Keith Bromley
Sr. Manager, Product Marketing at Ixia

A Day In The Life of an IT Person

July 24, 2017 by Keith Bromley

Does network monitoring seem like a challenge for your business? Ever wonder how other IT professionals are doing with their network monitoring efforts? Keep reading to find out how the other half lives and how you can improve your monitoring practices. In this blog, I’m presenting some interesting data that Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) captured in a survey they conducted for Ixia in late 2016. Here’s how your counterparts generally spend their time.

A fundamental question was how much time do security, performance, and network monitoring teams spend on their basic tasks? Here’s the breakdown of responses:

Security Teams

  • 38% spend over half their time responding to security incidences
  • 36% spend ¼ to ½ of their time responding to security incidences

Network and App Performance Teams

  • 41% spend over half their time responding to network/application performance problems  
  • 32% spend ¼ to ½ of their time responding to network/application performance problems

Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting Teams

  • 39% spend over half their time configuring monitoring tools
  • 28% spend ¼ to ½ of their time configuring monitoring tools
  • 23% report that they are too overworked to keep up with improving their network monitoring efforts

In addition, there are specific problems that exist for network monitoring efforts which include the following:

  • 35% report a shortage of Tap and SPAN ports that prevent them from getting proper data access
  • 26% say the amount of monitoring tools isn’t enough, even though the amount of monitoring has increased by almost 30% in the last two years
  • At the same time, 24% said that the tools they have don’t have the right capabilities
  • Another 13% also reported that they didn’t have enough budget for more tools

The survey also showed that inefficiencies exist within IT departments across different companies. Here is some of the data:

  • A lot of time is spent on configuring network locations to capture monitoring data with 49% changing the locations from where they mirror traffic to their network more than 3 times per month. Only 14% never have to touch their mirroring ports.
  • Approximately 32% are underutilizing their security and monitoring tools. This means they have less than 50% CPU utilization on their tools.
  • Most departments admit to having at least some problems, if not major problems using a CLI to program their equipment. Only 23% report no issues with using a CLI.

There is good news though. IT departments that are using a network packet broker are seeing tangible benefits including:

  • 47% have improved their productivity.
  • 40% have reduced security breaches and incidences.
  • 27% have created high availability networks.

Let’s explore these results further. Here’s the full set of answers to the question “What are the most important benefits that your organization has experienced through its use of network visibility controllers (i.e. network packet brokers)?”

Day in the life

As the chart shows, there are numerous other benefits including:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Reduced time to problem diagnosis and problem resolution
  • Cost savings realized due to extending the lifespan of existing tools
  • Improved collaboration within the IT department
  • Faster delivery of new services
  • Cost savings realized from delaying or avoiding network upgrades If you want to improve your monitoring efforts and reduce the time and cost that you need to invest in your network, view the free resources at the Ixia Out-of-Band Visibility solutions webpage.


1. Enterprise Management Associates Network Visibility Study conducted for Ixia. October 2016.