Network intelligence refers to the granular collection of data from across your network that can be used to inform future decisions and optimize processes. This data is commonly used to visualize how a network is being used, common relationships, speed, and data rates.
Depending on how you configure your network intelligence solution, there is an almost endless list of data that can be collated. You can investigate anything – from the technical specifications of computer processes to the behaviors of groups, users, and individuals.
The main aim of network intelligence is optimization. By gaining a greater insight into how a network is used, you can ensure it is optimized and working as effectively as possible. This includes ensuring that your security set up is effective, as well as the details of user experience and a site’s technical capabilities. All of this information can be highly valuable when considering any network changes or alterations and could have a direct impact on the profitability and security of your network.
How Does Network Intelligence Work?
Network intelligence can be used to understand and illustrate the connections between your cloud and on-premises services. This data can then be analyzed so that you can make informed decisions regarding your network, potential upgrades, and any reconfigurations.
As part of this process, packet and deep packet inspection (DPI) is used to acquire and understand data. This is a way of assessing the data that is being transmitted by evaluating the IP packet. From this, your system can tell where a packet originated from. The information can be contextualized to understand how the network is used, and how data interacts with the network in different locations.
Not only does this information provide insights into data and traffic, but it can be contextualized to provide real-time visibility of user behavior, network, application, and account usage, and customer segmentation. By identifying any patterns within this data flow, relationships can be identified, and potential impact understood. This can inform future updates and any improvements to the user interface.
What Are The Uses Of Network Intelligence?
This is a very good question, but one that’s rather tricky to answer. It is reminiscent of the adage: how long is a piece of string? Put simply, network intelligence can be used to gather intelligence on anything that it is set up for. The uses of network intelligence are, therefore, near limitless.
Network intelligence utilizes recent advances in AI and ML to automate traditionally human investigations, at scale and at a high speed. The main benefits of using network intelligence include:
- Using analytics and prior experience to make decisions
- Responding to signals, alerts, and notifications
- Carrying out and logging routine tasks
- Assessing vulnerabilities and anticipating future problems
Network intelligence can be particularly useful when completing cloud migration projects, for instance. It allows you to understand how the network is functioning and where any improvements might need to be made. You can identify if issues are caused internally, or by an external cloud provider.
It can also be useful when an organization is looking to automate a process. Initially, this information can be used to understand what solution is needed, and how best to administer it. Then, the information can be fed into the automation process, so that your IT team can focus on more complex issues, rather than repetitive manual tasks.
Who Is Network Intelligence For?
Again, this rather depends on the type of intelligence that is being produced. It is not like there is one way of “doing” network intelligence. Instead, network intelligence tools will be designed to identify a certain type of information that can give specific insights.
For example, a communications company may wish to gain an understanding of latency and communication speeds. By better understanding the time it takes for messages to be sent, software engineers can make relevant changes to optimize their service. This would include the difference between sending videos, voice messages, and photos – any differences in upload and download speeds or data limits might be relevant. Armed with this data, the engineers could take steps to improve the efficiency of their technology, thereby saving the company time and money.
Another common use case for a network intelligence solution is monitoring the behavior of users as they navigate across a website. Data gathered here can ensure that a website’s design is ergonomic and logical. This would be helpful for an ecommerce business or an organization who needs to track advertizing reach.
At the end of the day, network intelligence solutions are designed to help any organizations answer specific questions they have about their network; be those regarding security, efficiency, or general usage.
What Are The Benefits Of Network Intelligence?
For some, the main aim of network intelligence is to produce actionable insights and optimize processes. This, however, is not the extent of a network intelligence solution’s capabilities.
Fundamentally, network intelligence automates what has historically been a human-led process. When left in human hands, the process is much slower, less extensive, and liable to human error. Through the inclusion of AI and ML technology, information gathering and analysis can be streamlined. Other benefits include:
- Analyzing data at scale across a whole network
- Faster processing
- A high degree of accuracy
- Automating data collection and analysis to run consistently or periodically
- Operating with reduced human interaction
Taken together, these benefits allow organizations to focus on the insights – and how they should respond – rather than worrying about how to gather data, and how accurate it is.
Network intelligence solutions can be used to gather a wide range of data and provide a variety of insights into your company’s network security, efficiency, and usage. Ultimately, network intelligence gathers data and analyzes it, thereby allowing you to make more informed, more accurate decisions.
It may be the case that you need to gather network intelligence as a one-off exercise, prior to making network changes. Equally, carrying out an ongoing programme of network intelligence analysis ensures that you can understand the effect of changes, as well as identifying where future updates are required.
For more information on the best network intelligence solutions currently on the market, take a look at our article here: