#1 Finding your unused interfaces
As network engineers, we’ve all experienced this at some point: it’s early Monday morning, and you’ve had just the one coffee. The boss has given you an urgent task to patch a new device to the switch, but there isn’t a free port to connect to from where you’re standing in the server room. The stack of switches and servers in front of you has a cable in every port.
So, what to do? Pull out a cable and plug yours in, crossing your fingers and hoping that the cable you’ve just disconnected wasn’t currently in use? It’s a risky strategy.
You know it’s unlikely that every single interface is being used, but without tracing each one, how can you know for certain which is free and available, and which is not?
What would be very useful at this point is a quick way of identifying accurately which interface has not received or transmitted any traffic in the last 90 days. Having this information to hand there and then allows you to get back to your desk to enjoy your second coffee of the day, without the stress and time of trying to find that one free port.
Is your current network monitoring solution up to the task? Does it deliver this type of value?
Fast and accurate identification of unused interfaces
This is where Statseeker is different. It polls your network every sixty seconds. And it doesn’t force you to compromise on the quality of your historical network data. It’s stored in full, never averaged or rolled up.
Being able to identify unused interfaces quickly – and with confidence – makes your job a whole lot easier when you’re faced with that ‘which cable to pull’ dilemma.
In seconds (and we’re talking around four, not forty), Statseeker will produce an unused interface report that will show you exactly which interfaces, on any device, have not carried traffic in the last 90 days, and therefore which are safe to unplug and reuse. You can run the report on your entire network or filter by a group of devices, device type, or your own area of responsibility, such as firewalls. Only interested in devices in the Sydney or Chicago office? No problem, filter by location.
(Statseeker default dashboard – asset overview and unused interface report)
Network infrastructure CapEx savings
Another example of where Statseeker’s unique capability to identify unused interfaces comes into its own is when making decisions on investing in additional network infrastructure.
As head of network operations, you’re responsible for forecasting and managing the budget for capital expenditure related to investing in new network infrastructure, while ensuring the corporate network is fit to meet all the business’s objectives and within budget.
You’ve already been told that there’s not much money for network expansion in the budget next financial year, however, you’re fully aware the number of network users is growing, as is the number of devices being added to the network, on what seems to be a daily basis. You operate a large network with thousands of interfaces. How can you identify quickly – and accurately – how many interfaces are actively carrying traffic versus those under-utilized or even unused without visually analyzing each port?
When working with customers to understand interface utilization, we typically discover around 30% of interfaces are unused. These are interfaces that can be disconnected, or redeployed, making more efficient use of the infrastructure you’ve got, before investing in more. By not investing in unnecessary equipment, the savings can be significant.
When one of our customers, a large university in the USA, was considering upgrading its network equipment, understanding its existing network and port utilization was crucial. Using Statseeker to poll the network and generate an inventory report, the network management team discovered that over 50% of wired network ports had not pushed any data packets for over six months. The result? The university was able to decommission unused devices and network equipment and scale back its planned wired network upgrade to the actual network needs and requirements, making significant savings on investing in network infrastructure equipment and maintenance-related costs.
It might seem a small thing but getting to know your unused interfaces really does have its benefits. Identifying them accurately can save both time and money. Statseeker users can instantly access network metrics via dashboards or out-of-the-box reports and have complete visibility of their entire network with 60-second granularity data of every interface and device.