A 2020 Cube survey of technology workers found that around 53% prefer to work from home. Attendees included employees from some of the world's most admired technology companies, from Apple to Google to Microsoft. Many experts have already speculated that remote working will not become even more popular because of COVID-19, but because employees who work remotely are more productive than colleagues in the office.

The quality of life may be related to productivity, reducing travel time or increasing work and leisure productivity. In any case, remote working appears to be the next phase in the long-term digital transformation in the workplace. Perhaps every network engineer will have to support remote users at some point, perhaps even remotely.

Fundamental change

To support remote work, we need to radically change the way we manage and monitor our network. Network monitoring tools widely used today do not support remote workers (or remote offices). Monitoring network device status, a core function of most tools, has little to do with the various problems remote users experience and is of little help in pinpointing the root cause of the problem.

Therefore, the #WRF network monitoring challenge is one of the toughest challenges engineers face, especially when using older tools. Here are the top five challenges related to the technical and business implications of assisting remote workers.

1.The lack of visibility of the user experience limits root cause analysis

The network monitoring tool was created to track problems with network devices, not users. The more complex networks become, the more important the user experience becomes in determining the root cause of the problem. A recent telephone survey of networking professionals conducted by LtM Research found that nearly half of reported users receive tickets frequently.

2.Difficult to track intermittent problems, duration

Most network monitoring tools rely on data samples for root cause analysis. If the data collected indicates a problem, a solution is easy to find. However, with intermittent problems, the sampled data can even be misleading. It can take days, weeks, or even months for an engineer to try to find a problem. As explained in the previous paragraph, this is a tool problem. Network monitoring tools based on sampled data temporarily miss problems and waste time analyzing the root cause.

3.Reduced productivity: users and network technicians

The business problem with two technical shortcomings is decreased productivity. More time is wasted drawing conclusions based on incomplete visibility and data. If the problem is not resolved quickly, engineers and users will be less productive. In addition, the wrong tool can turn an easily solvable problem into a long-term headache that can have a significant impact on business productivity.

4.ISPs and networks are often criticized

Ask a network technician: when a user encounters a problem, one of the first suspicions is usually the network or the ISP. However, if the monitoring tool does not have sufficient visibility (or data), no one can identify it. It's all a guess, and guessing without data is a waste of time in a complex network that spans multiple carriers. On the other hand, tools that triangulate problems can identify problems across hops in the carrier network. In short, visualization with the right tools can help you diagnose wearer problems before they become aware of them.

5.Unable to meet SLAs

Another business challenge associated with tools with low visibility and missing data is the difficulty of maintaining and applying service level agreements. Therefore, if you can't pinpoint the location of the problem, you probably don't know the root cause, or who or what should be responsible. This issue can affect relationships between networks and IT teams, as well as executives, and service providers report inadequate data. It hurt everyone.

As more and more employees prefer to work remotely, network engineers need new tools to address the growing importance of raw data for user experience, visibility, and root cause analysis. Without these new features, engineers would be more sensitive to issues that could be identified before users and careers, wasting valuable time trying to identify the root cause with older tools.