Don’t Hog the Bandwidth, and Other Network Tips
by March 31, 2017

Filed under: Networking Technology

What’s your bandwidth-consuming vice these days? Maybe March Madness? You’re certainly not alone. Even employees in the very important Pentagon are hooked. The Pentagon’s ISP asked employees to reconsider streaming basketball games in light of the important work their bandwidth is supporting—defending the country and all that. We’re sure they have excellent network monitoring helping the effort to pin down the bandwidth hogs.

Here’s an excellent primer on getting to know your network, from the experts at Packet Pushers. It’s ideal for network engineers new to a job—and the existing network that comes with it—but those already in a long-term relationship with their network can learn a few tricks too. Tips including documenting all the horrifying things you may discover, like single points of failure and obvious security issues. If you’re new, try to get some easy wins first. Big network changes should be driven by business needs—something any networking engineer likely knows by now.

On the topic of network improvement, the ever-more-important SLA is evolving as technology does. Conventional network SLAs only measure separate metrics, which are still necessary but don’t offer a full picture of service, or any real context about network performance and problems. As IT gets more business-savvy with their providers, they’re asking for SLAs that better match up with the goals of the business. So an SLA for the modern world might measure various elements and offer an explanation of how those elements have a positive impact on the business’ goals. Of course, that’s no easy feat—but it’s something to shoot for, anyway.

And in shiny new network technology news, the 802.11ay WiFi standard is gaining some steam as at least one vendor starts working it into products; see Peraso’s chipsets. 802.11ay is an extension or amendment to the 802.11ad standard, which itself is still new, but promises to speed up WiFi for a range of wireless devices. 802.11ay could bring faster speeds at longer distances—up to 1,000 feet, perhaps. It could also be a good fit for outdoor access, and generally help meet the high-bandwidth, low-latency demands that cloud workloads bring.

Till next week, don’t hog that bandwidth.