Five ways to streamline capacity planning and optimise bandwidth use in the enterprise

Fluke NetworksNovember 4, 2013 – Today’s network managers are tasked with two conflicting business directives when it comes to network performance. The first is to ensure the delivery of an optimal end-user experience on the network and the second is to reduce the operational costs of the network. To help meet these challenges, Fluke Networks is providing five tips to streamline capacity planning and optimise bandwidth use in the enterprise.

With the network under more and more stress as video, VoIP, virtualisation, VDI, wireless and more, all fight for bandwidth, understanding the right time and reasons to increase throughput is key. Here are five areas to consider when tackling this challenge:

* Understand bandwidth resources and performance trade-offs. Bad performance does not necessarily mean that bandwidth is not sufficient. Knowing how busy links are, and for how long, is key to gauging the correlation between bandwidth and performance. Under-utilised links can drain bandwidth resources by using up valuable budget that could be allocated to other over-utilised links. Keep in mind that network bursting is normal, it just needs to be within proper thresholds.

* Use the right tools for the job. Trying to detect over-utilisation of bandwidth can be difficult when the tools are not well suited to the job. Viewing a long-term trend of use flattens out peaks of high utilisation, hiding true problems. Peak utilisation views show when links are the busiest, but do not indicate for how long. Traffic totals per-day, per-month, etc., can show general growth but ignore the differences between different times of day. The key questions to answer are, has the link been over-utilised, for how long, by what application and what end-user?

* Account for business hours. While a network link might be busy during the night or weekend while backup and software updates are performed, it may be acceptable during the business day when staff is working. Don’t let evening and night data cloud your view of utilisation. Having a combination of real-time and back-in-time views lets IT see what is happening more quickly, solve problems faster and move on to more strategic initiatives efficiently.

* Is bandwidth being used for business? There are two types of traffic, business and recreational. Obviously, business has priority, so it is important to know why a busy link is busy. Is it for use of a business application? Is it the breaking news story everyone is streaming to the desktop? Even if it is a business application causing congestion, does that application really need to consume that much bandwidth? Or, is the bandwidth being used by old rogue applications that IT needs to remove from the network? Efficient application design and WAN optimisation are also examples of strategic decisions that should be considered alongside the tactical approach of bandwidth needs.

* Streamline the job. With networks growing quickly, the job of understanding what links are busy, when and why gets more complex and time consuming. The amount of time taken to perform proactive capacity planning is the main reason why the job does not get done.  Don’t waste time looking at links that do not require attention. Focus on those critical few links that are busiest for the most amount of time. Use customised alerts that can show when bandwidth hits 80 per cent for a rolling three minutes, and be prepared to react.

Capacity planning and bandwidth optimisation can be time consuming without the right tools in place. To help network managers streamline the process and get complete visibility into utilisation, Fluke Networks offers Visual TruView, the industry’s first truly unified, single-box network and application performance monitoring and troubleshooting solution.

To find out how Visual TruView can help with capacity planning, read Fluke Networks’ “Do You Throw Bandwidth at the Problem?” blog post or watch the demo video.

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About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks is the world-leading provider of network test and monitoring solutions to speed the deployment and improve the performance of networks and applications. Leading enterprises and service providers trust Fluke Networks’ products and expertise to help solve today’s toughest issues and emerging challenges in WLAN security, mobility, unified communications and data centres. Based in Everett, Wash., the company distributes products in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.FlukeNetworks.com

Meru Networks confronts the crush of BYOD and sets new standard for WLAN capacity and performance with two new products

Wavelink LogoOctober 11, 2012Meru Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:MERU), a leader in 802.11n wireless networking, has announced the availability of the industry’s highest capacity wireless controller, the MC6000; a BYOD-ready high performance access point the AP332; and an innovative 802.11ac Investment Protection Plan that protects wireless infrastructure investments as the current standard moves to 802.11ac.

The new, ultra-capacity wireless products are the latest advancements in Meru wireless innovation and engineered to address the crushing network requirements of BYOD while maintaining choice and control of both wireless and wired network infrastructure for resource stretched IT departments. The innovative 802.11ac Investment Protection Plan allows users purchasing AP332 and other qualifying three stream 802.11n access points to trade them in for 802.11ac access points in the future for only an additional US$499 investment*.

“The rapidly-increasing numbers of mobile users, devices, and applications on campuses and in enterprises are correspondingly driving demand for bandwidth expansion on wireless LAN networks,” said Craig Mathias, a Principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group. “Meru’s announcement is a powerful indication that capacity must be increased across the board – user productivity and organisational mission now depend upon reliable, secure, and high-performance wireless connectivity.”

Meru vice president of product and solutions marketing, Manish Rai added: “Users are now dictating what technology they will bring and use at work or on campus. To manage the crush of BYOD, IT departments need a flexible solution that can help them quickly respond to changing wireless network demands. Meru with its RF virtualisation technology, virtualised controllers and market leading BYOD on-boarding solution – Identity Manager – delivers flexibility at access, control and policy layers needed to put the control and choice back in the hands of the IT department.”

BYOD-optimised MC6000
The Meru MC6000 ultra-high capacity 802.11ac ready controller is designed to effectively serve 5,000+ access points and 50,000+ users with 200 Gbps wireless capacity. Powered by System Director – the industry’s only virtualised wireless LAN operating system – the new controller delivers capacity and performance for very high-density network environments. The new controller is designed to give IT executives the ability to choose network components and control network operations without compromising capacity, performance, scalabilty or security.

Next generation AP332 delivers fifty per cent more capacity
The Meru AP332 access point, an innovative, three-stream 802.11n access point, delivers up to fifty per cent higher capacity than two stream dual-radio access points. It is designed to meet the capacity needs of dense Wi-Fi and high multimedia usage environments.

Rai added, “Meru’s AP332 with its unique RF virtualisation technology can deliver nearly twice the capacity of traditional multi-channel installations with same number of access points in dense environments such as lecture halls, conference rooms, stadiums and enterprise campuses. When coupled with Identity Manager, Meru’s market leading solution for automating BYOD on-boarding, we believe Meru offers the best end-to-end solution to manage the BYOD capacity crunch today.”

“Many IT managers are assuming that the upcoming 802.11ac standard will be the solution to their capacity challenges,” continued Mathias. “But 802.11ac doesn’t address the huge installed base of devices using only the 2.4 GHz. band as it only performs in the 5 GHz. band, so we expect that 802.11n will continue to be the Wi-Fi technology of choice for a number of years yet.”

Innovative 802.11ac Investment Protection Plan
The AP332 access point, available now, comes with Meru’s innovative 802.11ac Investment Protection Plan. Through the plan, customers that purchase Meru’s AP332s, AP320s or AP433s between November 1, 2012 and June 28, 2013, will have an option to pay an additional US$499 per access point and trade them in for qualifying Meru 802.11ac access points when they become available*.

The 802.11ac trade-in plan allows enterprises to migrate their WLANs to the new 802.11 Wi-Fi standard with limited investment. Investments made in qualifying Meru AP products today can be upgraded to 802.11ac in the future for a nominal price. Through the program, Meru customers have access to robust wireless solutions today without compromising their ability to take advantage of 802.11ac.

*Restrictions apply – please see: http://www.merunetworks.com/investment-protection

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About Meru Networks
Meru Networks (NASDAQ: MERU) designs, develops, and distributes virtualised wireless LAN solutions that provide enterprises with the performance, reliability, predictability and operational simplicity of a wired network with the advantages of mobility. Meru Networks eliminates the deficiencies of multichannel, client-controlled architectures with its innovative, single-channel, virtualised network architecture that easily handles device density and diversity. Meru wireless LAN solutions are deployed in major vertical industries including Fortune 500 businesses, education, hospitality, healthcare and retail supply chain. Founded in 2002, Meru is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., with operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Visit www.merunetworks.com or call (408) 215-5300 for more information.

This news release contains forward-looking statements about Meru Networks expectations, hopes, plans, intentions, or strategies, including, but not limited to statements regarding Meru’s ability provide new products, the ability to deliver nearly twice the capacity of traditional multi-channel installations with the same number of access points in dense environments, the timing of the adoption of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, and the ability for customers to have access to robust wireless solutions today without compromising their ability to take advantage of future technology advancements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions, which, if they do not fully materialise or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include those described in Meru Networks’ documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this news release are based on information available to Meru Networks as of the date hereof. Meru Networks assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Meru Networks is a registered trademark of Meru Networks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.