Keeping the network up and running is at least near the top--and in some cases the top outright--of most IT professionals' list of things to do. There are more users than ever, and more of them are consuming more bandwidth. But how does that network best stay up and running? As it turns out, one of the best ways to keep the network up, running and providing excellent quality of service for its users is to use principles of managed connectivity.
Managed connectivity seeks to improve network function by helping to take control of the physical layer of the network, the cables and suchlike, to improve their overall functionality. As it turns out, not only do many of a network's problems start in the physical layer--59 percent according to a recent Gartner (News - Alert) study--but they also account for a large amount of the time necessary to fix a problem. Several service providers came together to provide an unusual study of their own, saying that, for every hour of network downtime, fully 50 minutes represents just trying to figure out what went wrong in the first place. These two facts together combine to make a strong case for managed connectivity.
Managed connectivity, in turn, provides for the use of an identity chip for each physical cable connector, which in turn provides information on demand (to authorized users, of course) about the cable that it's connecting. Things like cable length, connector type, color, location and the like are all included in the identity chip, and thus in turn provide information about problems as the network operators can more readily tell where and when changes in the system occurred. Knowing that is going to be able to address not only the 59 percent of all network problems in the physical layer, but also serves to reduce the time spent trying to figure out what went wrong. When the physical layer can be eliminated quickly as a problem--either by knowing exactly where in the physical layer the problem occurred or that a particular problem is one of that 41 percent of problems that has nothing to do with the physical layer--it allows faster response to problems overall and in turn yields faster solutions and better quality of service.
An additional benefit of a managed connectivity system is that it reduces the amount of time that technicians have to spend documenting changes made to the network. Since by some estimates, technicians spend as much as 70 percent of their time on documentation, reducing that means some impressive changes in terms of productivity. There are even benefits to security to consider, as network operators can tell immediately when changes are made to the network itself and thus more readily spot data breaches.
Improving quality of service matters on a network is vital to the continued health of the network as a whole, as well as to the organization running the network. Whether it's a smaller network for an office, or a major mobile network, bringing in the principles of managed connectivity will likely go a long way in terms of keeping the network up and running, not to mention more easily repaired when issues do emerge.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman