Network analysis is the analyzation of networks through graph theory. The network can actually be a traditional computer network, home network, wireless network, transportation network, or biological network, among others. It often acts as a network management tool for breaking down projects into components, or individual activities, and recording the results on a flow chart or network diagram. These results generally reveal information that is used to determine duration, resource limitations, and cost estimates associated with the project.
Network analysis can offer insight into what is occurring at each critical point of the network. Details pertaining to protocols, traffic flows, and individual data packets can help an organization keep its network operating at an optimal level. When equipped with this information, IT teams can detect remote application and network degradations before they become problems. This helps to manage bandwidth more efficiently, improve availability, and minimize the time needed to resolve issues through rapid detection and precise isolation.
The challenge many IT organizations face is gaining access to the essential information that is required to perform network analysis, and to respond accordingly to the feedback extracted. In most cases, it is the lack of IT presence at remote sites that hinders the execution of thorough analysis. Due to the increasing complexities involved with network analysis, organizations may find that, in order to be effective, they require a solution that offers three important qualities: accessibility, granularity, and visibility.
Accessibility is a quality that can be provided by robust network analysis hardware and software, which can be deployed throughout the organization, but is typically maintained from a remote site. For most enterprises, the cost, time, and impact associated with sending personnel to deal with technical issues is both prohibitive and unacceptable.
Granularity refers to the project’s vision into activities and events across all layers of the network. This means that the solution must include far more than traffic analysis provided by standard analytics. It must also include the capture and decoding capabilities needed for network packet analysis.
As it relates to network analysis, visibility is achieved by a solution that automatically identifies and discovers network updates. This better assures that precise analytics can be maintained without requiring IT staff to be dispatched to remote locations. Visibility can be enhanced through the ability to view comprehensive graphs, charts, reports, and network diagrams. Such extensive insight can give an organization the opportunity to quickly identify, and resolve, problems that exist anywhere within the network.