. If there is a high latency, it can cause lag or delays in the audio or video.
Throughput is a measure of how much data can be transferred across the network in a given period. For example, if you have a 100Mbps connection, that means you can theoretically transfer up to 100 megabits of data per second.
A business that handles lots of data will need much more throughput, and if one often hits their max throughput, chances are that they need more if it is a bottleneck.
Jitter is a measure of how much variation there is in the latency of the network. Variations can be caused by many things, including network congestion, equipment problems, and software issues.
A low jitter can lead to better real-time voice and video interactions. On the other hand, high jitter means that latency differences are much higher, meaning at one point, you may have good video or voice quality but suddenly lose it when latency spikes.
5. Packet loss
Packet loss is a measure of how often data packets are lost or corrupted during transmission. Packet loss can have a significant impact on the performance of applications. For example, a 10% packet loss will result in a 50% reduction in throughput for a TCP connection.
For real-time applications such as voice over IP (VoIP) or video streaming, even a small amount of packet loss can have a noticeable impact on the quality of the service. For that reason, reduced packet loss is vital.
The network is the backbone of any business. It is the conduit through which all data and communications flow, and a strong network is essential for a company to function correctly. As a business, you need to be aware of the key metrics for assessing your network. By understanding these metrics, you can more effectively manage your network and ensure that it is running smoothly!
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