The TiNC Works! suite of products and services is applicable to a wide range of (potential) performance issues on computer networks. We can assist you in determining the optimal model or combination of models. These range from a simplified graphical interface for support personnel or a help desk through a very detailed diagnostic interface for network and performance engineers through a high-level dashboard for the IT Manager. All these interfaces are linked to the same set of data collected by the same set of units, leveraging the investment to support daily operations all the way to long-term capacity planning and service-level management. In this section we'll explore some of the deployment models. More details are available in the various subsections.
As an IT Manager you are ultimately responsible for quality of the IT infrastructure as the main conduit for your company's data and information flows. These flows can be hindered by a lack of connectivity or increased latency between systems, leading to complaints from your users and customers, loss of revenue. In a cost-driven economy it is imperative to avoid such issues in time - but where to start? By continuously monitoring the key connections within your network and determining baseline response levels, your specialists will be able to fix problems early. As the IT Manager you don't have to watch these levels as frequent "health reports" are delivered to your mail. By determining trends in the data and extrapolating forward in time, you can avoid hitting the bottlenecks altogether by proactively upgrading only key parts of the infrastructure. Such extrapolations will arrive as "health alerts" in your mail.
As a network engineer you may get calls - either directly from users or as referrals from the Help Desk - concerning network performance issues: "The Network Is Slow - Again!" Your challenges:
To quickly determine the validity and the scale of this complaint
To quickly and efficiently determine the source of the problem
To fix the problem, by:
Fixing it yourself
Help another operational team fix it by providing clear actionable insights into the core of the issue
Convince the IT Manager to upgrade a bottleneck
TiNC Works! will help you reduce the Mean Time To Innocence MTTI by giving you access to many popular diagnostic tools such as PING and traceroute, distributedaround your network, giving you total visibility from all your sites to all your core information systems.
Another popular challenge for network engineers: what will happen to the network if we change X or Y? While numerical analysis is a good place to start ("This WAN connection has a link speed of Q Mbps at an estimated latency of R msec so we should be able to handle S simultaneous users requesting T pages of U kilobytes"), the proof of the pudding is in the eating: with the TiNC Works! performance tools iPerf and Speedtest you can actually generate traffic between selected points on the network to see how it will cope with such volumes - and how much traffic the bottleneck can actually handle before seriously affecting performance or actually breaking down!
Performance Engineers & Network Consultants
Only very few companies have dedicated Network Performance Engineers, even though network performance issues will lead to customer dissatisfaction and loss of revenue. This area of specialization is mostly left to contractors who must maintain knowledge as well as tools to be able to help their customers. The first order of business for a performance engineer is to objectively determine the structure of the affected network as well as reproducible performance metrics. These are usually very hard to collect as they rely on getting low-level access to core network equipment and potentially sensitive data. Much valuable time may be lost just getting the right access, never mind the quantity and quality of the metrics. The TiNC Works! suite of instruments must be part of your tool kit: by bringing in a reasonable number of TANC Field Units and deploying them on key points on the network, crucial metrics will start to aggregate in a matter of hours. The units can even be prepped offline and shipped to remote locations, to be installed by unskilled personnel - leaving you valuable time to spend on the actual analysis. Special data plans are available for consultancy and engineering tasks, in addition to rental kits.
Service Level Management
As an IT Service Level Manager you are interested in steady, long-term monitoring of the services you provide to your downstream customers as well as the service you are receiving from your upstream providers - as determined by the measurable performance of network connectivity. With the TiNC Works! suite of products you can achieve both: by continuously collecting low-level data on e.g. WAN link latency you can point your providers to lapses in their service without relying on their systems or one-off measurements by consultants - just take a look at your own reports! And by continuously monitoring your own systems you can present your customers with clear insights in how well your IT Department is providing their service!
Managed Network Service Providers
With the advent of Managed Network Service Providers, Virtual Data Centers and Cloud Computing, many companies are rapidly moving towards a hands-off operations model for their IT requirements. Almost all daily operational tasks may soon be handled by off-site specialists, with the remaining IT staff focusing on the strategic development of IT facilities. This may lead to a bit of a challenge, as your specialists may not have the direct insights into your customer's network that may be required to answer direct challenges. The TiNC Works! suite of products and services will provide those insights, with dedicated TANC Field Units deployed at key points in your customer's network, continuously monitoring the performance of the network. And in case of performance issues, these units provide (secure) access to key diagnostic data directly from the network at the touch of a button and without the hassle of OS and data management.
IT Support Staff and Help Desk personnel are frequently badgered with questions concerning the (lack of) performance of the computer network: "The network is slow!". Without additional tools it is very hard for the Help Desk to actually help the caller:
What is the source of the problem?
Where (and when) does it occur?
How does it affect other users?
Who should I forward this call to?
The TiNC Works! suite contains a dedicated Help Desk module to assist help desk personnel in answering these questions without relying on low-level access to networking equipment.