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We get it. Network operations isn’t an easy gig. And it’s getting harder by the day. More endpoints to manage, more threats to mitigate, more….everything – except time, of course.

But are there ways you could make your job easier? It’s possible, especially if you’re making any of the most common mistakes plaguing many network operations teams.

1. Don’t Wait; That’s Too Late

One of the most common (and costly) mistakes network ops teams make is taking a reactive—not proactive—position in managing the network itself.

The break/fix model is great for fixing what’s broken. However, it’s not so great for predicting when things are going to break, so your team is constantly on defense. Putting out fires as quickly as they arise, isn’t a particularly effective or efficient use of time or resources.

2. Misconfiguration

A common cause of network issues is poorly configured infrastructure. Maybe an admin forgot to save a component’s configuration so that if, for some reason, that component resets (whether because someone unplugged it or something else causes it to crash and reboot), the device comes back up with default settings. Or maybe the recommended settings have changed and your team just hasn’t yet had a chance to review them and respond accordingly.

Regardless, any sort of mismatch or misconfiguration can lead to a problem that will slow performance or bring IT infrastructure to a halt. Given enough time, IT staff will (in time) discover the discrepancy, but how much damage will it have done by the time they do?

3. Tools Overload

Tools are great. Too many tools? Not so much.

IT team members are certain to have a favorite tool that addresses challenges in their network, storage, or server domain. But an organization agreeing to try and use all of those favorite tools at once is setup to fail.

Tools overload happens for a number of reasons–companies merge and acquire a ton of systems, new managers add their favorites to the mix, or they got a hard-to-pass deal on the latest release from a new vendor.

No matter how these tools came to you, using each one at once is going to require a herculean effort to keep each one working as it’s supposed to. Yet, even if they’re all working flawlessly, most aren’t integrated and operate in a silo.

Silos create blind spots and blind spots create opportunities for breaches, failures, outages, and other self-inflicted adversities that make the network ops teams’ job harder than it already is.

4. Skimping on employee training

Technology changes quickly and in an increasingly complex IT world, it’s difficult to keep staff up-to-date on the latest, greatest tech trends and best practices. For network ops, that means staying on top of recommended configurations and best practices for managing all elements of IT infrastructure.

For many organizations, employee training is often restricted to initial onboarding for new hires and a handful of professional certifications. In many instances that may be enough, but for progressive companies wanting to continuously improve their network’s performance—increasing speed, reliability, stability, and efficiency—making available continued training and on-demand educational resources is key.

5. Wrong-sizing headcount

IT infrastructure never sleeps. And in a business landscape in which technology resources are expected to be available 24×7, IT leaders face a choice when it comes to appropriately staffing their team.

They can hire enough staff to keep a trained specialist available around the clock and pull them into all-hands fire drills when a cross-domain issue strikes. Or they can overspend on overstaffing, hoping that the additional overhead is justified down the road when or if an issue arises.

Of course, most IT leaders will skew toward the former, opting to run leaner and meaner when possible. Yet, all too often that decision results in being woefully understaffed, both for executing strategic IT plans and for responding to a crisis.

Not staffing appropriately stretches resources (and patience) thin as they struggle to keep up with the pace of prescribed deployment plans or rush around trying to put out fires when problems arise because there simply isn’t enough coverage to do it all.

Automated monitoring and comprehensive knowledge bases to the rescue

The good thing about making honest mistakes is that they can be remedied. For network operations leaders, standardizing and automating monitoring, alarming, and configuration tasks across tools, platforms, and systems is a smart way to avoid several common mistakes.

And backing those tools up with the world’s largest database of insights from industry experts is a surefire way to keep your team on top of the latest trends and on top of their game.

Indeni solutions connect out-of-the-box to your devices and correlate metrics, configurations, and logs to identify abnormalities. With Indeni Insight enabled, your data is collected and sanitized of IP addresses and confidential data, then compared to Indeni’s global customer base, prioritizing results, and filtering white noise so you get the fastest and most complete insights for optimizing your network and infrastructure.

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BlueCat acquires Indeni to boost its industry-leading DNS, DHCP and IP address management platform to help customers proactively assess network health and prevent outages.