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10 Tips to Guard Your Network during March Madness

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NCAA Basketball 2015 Championship selections has already gathered the crowd. With almost every employee in an organization streaming live videos—IT and security admins are bracing for the heavy toll on their companies' networks. It is ​vital for all IT managers to ​handle severe traffic spikes on their networks by using these tips and act proactively to prevent​ network outages.

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10 Tips to Guard Your Network during March Madness

  1. 1. 10 Tips to Guard Your Network During March Madness
  2. 2. NCAA fever is back!
  3. 3. Your enterprise network transports vital and sensitive information within the company and beyond. Any disruption in availability or performance degradation could spell serious damage to a company’s business and productivity. Every company should be focused on vigilant monitoring of its network availability and performance. If you haven’t already done so, harvest a rich set of tools that provides your IT team with real-time visibility and analytics. 1. Monitor network for availability or poor performance.
  4. 4. At the end of the day, the primary purpose of your enterprise network is to boost productivity. But often, the unauthorized usage of bandwidth-hungry personal applications impacts the performance of applications that are critical to your business. Once you’ve got the right tools installed, IT teams should start monitoring the network bandwidth traffic to optimize service levels and identify which users and applications are eating up the most bandwidth. 2. Identify “Who” is consuming your bandwidth.
  5. 5. In order to keep employees happy, every organization needs to give some leeway for personal usage of its network bandwidth. But keeping your team happy should never be at the cost of bringing the entire network down! Solve this problem through alerts based on bandwidth usage and identify bandwidth abuse before the situation spins out of control. Companies should really take advantage of real-time alerts and business-hour filters to be notified about and fix problems as they happen. 3. Apply the right IT policy for network use.
  6. 6. Do not let the network take all the blame for poor user experience. You also need to check on app performance and identify unnecessary application traffic that could compromise mission-critical applications. Assign the highest priority to critical apps such as CRM, corporate email, and client- server based applications; and deprioritize second-tier business (and personal) apps such YouTube videos and social media. You can also create IP groups to check utilization of sports sites, online shopping sites, and others. 4. Assign the highest priority to critical apps and monitor app traffic.
  7. 7. Don’t let your network slow down due to excess load. Instead, throttle down bandwidth to smooth out the performance of your entire network. You should ensure that business-critical apps are constantly up and running by monitoring bandwidth closely in real time and shaping the traffic appropriately based on priority. The tool should be able to allocate bandwidth percentage and classify the important traffic and thereby verify the performance of these policies. 5. Allocate bandwidth percentage to shape up your traffic.
  8. 8. These days with everyone bringing their own devices (BYOD) and operating them on the enterprise network, thus complicating bandwidth management. IT must have the power to take control at any time and be able to regulate applications that run on any mobile device, whether corporate or personally owned. So, your company requires tighter quality of service and the right combination of policy and technology, to improve your users’ experience and lessen strain on the network. 6. Control how BYOD impacts your network.
  9. 9. Keep the bad guys out and protect your network against DDoS and zero-day attacks by quickly initiating mitigation services before business is adversely affected. With BYOD, IT struggles to track so many devices and account for all of them to identify attacks and block malicious IPs without affecting legitimate transactions. Always choose a tool that can establish patterns and detect anomalies proactively to avoid sudden shutdowns. 7. Fight against malicious attacks and anomalies.
  10. 10. What implications do changing usage habits have for how we design and build networks? Assess the future of your rapidly changing IT requirements with capacity planning reports to make better infrastructure investments today. Stay ahead of your network by quickly troubleshooting issues with a tool that provides various, flexible reports on top users and application, and their real-time bandwidth usage that can generated automatically as per company's requirement. 8. Build reports to get enhanced view on March Madness.
  11. 11. Get to the root cause of bandwidth issues to spot potential problems and drill down into any element’s traffic using multiple views to get the perspective you’re looking for. You can investigate and isolate excessive network bandwidth utilization and unexpected application traffic. Carry out advanced forensics for troubleshooting to get to the root cause of the issue and avoid future network slowdowns. 9. Investigate your traffic to find out the root cause.
  12. 12. Don't' let March Madness drive you mad! Always keep an eye on cost. Calculate the cost of streaming bandwidth and the, cost of downtime, and measure them against the benefits you gain before making any enterprise-level decisions. 10 10. Keep an eye on cost.
  13. 13. THANK YOU! piyushree.n@zohocorp.com

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