Simple management techniques to boost your Ethernet performance

Simple management techniques to boost your Ethernet performance

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Using Ethernet networks is ideal if you want to connect users within a single building or office. It allows fast and efficient connections and is cheap and easy to install, meaning it has some strong advantages over other network types.

Once your Ethernet network is designed and set up, it will continue to offer the best connection. However, when a problem does occur, it can be difficult to find the cause and implement the solution in a timely manner.

This can cause a huge level of disruption to a business, as well as cause costs to add up the longer the network is down. Ensuring you have the best Ethernet management techniques in place will help to reduce the likelihood of issues occurring, as well as help you get back online as quickly as possible when there is a disruption. 

To guarantee you get the most from your Ethernet network, here are some management techniques you should implement:

Manage all Ethernet switches

All of the active Ethernet switches within your company should be managed, as this will allow you to collect information that could help you pinpoint a problem before it causes issues for the full network. However, this also means that you need Simple Network Management Protocol, which is often not included as part of the lowest level web-only managed switches.

This will allow you to track every port's statistics, giving you an automated view of them and any potential problems for the network. 

To successfully manage Ethernet switches, you should collect the port errors and port speed status of every Ethernet switch every 15 minutes to an hour. This may seem like a lot of information, but it is key when it comes to early detection. You can reduce or increase your monitoring intervals based on the information you are receiving.

Monitor speeds

Monitoring the speed of every Ethernet port will allow you to assess whether all equipment is running at the right speed. 

There is some equipment that will be connected to your network that may connect at a slower speed as standard - such as printers or VoIP phones - or that might automatically enter sleep mode when not in use. You can set up your management system to ignore these as they are not an indication of a potential problem. 

If a device that should be connecting full-duplex is not and is working at half or below, this is a strong indication that a problem is likely to develop in the future. While it could simply cause an issue that is device-related, there is also a risk of it affecting your whole network. 

You should find any devices that are connecting at a slow speed and isolate or remove them from the network if you cannot find a reason for the slow connection. This will drastically reduce the chances of them causing problems that could result in your network going down.

Find the cause of an error

Modern Ethernet networks don't get port errors, which means that even a small number of issues are not acceptable and can point to a larger problem or something that could really affect your whole network. Any errors you do receive are going to be caused by either a misconfiguration or a problem with connected hardware. 

To monitor for errors, set up your management system to send reports on any port errors so that you can investigate these and find the real reason before it causes big problems. At no point should you ignore an error, as there is no telling what damage it can do.

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