In today’s hyper-connected world, where businesses rely heavily on network infrastructure to transmit data and deliver services, understanding network performance metrics is crucial. Network performance metrics provide insights into the efficiency, reliability, and overall health of a network. In this blog, we will delve into three major network performance metrics: Throughput, Network Latency (Delay), and Jitter.
By understanding these metrics, you’ll be better equipped to optimize your network and ensure seamless operations.
What is Throughput?
Throughput refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted through a network within a given time frame. It is commonly measured in bits per second (bps) or its multiples (Kbps, Mbps, Gbps). Throughput represents the network’s capacity to deliver data and is often associated with bandwidth. It measures how fast data can be transferred between devices, servers, or networks. Higher throughput indicates a network’s ability to handle larger data volumes and support bandwidth-intensive applications such as video streaming or large file transfers.
What is Network Latency (Delay)?
Network latency, also known as delay, is the time it takes for a data packet to travel from its source to its destination across a network. It is usually measured in milliseconds (ms). Latency can be affected by various factors such as the distance between network endpoints, network congestion, and the quality of network equipment. Lower latency signifies faster response times and better user experience. Applications that require real-time interaction, such as online gaming or voice/video conferencing, are particularly sensitive to latency. Minimizing latency is crucial to ensuring smooth and seamless communication.
What is Jitter?
Jitter refers to the variation in delay experienced by packets as they traverse a network. It is measured in milliseconds (ms) and represents the inconsistency or unevenness of latency. Jitter is caused by network congestion, routing changes, or varying levels of traffic. High jitter can lead to packet loss, out-of-order packet delivery, and increased latency, negatively impacting the performance of real-time applications. To ensure optimal performance, it is essential to minimize jitter and maintain a stable and predictable network environment.
Why are network performance metrics important?
Network performance metrics play a vital role in several aspects. Here’s how Riverbed can help.
Understanding throughput helps network administrators determine the network’s capacity and whether it can handle the expected workload. With Riverbed Alluvio’s Unified Network Performance Management (NPM) solutions, organizations can proactively manage network and application performance. Additionally, NPM allows Network Operations teams to effectively manage costs by investing only in upgrading critical infrastructure, consolidating underutilize resources and managing assets of multiple business units. Alluvio NPM delivers the ability to auto-discover topology and continuously poll metrics, automate analyses, and generate capacity planning reports that are easily customizable to changing business and technology needs.
Monitoring latency and jitter allows organizations to identify and troubleshoot network performance issues. By pinpointing the root causes of delays or inconsistencies, network administrators can optimize network configurations and minimize disruptions. For performance optimization, Alluvio NPM provides cloud visibility by ensuring optimal use and performance of cloud resources and helps organizations manage the complexity of Hybrid IT with agile networking across data centers, branches and edge devices. Alluvio NPM helps overcome latency and congestion by proactively monitoring key metrics and their affect on application performance.
Quality of Service (QoS)
Network performance metrics enable the implementation of effective Quality of Service policies. By prioritizing specific types of traffic based on their requirements, such as voice or video data, organizations can ensure a consistent and reliable user experience. The Riverbed QoS system uses a combination of IP packet header information and advanced Layer-7 application flow classification to accurately allocate bandwidth across applications. The Riverbed QoS system organizes applications into classes based on traffic importance, bandwidth needs, and delay sensitivity.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) often include performance metrics that must be met by network service providers. Monitoring and measuring these metrics allow organizations to hold providers accountable and ensure that agreed-upon performance standards are being met. Alluvio NPM monitors metrics associated with the service components that make up each SLA. By proactively monitoring the health of the network, issues can be identified and escalated quickly, before end users are impacted.
Gain insights into your network
Network performance metrics, including Throughput, Network Latency (Delay), and Jitter, provide valuable insights into the efficiency and reliability of a network. Riverbed makes it easy for Network teams to monitor, optimize, troubleshoot, and analyze what’s happening across their hybrid network environment. With end-to-end visibility and actionable insights, Network teams can quickly and proactively resolve any network-based performance issues.
Riverbed’s Alluvio unified NPM collects all packets, all flows, all device metrics, all the time, across all environments—cloud, virtual, and on-prem—providing enterprise-wide, business-centric monitoring of critical business initiatives.