As our reliance on technology increases, so does the need for modern systems to support these devices and experiences. This has sparked a shift to services that deliver always-on, connected and remote-based content. Software-as-a-service has become increasingly reliable and necessary to keep up with modern trends.
All of this, of course, relies on a solid, reliable network and connected infrastructure. The problem is sometimes, even for unforeseen reasons, networks can fail, rendering nearly anything attached or connected to them seemingly useless.
Imagine, for instance, a mobile device that cannot access the internet through a wireless connection. You can still use it, sure, but not in a meaningful way, at least until the connection is restored.
The same is true of your network and anything tapped into it. When it goes down, it can hurt a lot of processes, people and even your revenue stream. Remember when a simple network configuration error brought Amazon EBS to its knees, along with most of the internet?
Network downtime and associated costs can be damaging, especially if your business or revenue hinges on that open, active connection. It’s a no-brainer, really, that you’d want to preserve your network as much as possible and bolster its reliability. One simple yet steady way to do that is through network verification.
What Is Network Verification?
More advanced technologies have given rise to modern artificial intelligence and automation tools. One emerging in the business world is related to network verification. It utilizes a series of statistics and data, performance information and predictive analytics to help business goals match reality, or more specifically to guarantee your network can handle incoming loads.
It’s not just about handling a known or predicted performance requirement, however. It’s also about the fluctuation of said patterns. Frequent change happens in the world of technology, your network and the resources it needs to operate. Network verification helps you and your IT team make certain your network:
- Is resilient
- Has proven security
- Retains agility for fluctuating trends
It’s all done — and processed — through math. It relies on a mathematical and logical analysis of network behavior to understand potential conditions and requirements, varying device configurations, forwarding states, and traffic flow.
Instead of depending on existing performance, which can be volatile, it builds a working model of your network in action. The end goal is to eliminate downtime before it happens, a problem that has cost businesses millions of dollars in revenue.
Network Verification Vs. Testing
Verification is often confused with testing. However, they are not synonymous. When you verify, you follow through a series of checks and balances to ensure things are as they seem and you’re prepared for the future.
This is not quite the same as testing, is it? Testing checks the performance and capabilities of a system. You already know the capabilities of your network, you understand what resources it needs, and you know how it’s going to be used. What you don’t know — or need to know — is whether or not it can hold up to the working conditions, which often fluctuate and change rapidly.
The verification process works like this:
- The technology helps build a model of the network, which will be used to represent data flows and usage.
- The admin system uses verification technology, along with the constructed model, to measure possible data flow behavior as it relates to a property of interest.
- This allows it to identify flags or potential problems, along with the means to solving them.
Remember, building a model is substantial and would take forever if done manually. You have to account for all the devices working together on the network, including gear like mobile, computers, routers, firewalls, load balancers and even virtual components. That’s why this is best left up to automation and network verification tools, designed specifically for this purpose.
So, What’s the Benefit of Network Verification?
Now, that you understand network verification a little better, it makes sense to explore the benefits it can offer. It’s supposed to help you and your team monitor and secure your network. How do you measure the value it offers?
Consider the costs associated with downtime and network and hardware failures. According to an IHS study, network outages cost enterprises a collective $700 billion a year. Seventy-eight percent of that is lost employee productivity, and 5 percent is costs needed to fix the problem. That’s a lot of money lost on something that can be prevented through automation and modern tools.
Even just a single hour of downtime can cost 98% of organizations well over $100,000. A third say it costs them a whopping $1 million to $5 million. Saving that money is worth the implementation of these new technologies, especially if it can help you remain operational for longer.
Image by Pixabay
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