Last week, on an otherwise unremarkable Wednesday morning, a large portion of Web sites began to have serious issues. Web pages were not loading, and this made it seem like the Internet and networks were inaccessible. Naturally, users across the enterprise cried out, and more than likely tens of thousands of IT help desks and other Net Admins received calls about “The network being slow” or pages being un-loadable. IT staffs were then compelled to spend their limited time defining and diagnosing the problem. Asking questions like “Is it our server or LAN problem?,” “Is it the user’s PC issue?” or, “Is it a WAN congestion problem?”
The actual problem, though it affected individual users very directly, was not found anywhere within their own company’s network because it was really related to Google’s “DoubleClick” ad network suffering downtime. See this article for more details. The reality is today that countless Web pages simply won’t load, or will eventually time out, when the underlying advertising networks aren’t responding properly to serve up ads.
How should IT respond and react when these happen? I can tell you for Extreme Networks, it’s simple. We were able to quickly determine that the issues was not only Internet related, but in fact we can very quickly narrow down the issue to Google Ad’s using our Purview™ network analytics tool.
Our first call came in as “The network seems slow” and in a few seconds we reviewed all of the applications for the user and determined that it was Google Ads performing poorly.
In fact it pretty clearly is the application performing poorly and not the network. From there the next step was to determine if it was specific to his machine, or everyone. Again a few clicks of the mouse revealed it was actually everyone.
With that it was easy to notify the helpdesk and a message was published to let all of our user community know about the issue.
Issues like this, when handled properly, can make IT market itself better to users while freeing up resources for strategic activities. Instead of responding with “Gee, I don’t know why things are slow” when someone phones, we were able to proactively reach out to our users and let them know we were aware of it instantaneously. In my opinion, proactive trumps reactive every time.