7 Network Baselining Best Practices
It’s one thing to conceptually understand baselining, but how do you go about setting performance benchmarks? Here are seven best practices to help you successfully baseline and manage performance for critical services on your network.
- Collect enough data for relevant baselines A common mistake is to set baselines after too little data has been collected. You’ll want at least a couple weeks of metrics to establish meaningful thresholds.
- Compare similar time periods With the fluctuation of network and application activity, be sure you’re comparing similar time periods. Baselines should take into account any sudden changes in activity that can occur over weekends or at the end of the month, quarter, or year. The key is to set up an apples-to-apples comparison of activity.
- Consider storage needs When baselining data over a significant time period, be sure your long-term packet capture appliance has enough storage to meet your analysis needs. Determine your storage needs.
- Configure alarms around baselines Once you have established clear baselines for service delivery components, set alarms associated with these baselines.
- Apply dynamic baselines for variable conditions Any component or application condition that varies should utilize automated thresholds based on past activity.
- Manually set thresholds for fixed conditions This includes service level agreements with cloud and service providers or internal service mandates which are generally fixed.
- Lock baselines to prevent drift When trending over a long period of time, slowly emerging issues can adversely skew the performance baseline. This drifting of results can mask problems. Once sound baselines are established, lock them to prevent baseline drift from negatively impacting metrics.