Problem management is a set of processes and activities designed to manage the lifecycle of problems within an IT environment. The goal is to find issues and fix them before they become serious. For incidents that have already occurred, problem management aims to mitigate the risk of them happening again. In a networking context, it covers the analysis of both network performance and outages to establish the root causes of problems.
Recently,the multinational severed its relationship with its incumbent network provider and partnered with Orange Business Services for its LAN/WAN migration. Orange also provides the company’s remote access requirements in its move towards a software-defined infrastructure (SDx) and cloud proxy. The company was keen to deploy problem management for its network infrastructure to ensure that any problems are clearly understood and appropriate action is taken. This would improve network availability and performance.
The role of a problem manager
As a result, Orange put a dedicated customer-facing problem manager on the company account. The problem manager is in continuous contact with the company’s global IT team and internal Orange teams to identify and solve and issues. In addition, the Orange and the company’s teams meet weekly to discuss problem logs and any issues that have emerged on the network. This activity helps diagnose trends and orchestrate resolutions.
The problem manager plays a proactive role, utilizing data analytics to spot the company’s network infrastructure issues. These include Microsoft PowerBI, which provides consistent analysis across the organization, and SolarWinds’ network monitoring tools.
The Orange automation team has also developed a “bot” that can track data to check exactly how many times a problem appears in a given period to help find the root cause. By being proactive and fixing smaller problems as they are spotted, it stops them from turning into big issues that could result in network downtime.
The problem manager looks after seven critical areas for the company: WAN, SD-WAN, SD-LAN, ZScaler cloud proxy, remote access, Riverbed network optimization service and LAN topologies. In total this covers 10,000 company network devices, in a network infrastructure that supports 55,000 company users and 475 global sites
Providing the highest level of network availability
A key challenge to any organization is establishing a process to detect, diagnose and resolve potential network infrastructure problems to mitigate downtime. By retaining a problem manager from Orange its network provider, the company has minimized lack of availability and performance issues on its network.