Troubleshooting network performance issues in your cloud architecture

Every cloud user knows that the network is an indispensable piece of the entire application setup. Nothing about the network is local; access is granted through either a direct cloud connection or the public Internet. Although it is the responsibility of the cloud provider to make sure sufficient resources are present on the backend for uninterrupted performance, they have little control when it comes to the remainder of the application delivery route. This makes it difficult for them to determine or intervene when poor network performance affects the overall experience of the end users. Thus, cloud users have no option but to look out for network performance troubles and resolve them in the following ways and using the following network analytics tools:

Use network analytics tools or software-defined wide-area network built-in analytics

network analytics tools

Administrators can troubleshoot network performance issues using network analytics platforms and tools. These platforms gather network health data and streaming telemetry via different protocols and methods. They later combine all the data and analyze all the information with the help of artificial intelligence. Once the analysis results are ready, they allow admins to pinpoint the precise areas on the corporate cloud or network that are plagued by network performance issues.

In case your SD-WAN system has been extended to the public cloud, feel free to use the numerous analytics components generally featured in such platforms. However, as an alternative measure, you can check out a wide selection of pure-play vendors that have lately begun to offer multivendor network analytics tools for deployment throughout the whole corporate LAN architecture and directly into the public cloud.

Sure, both these methods are often costly and multi-layered for initial deployment. But they have proven to boost performance troubleshooting along with primary cause analysis functions considerably.

Resolve network latency issues

In many cases, the data packets take a long time to go from the devices of the users to the app server present in the cloud. This leads to slowness and delays in the performance of the application. The latency often stems from the distance being covered by the data, and performance may be significantly improved by requesting the cloud application vendor to transfer the user over to a data center or server located in another region nearby to the users.

Busy networks are also responsible for latency in the cloud architecture. This is usually the case when the user connects to the app via the public network. Such latency issues are usually resolved by implementing SD-WAN networks and MPLs. In case the cause of the latency is traced back to delays in the internal network, users must find out the reason why the network remains so busy. If required, they may have to consider blocking users from accessing sites not related to work.

Low bandwidth could also cause latency, especially if there is a limit placed on the amount of data the network is permitted to deal with at a particular time. If the network bandwidth is not enough and you have blocked every non-work usage, it’s time to talk to the network provider about increasing your bandwidth.

Plus, remember the significance of monitoring capacity, which provides comprehensive details regarding usage – more so than bandwidth. Apart from bandwidths with higher speed, think about higher quality options that boast reduced packet loss and retransmission. Dedicated circuit networking and business-class Internet services are capable of resolving these problems.

Unfortunately, there are lots of big network operators that fail to provide bandwidth on demand to the users. So, while implementing an SLA, businesses should instruct the network service provider to support both planned increases in bandwidth, like the testing of a new app, or unplanned occurrences, like natural disasters.

Misconfigured networks

network performance

How the network and related applications behave depend on the way they are configured. If there are errors in the settings, the performance loss may be significant. DNS lookups, especially, are used for identifying the servers that connect to, generally based on geographical location. In case an incorrect DNS server is utilized, the user may suffer from frequent connectivity problems to the nearest server and experience subpar performance eventually.

Use regular troubleshooting and network monitoring tools

Based on the cloud architecture model being used, regular network troubleshooting tools are either less or more effective during the process of troubleshooting performance loss. For example, IaaS users have sufficient visibility to use the majority of network support and troubleshooting tools, like traceroute, SNMP, and ping. But while troubleshooting SaaS or PaaS cloud models, these tools fail to yield proper results. So, you become reliant on your service provider so that everything operates, as it should.

Use integrated application assessment and diagnostic tools

Many enterprise apps have supplemental or built-in diagnostic tools that IT firms use to troubleshoot issues. Such tools usually offer details that allow users to decide whether the performance failures are app-related or stemming from networks problems. For instance, network performance troubles with Microsoft teams via Office 365 can be tested and verified using the Network Assessment Tool available for Skype for Business customers. In spite of this tool commonly being used to ascertain if Microsoft Teams is a good deployment choice or not, it can also be used to troubleshoot problems in the post-deployment phase.

Consider network intermediaries

Users working in a corporation do not normally connect to external applications. Their requests are filtered through multiple firewalls, proxies, and other gadgets that regulate access and impact network traffic. If any of these software are misconfigured, delays may occur along with slowing down of applications. Intermediaries may also be used for enhancing network performance. Intelligent caching, for example, is capable of reducing the time required to gain access to websites by storing commonly accessed files that do not change often.

Check out new changes to the network configuration

network configuration

Recent network changes may be responsible for sudden performance problems in a cloud app. If you’re in a corporate setting, review any NAT, firewall, or VLAN changes and addition. Verify these same network types within the IaaS clouds also.

Network performance is ultimately up to you

Always keep in mind the performance of your cloud-based applications is only as good as the strength of your network. Troubleshooting network performance problems might seem like a difficult thing to do on your own, but once you get the hang, you’ll be able to work out the kinks and keep your system running smoothly.

Images: Pixabay

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