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Baselining definition

Baselining is a technique for assessing computer network performance. Establishing a standard point of reference (the baseline) allows for analyzing how well the network is doing at any given time. It also helps determine whether changes are causing problems.

Real baselining use cases

  • Daily network performance monitoring. On a regular day, the network team can monitor the system and compare the real-time data with the baseline data. The daily comparison allows for rapid detection and resolution of issues and helps maintain network stability and performance.
  • Network performance trend monitoring. By comparing baselines from different periods, the network team can identify patterns or trends. For instance, if the baseline shows a steady increase in bandwidth usage over several months, it may suggest more resources will be needed in the future to prevent performance degradation.
  • Network update impact assessment. When changes are made to the network (such as software updates, new hardware, or configuration changes), comparing the post-update network performance to the baseline can help assess the impact of the changes. If performance improves after an update, it's a good sign the change was beneficial. If performance worsens, the team may need to troubleshoot the update or roll it back.
  • Alternate network option exploration. By testing the alternate solutions and comparing their performance against the current baseline, the network team can make more informed decisions about which option may best meet the organization’s needs. This can help avoid costly mistakes, such as implementing a solution that performs worse than the existing one.