Networks play a critical role in every IT infrastructure and just like us humans they require a health check every so often if something goes wrong or when an event introduces new strains or changes the ways of working. For people, this strain could be training for a marathon or trying for a baby; for networks the equivalent could be adding or changing the application hosting or consumption landscape.
Conducting an assessment to investigate recent outages or known problems is a reactive scenario. The issues could be with the network as a whole, or with a particular network segment such as the data centre LAN or a remote access stack. To understand the root cause of the problem, the assessment will examine a full range of network aspects from the physical and logical design of the network, to the supporting contracts and SLA documents.
An example of a proactive scenario would be when a network assessment is conducted in order to prepare for an event, such as a new application launch or migration of a legacy application to a cloud based service. Such IT changes can be disastrous if there is an undetected network problem as research indicates that user adoption is low if first impressions are poor. Therefore, whatever the scenario, checking your network beforehand will give an indication of what the end user experience will be and whether any changes are required to optimise performance prior to the launch.