How World Class Network Analytics Tools Enable Smarter Decision-Making

Network analytics solutions can help your business make smarter, data-driven decisions to optimize network performance.

In an era defined by device proliferation and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, big data is taking the enterprise world by storm. The huge quantities of data generated from our devices and applications have created an incredible opportunity to leverage new information that can help improve business operations and, ultimately, increase revenue. But as network data collection evolves, data analysis must too.

Network analytics is the process of analyzing network data to identify trends that can be acted upon to improve operations. With new tools that can intake unprecedented amounts of information, modern network analytics promises to help IT teams make data-driven decisions that will improve network performance, reliability, and security.

Considering that the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, CIOs would be wise to invest in network analytics tools that can help them avoid interruptions in essential workflows. The catch is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to picking a tool. To help you set off in the right direction, we’ve broken down a few categories of network analytics and created a list of recommended tools that will provide immediate value to your business.

Predictive Analytics 

If you want to use network analytics to improve your network performance and health, it’s prudent to invest in a predictive analytics solution. Predictive analytics tools are used to identify potential performance issues on a network so IT teams can solve them before they arise.

Predictive analytics platforms work by leveraging machine learning to forecast potential network capacity problems. IT teams can use these insights to proactively rebalance their network loads or provision networks with more capacity to avoid encountering costly downtime.

One of the best predictive analytics solutions for businesses across a range of verticals is HPE’s InfoSight, an industry-leading cloud-based platform that brings artificial intelligence (AI) to the data center. With InfoSight, IT teams can predict and prevent infrastructure problems before they ever occur.

InfoSight works by aggregating data from millions of sensors across the world. It then analyzes them to predict and prevent network problems, whether on the storage-side or application-side. What’s more, if InfoSight uncovers an issue on one section of your network, it will solve it and proactively make changes on your other systems so different sections of your network don’t run into the same problem.

Network Traffic Analysis 

The purpose of most IT security tools is to keep networks safe from external threats — think firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and perimeter monitoring tools. If a threat somehow bypasses the walls of the network, these tools do little to help keep the network safe.

Considering that the average cost of an insider-related incident is over half a million dollars — and that insider attacks climbed 15 percent from 2018 to 2019 — enterprise CIOs simply must find more ways to protect themselves from insider threats. Enter: network traffic analysis.

Originally coined by Gartner, network traffic analysis is an IT security process that involves intercepting and analyzing daily network user traffic patterns to protect specifically against internal security threats. By using AI capabilities to get a baseline of normal user behavior, IT teams have a basis of comparison for new network traffic — allowing them to better detect and respond to security threats.

Aruba IntroSpect User and Entity Behavior Analytics is built to detect even the most advanced cyberattacks. By utilizing machine learning, the tool can spot threats that have circumvented traditional defense measures and alert IT teams into action.

For example, imagine an HR employee was trying to access a section of a network typically dedicated to finances. Because this action would be out of that user’s normal traffic pattern, IntroSpect would detect the unusual behavior and either freeze the account or send an alert to an IT admin to inspect the suspicious activity. Considering the rise of credential theft and other insider threats, this tool has the very real potential to prevent devastating damage.

Baselining Network Performance

Network baselining is the process of monitoring and rating the performance of a network in real time. By creating a baseline of network performance through AI-driven testing and reporting, IT teams can more rapidly and accurately locate issues. Setting a network baseline makes it possible to spot anomalies quicker and make proactive changes to keep networks running at peak performance.

Voyance by Nyansa is an AIOps platform that goes one step further than standard infrastructure monitoring. The platform collects data from all network sources — firewalls, servers, routers, and more — so IT teams can see how network users are behaving from end-to-end. Voyance also offers additional features, like the ability to create tighter thresholds for VIP users or generate network insight metrics before and after network changes.

A Trusted Partner

Modern network analytics can enable powerful, automated decision-making for smarter networks, but they require the right tools — and the right partner. Turn-key Technologies, Inc. (TTI) can help you install and roll out the best network analytics tools on the market to take advantage of data and optimize your networks.

With nearly thirty years of experience building and fine-tuning networks, our award-winning experts at TTI are happy to work with your IT team to install best-in-class network analytics solutions. We’ll work closely with you to understand your network needs and pain points so you can deploy a right-fit solution capable of boosting your network performance and security.

By Tony Ridzyowski

December 16, 2019

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