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How to Reduce Network Downtime by 90%

According to Gartner, the costs associated with network downtime can range from an average of $5,600 per minute to well over $300k per hour. Of course, this estimate can vary greatly, depending on the size of the organization, the nature of the work being performed and a number of other factors.How to Reduce Network Downtime by 90%

Suffice it to say, though, that any amount of downtime can significantly impact your company’s bottom line. The time it takes to bring critical systems back up can mean the difference between a quick, painless recovery with minimal damages and the potential demise of your business.

The good news is, with the right strategy in place, you can effectively reduce network downtime by up to 90%. Here’s how.

Automate your incident management processes.

The best case scenario would always involve identifying and solving any incoming incidents before they have the chance to cause serious problems to your systems, applications and/or entire network. Without the right technology in place, this is next to impossible for human IT workers to manage – especially for larger enterprises. By automating these processes, every single incident that occurs is automatically identified, evaluated, prioritized and addressed accordingly without the need for human input. This can dramatically decrease the likelihood that an outage will occur in the first place, thereby preventing any network downtime.

Employ sophisticated notifications and escalations procedures.

In order for the incident management process to be executed flawlessly, the right individuals must receive notification in as timely and efficiently a manner as possible. For those instances in which an incident requires human attention, the automation tool can intuitively recognize and flag any potential issues and electronically assign them to the appropriate party. If that individual doesn’t respond, the next one in line will then be notified, and so forth. Escalations can also be handled in this manner, ensuring that any issues that could lead to potential network downtime are addressed immediately.

When IT staff responds, the system initiates an automatic follow-up message after a pre-defined timeframe. Once the problem is resolved the incident is closed and a recovery notification is distributed. If the problem remains open, an alert is automatically to the system administrator. This ensures that no incidents ever have the opportunity to go undetected or otherwise slip through the cracks.

Achieve full transparency of the entire incident management process.

Everyone in the IT department, but particularly those in management, should be able to determine who is working on what, the status of each incident and what next steps are needed. With the right automation solution, incidents are managed via a unified dashboard, which provides visibility and transparency throughout the entire incident management process. This further promotes problem ownership using bi-directional/ interactive communication for a more streamlined and efficient process. IT managers can quickly identify which team member is responsible for which issue and where they stand at any given moment.

Facilitate data analysis to develop and hone best practices.

The most effective way to develop best practices is to learn from past experiences. With automated incident management, IT leaders are able to generate in-depth reports on incident resolution performance and mean time to repair (MTTR), which will provide valuable insight into what processes worked well and where potential improvements can and should be made for a better future response strategy.

In addition to significantly reducing network downtime, automation also eliminates labor-intensive manual interactions and automates key processes such as system, network and application tasks. This will allow you to maintain control over these automated tasks and free up labor resources to focus on key issues that improve service levels.

If you’re ready to see this advanced technology in action, click here to request a free demo or better yet – download your free 30 day trial and experience it for yourself.



How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




How to Increase Network Operation Center Performance While Reducing Costs

In a world where outsourcing IT operations has become the norm rather than the exception, many organizations are finding it challenging to manage their network operation center performance when it is being handled offsite. The good news is you don’t have to outsource your Network Operation Center (NOC) to achieve operational efficiency! To the contrary, by leveraging IT Process Automation you can effectively keep your service levels high while also reducing the cost of your network operations. Here’s how.

You don’t have to outsource your Network Operation Center to achieve operational efficiency. IT Process Automation lets you keep your service levels high.

There are a number of simple IT Process Automation strategies that you can implement that will allow you to host your own in-house network operation center and do so efficiently and cost effectively. Here are just a few examples:

  • Empower your Level 1 teams, thereby reducing issues escalated to Level 2 IT Process Automation allows your first level personnel to handle things like password resets, disk space clean-ups, restart services and more. This instantly improves efficiency and service levels.
  • Reduce Level 1 and Level 2 workloads IT Process Automation frees up your NOC team to focus on more critical matters and other strategic initiatives, allowing for a much more efficient allocation of IT resources.
  • Automate repetitive activities No more time wasted on manual, routine and repetitive tasks. Automated workflows can be created to handle almost any activity.
  • Integrate with existing management tools With IT Process Automation, your NOC doesn’t have to be a separate entity. IT operations can quickly and easily be integrated with all of your other management tools, such as monitoring systems, service desks, AD and email, creating a seamless, streamlined operation.

In addition to these broad business strategies, IT Process Automation can also help to reduce and consolidate workflows to make them more efficient and effective. For example:

  • Reaction to a disk space / file directory quota breach thresholds:
    • Monitoring system sends an alert that threshold has been breached on disk drive on a production server
    • IT Process Automation tool receives the alert and notifies Level 1 to take ownership of the issue (various sources of notification can be used)
    • Level 1 replies back that he took ownership (reply sent directly to IT Process automation tool)
    • Level 1 decides what action to take. In this case, which file(s) should be deleted, or whether to escalate to Level 2
    • IT Process Automation tool performs the requested action and return message is sent upon success or failure
  • Reset of password on Linux server:
    • A user request to password reset on a specific server is received
    • A change request is created in the ITSM tool
    • This initiates an automated workflow in the IT Process Automation tool
    • The IT Process Automation tool connects to the remote server, resets the password to a predefined password and provides notification upon success

Theses are just a few examples of the many tasks and processes that IT Process Automation can manage, opening the door of opportunity for organizations to maintain their own NOC in-house. This allows for better control, communications and overall performance management, thereby improving service levels, increasing efficiency and further streamlining IT operations for optimum results.





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




Network Operation Center (NOC) Best Practices – Part 1: Tools

Today, Network Operation Centers (NOC’s) are under a great pressure to meet their IT organization’s demands. However, many NOCs struggle to meet these demands with insufficient tools, knowledge or skills.

In this 3 parts blog post series, we will provide Network Operation Center Best Practices and tips on how to ensure you have the right tools, knowledge and processes in place to improve and manage your NOC’s performance and response time.

This first part of our NOC best practices‘ series is dedicated to tools, which are an essential element in NOC management and a key feature for improvement.

A ticketing system

A ticketing system will enable you to keep track of all open issues, according to severity, urgency and the person assigned to handle each task. Knowing all pending issues will help you to prioritize the shift’s tasks and provide the best service to your customers.

Knowledge-base system

Keep a one centralized source for all knowledge and documentation that is accessible to your entire team. This knowledge base should be a fluid information source to be continuously updated with experiences and lessons learned for future reference and improvements.

Reporting and measurements

Create reports on a daily and monthly basis. A daily report should include all major incidents of the past 24 hours and a root cause for every resolved incident. This report is useful and essential for the shift leaders and NOC managers. It also keeps the rest of the IT department informed about the NOC activities and of major incidents. Compiling the daily reports into a monthly report will help measure the team’s progress. It will also show areas where improvements can be made or indicate any positive or negative trends in performance.

Monitoring

There are two types of monitoring processes relevant to NOC:
(1) Monitoring infrastructure and (2) User experience.

A monitoring infrastructure can consist of the servers, the network or the data center environment. User experience monitoring involves the simulation of user behavior and activities in order to replicate problems and find the most effective solutions. Implementing a service tree model that connects the monitoring infrastructure with an affected service will allow your team to alert other areas that may be affected by the problems experienced.

IT Process Automation

ImplementingIT Process Automation significantly reduces mean time to recovery (MTTR) and helps NOCs meet SLA’s by having a procedure in place to handle incident resolution and to consistently provide high quality response regardless of complexity of the process. IT Process Automation empowers a Level-one team to deal with tasks that otherwise might require a Level-two team. Some examples include password reset, disk space clean-up, reset services etc. IT Process Automation is also a major help with reducing the number of manual, routine IT tasks and free up time for more strategic projects.

Download Now! Free eBook 10 NOC best practices