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How to Avoid Being the Network Turkey

  • In the fast-paced technology environment, problems are going to arise. What is important is to eliminate the self-inflicted issues that can cause long delays and downtime. There are certainly enough problems to go around without creating new ones that are completely avoidable. Here are five self-inflicted network wounds to avoid becoming the network turkey in your organization.

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  • Don’t change the recipe without testing it first

    Making changes to the network is always risky – a single misconfiguration can result in an outage, especially when new technologies are introduced. These risks are almost inevitable when network engineers use a plug-and-pray approach to change management. Network mapping is critical in order to validate changes and minimize human error. Would a surgeon operate without the benefit of an X-ray or MRI? Of course not, nor should you operate on your network without the benefit of a map.

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  • Don’t take the keys home with you

    Knowledge is power. But in the world of IT, knowledge is rarely shared among other departments or even team members. This puts network teams at a huge disadvantage when it comes to troubleshooting, as today’s network problems increasingly require more than a single engineer to resolve. During the holidays, when vacations are common, this issue escalates. Don’t be a network turkey by bringing all your knowledge with you when you leave for vacation. Document changes so that the engineer doing the work will have the benefit of the complete picture.

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  • Don’t overestimate the size of your network plate

    As the demands on networks continue to increase, don’t get caught unprepared. Make sure you are anticipating and planning for additional network capacity as needed. The first step of the network capacity planning process requires a clear picture of where the network stands today. If your organization can’t easily identify current resources and thresholds, it’s time to act. Just like at Thanksgiving dinner, your network’s ability to consume space may surprise you.

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  • Don’t get caught napping while others are busy stealing

    Security knows no holiday. While most of us look forward to some well-earned downtime, others see this as an opportunity to grab vital information while nobody is paying attention. Ensure that all security patches and updates have been made to the network before heading out for any amount of time. If you do, chances are everything will still be intact when you get back, including your status.

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  • Don’t let the dirty dishes build up

    What is simply an irritant today may become a big problem tomorrow. Ensure that small network issues are rectified before they become big problems capable of bringing the network to a standstill. While the mundane and tedious aspects of the job are not fun for any network engineer, it is often these little things that mean the difference between a small mess and a huge problem. Left unchecked, they will only continue to mount, putting the network in jeopardy and zapping critical resources away from more strategic objectives.

     

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