Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Part 2: How does your bandwidth utilization look

As a follow-up my last post – have you turned ntop inward? In other words, if you’re recommending bandwidth monitoring solutions for your clients, are you also using them on yourself?

If not, then stop right now and turn the tools inward… figure out what’s happening in your own datacenter or office.

Like many IT service providers, we do an excellent job on the client side of things. We evaluate our financial metrics, our client satisfaction metrics, and our billable percentages… and so on. But there are times that being so client-focused causes us to miss internal items.

For instance, we woke up one day and realized that we’d doubled our head-count to 50 people in a short period of time. At the same time, we started getting complaints that “VPN access is slow”, web-sites slow to respond, and other similar stuff. At first, we thought it was our ISP… and it was to a degree. But as we started digging, and doing a better job monitoring at the perimeter, what we found was interesting… and fairly easy to diagnose. We had significantly more outbound FTP traffic than we expected over our business-class DSL. From there, it was easy to address and resolve.

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