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March Madness doesn’t have to be an IT performance headache

By Raj Patel, Senior Director of Corporate and Field Marketing –

Performance monitoring is at the heart of the modern data center. Simply throwing some resources – financial or human – at every little problem isn’t a solution anymore. IT managers are under a constant mandate to keep costs down without sacrificing an ounce of performance. Ensuring systems operate with minimal latency or interruption requires a thorough understanding of which applications expend which resources, but sometimes, traffic spikes considerably. The last weeks in March bring an event that can lead to performance headaches for IT and data center managers: March Madness.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament is among the marquee events of the American sports calendar, and, as IT workers know, having to work doesn’t mean employees are willing to miss any of the action. The NCAA and Turner Broadcasting have rolled out March Madness Live, a multi-platform app that allows workers to stream games on every device. Consumerization in IT means workers can use their smartphones, laptops and tablets to access games, and banning these devices just isn’t a popular or viable solution.

Performance monitoring is a mission-critical task in every IT department, but it’s even more relevant during March Madness, when employees are spending significant network resources watching basketball games. A few simple considerations in monitoring can offset issues proactively.

  • Monitor bandwidth

Real-time bandwidth data highlights the users consuming a great deal of resources. Infrastructure performance management (IPM) enables an IT department to make quick adjustments to prevent increased usage from negatively influencing availability and performance.

  • Monitor devices

Looking back at consumerization, it’s likely a number of employees are already connecting smartphones, tablets and other internet-capable devices to the company’s network. Monitor the devices accessing the network and consuming significant traffic.

  • Monitor applications

Cloud applications account for an increasingly large portion of mission-critical tasks. Keeping application performance on track for these applications is the first priority. Shifting bandwidth elsewhere will keep employees with an eye on the game happy, while guaranteeing availability to workers and customers accessing data.

Given the popularity of March Madness, companies are hesitant to make the unpopular decision of banning access to the games altogether. However, proactive performance monitoring will prevent the tournament from becoming a problem, and will instead garner employee goodwill without compromising the business’s IT needs.

How is your IT team prepping for March Madness? Tweet at us at @Virtual_Inst, and follow our feed for company news and updates.