How Many Applications Do We Have?



Applications are the life blood of your organization. Whether it is e-mail, financial, customer management, or order processing, all businesses today rely on applications for their day-to-day operations. Depending on the application and your business model you may have one or two applications sitting in the cloud that you use because you have to, or you may have hundreds upon hundreds of applications spread between a local data center and the cloud. Those applications may be necessary evils that are used but unloved, or tools that streamline productivity, increase profits, and make everyone’s lives easier.

Every application running on the network has a cost. There are licensing costs, support costs, hardware and network infrastructure costs, personnel costs, etc. The more applications the more costs. Being able to identify all the applications running across your entire network, identify the actual users of those applications, and identify the times those applications are being used by different users can provide invaluable information for everyone working to support those applications. Knowing what applications are running on the network can help with several things:

  • Identify duplicate applications providing the same or similar functionality
  • Determine the amount of bandwidth and other resources each application is using
  • Locate unauthorized or shadow applications
  • Find applications that should have been uninstalled or removed

Knowing what users are actually accessing each application and from what locations can provide a bunch of benefits:

  • Make sure the applications are properly geo-located to ensure the best end-user performance
  • Ensure network routing information is properly defined to optimize end-user application access
  • Identify users accessing resources they should not be

And finally knowing what times those users are access specific applications helps:

  • Make sure you have adequate bandwidth so everyone can access the applications they need when they need them—but not waste bandwidth with over-provisioning
  • Identify regions or locations that are duplicating efforts and wasting productivity

Riverbed SteelCentral NetProfiler can provide the detailed information needed to everyone in the organization showing:

  • All the applications running on the network, not just the ‘Top N’ (Figure 1)
  • The users or locations accessing the applications (Figure 2)
  • The times those users are accessing the applications. (Figure 3)

Figure 1. All the applications running on the network, not just the ‘Top N’

Figure 2. The users or locations accessing the applications

Figure 3. The times those users are accessing the applications

The information garnered from these reports can be used in a myriad of ways:

  • Identify duplicate applications performing the same operations that can be easily consolidated
  • Locate rogue or unauthorized applications running on the network
  • Ensure applications are optimally located on the network for access from different branches and locations
  • Validate the amount of bandwidth being used to ensure you are not wasting resources
  • Deploy resources to the appropriate locations to provide the best support
  • Ensure everyone has the best possible application experience and is able to work at the highest levels of efficiency

Knowing what applications you have, who is using them, where they are located, and what resources are involved is critical to all businesses today. The more information you have about these and other questions related to your applications, the better off your IT organization will be and the happier your customers will be.



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