How to Measure Your Network Performance the Right Way
A company needs a network that can provide quality services to the user without unnecessary downtimes or delays to run effectively. Since these services should also be offered reliably and effortlessly, there is a need for periodic measurement of network performance.
This way, an organization will be able to ensure that all components are functioning optimally. Also, it can easily detect impending errors and bottlenecks before a network crisis occurs. So, are you measuring your company's network performance the right way? Are you monitoring the correct network parameters? Let's look at the most critical metrics to observe when measuring network performance.
The essential metrics in measuring network performance
If you want to optimize your network performance correctly, you should select the most critical criterion for measurement. The metric can fall under data speed or quality categories, and each group is crucial. With that in mind, here are network metrics you should consider:
Concerning network, latency is a measure of time that data takes to travel to its destination across a network. The time is taken to and from is measured in milliseconds as a round trip delay. Since it is impossible to eliminate latency, it aims to reduce its times to avoid affecting network performance.
Latency is considered a vital metric of network performance because devices on your network use TCP/IP protocol to transfer data. The delay occurs when a device sends data and waits for an acknowledgement message before sending more data. So, latency needs to be highly observed for faster transmission of data from one source to another.
Network jitter could be your biggest enemy when transferring data, mainly if you use real-time applications like unified communications, including video conferencing and IP telephony. It is the variability of network latency over some time. Jitter takes place when there are route changes and network congestion.
Another cause to consider when measuring jitter is the type of connection you use. If you're using a shared medium like a cable, you're more likely to experience higher network jitter than the one using a dedicated connection. Although some jitter levels are tolerable, quantifying network jitter is vital when conducting network performance measurements.
3. Packet loss
In a network, information is transmitted in the form of data packets. When one of these packets is sent successfully but fails to reach its destination, we call it packet loss. This metric can be measured by considering traffic data on both ends. After that, you can identify the retransmission of packets and missing packets.
Some of the factors that can affect packet loss include router performance, network congestion, and software issues. From the users' perspectives, packet loss can cause incomplete transmission of files or streaming and voice interruptions. To quickly fix the impact of packet loss, you might want to develop and use tools and processes that identify the source of problems. Also, if you don't know how to measure packet loss, you can use a network performance monitoring tool, like Netmonk.
Throughput is the amount of data that passes from one point of a network to another in a given amount of time. It is measured in bits per second (bps). Network throughput shows how it is executing essential functions rather than how it can execute them. To measure this metric, you can use speed tests, which is a common way.
Although every organization wants its networks to run without errors, networks are prone to faults due to various complexities. The good news is that you can determine the quality of services offered in a network with network performance metrics. Therefore, you can discover a problem before it becomes significant.
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