The problem with troubleshooting most enterprise networks is that nobody wants to do anything until there is a real problem.
Whether this stems from fear of breaking something or general inertia, the whole concept of preemptive planning seems to get lost in the day-to-day battle to keep the network running. So it's interesting to see Blue Coat Systems create a new network assessment service delivered via the cloud that is designed to make it easier for customers to assess their network performance bottlenecks.
According to Eric Tooley, technical marketing manager for Blue Coat, the company is offering this service for free to its IT services partners, who have the option of passing that service on to their customers. What's interesting about this is the timing of the Blue Coat service.
There are more latency-sensitive applications, ranging from unified communications to the latest ERP upgrade, than ever being deployed on enterprise networks. And yet most of these networks have not been upgraded in some time. So it's only a matter of time before many IT organizations start to experience significant network performance issues, said Tooley. Obviously, as a provider of PacketShaper software that optimizes network bandwidth, that's an important issue for Blue Coat, which helps explain why it's so willing to deliver free network assessments.
Regardless of the motivation, however, it's also clear that network managers are going to have a significant challenge on their hands any day now, and any free help they can get to make their case is probably going to be more than welcome.