3.1 Network Management

What is it?

Being in control over the network is crucial to have the right capacity at the right time. Therefore it is required to collect performance and capacity measurements and use them to make your short and long term plans.

You have to collect certain metrics to understand the installed capacity and how that is actually used. From an energy efficiency point of view you should collect these metrics:

  • Number of installed vs. utilized ports per type

In a CMDB the installed and utilized ports have to be registered to understand where available capacity is. This is required to plan future expansion. Focus primarily on the core network and use a modular system where you can add bunches of ports when needed.

The network ports (switches) in the racks are important too but 1) do not put larger switches in than needed and 2) turn off the switches in empty racks.

  • Bandwidth total capacity vs. utilized capacity

What is the amount of installed bandwidth and how much is actually used?  Focus on the core network as it tends to have less spikes. How is the bandwidth consumed over time? Can you find trends and relate it to IT activity?

  • Power draw

Can you relate network bandwidth and port utilization to the power drawn by the network switches? Do the vendors tell the truth about their "green-ness"? What percentage of the consumed energy is caused by the network devices? Do you know? You have to in case energy efficiency is on your mind.

 

Why should you care?

The right balance between short en long term capacity need and the physical and logical implementation of the network can be a challenge. Do you know the business requirements and their plans, do you own the physical network, do you know the current utilization? When you don’t know, you drive blind.

In some cases, the physical network infrastructure is owned by the facility team or the owner of the property. Moving towards a faster network impacts the cabling used and if you do not involve the other party in time, it will severely impact your planning and budget.

Why should you upgrade the network? Ask for proof, like utilization reports and business requirements.

 

How does it relate to the other items in the model?

Which KPI’s are directly related to this KPI?

  • KPI Network Asset Efficiency requires this KPI to improve. In combination with the capacity management process the amount and utilization of devices can improve.
  • KPI Change and Configuration Management is supported by this KPI to record and store capacity data of the devices.
  • KPI Product Lifecycle Management requires this KPI to understand the actual utilization of the devices. It is input to determine the operational value and to learn what to do when the device needs replacement.
  • KPI Capacity Management is the process that uses this KPI as its input to understand the past, the current utilization and the future utilization considering stable development.
  • KPI Service Level Management matches this KPI to the expectations that are agreed in the service levels.

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