The Simple Checklist for Solving Ghost Issues at Remote Offices
Ghost issues are tough enough for IT to handle on-location, but what about in remote or branch offices? Learn some tips on rooting out and resolving ghost issues.
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IT leaders have always had their hands full with ghost issues on-premises. But for businesses that rely on remote and branch offices, monitoring a sprawling network of on-premises equipment introduces even more challenges.
That’s why we move to the cloud, right? To help us eliminate truck rolls, improve cost efficiency, and centralize management of applications across all locations.
When you’ve migrated to the cloud (even if it’s just for something like office applications like Office 365 or G Suite), you’ve already considered compliance, licensing, and budget concerns. But what happens when your remote users start experiencing classic ghost issues?
Every application performance issue comes with unique challenges, but it’s important to have a basic checklist to help you approach each new situation. Get on the right path to ghost issue resolution with these three simple steps.
Decide if Your Ghost Issue is a Real Issue
There’s one fundamental flaw in the ghost issue resolution process—that you have to rely on users to point you in the right direction to determine (and troubleshoot) the root cause.
Unfortunately, employees typically aren’t sure why a problem is occurring. They just want it fixed (quickly). In a traditional setting, your first thought might be to dive into manual event log searches or time-consuming attempts to reproduce the problem. But in a cloud-driven world, you might want to take a step back.
The cloud migration process impacts end users just as much as it affects the IT infrastructure. If your organization has moved from an on-premises PBX to cloud-based Skype for Business, the transition could be jarring for employees. If a feature they expect to use is suddenly missing, they might rush to submit a support ticket for a performance issue.
Before you start hunting for ghosts, take a step back and decide whether the perceived problem is actually a problem IT needs to solve.
Real Ghost Issue? Know Your IT Enemy
When you’ve decided that a ghost issue claim is worth investigating, you have to know ahead of time what the problem might look like. Again, every issue is different, but keep these common characteristics in mind before starting your investigation:
- Just because the intermittent issue takes a long time to occur doesn’t mean you can’t reach it instantly under the right circumstances.
- Every ghost issue can be uncovered if there’s enough testability built into an application.
- Just because the bug disappears doesn’t mean it was resolved.
- Ghost issues can compromise even the most basic assumptions about the operating environment.
The point here is that you shouldn’t overthink the problem. When you were working with custom on-premises applications, you had to worry about every piece of code that could be causing performance problems. For something like a SaaS application, you can focus on the infrastructure components that you control to see if the problem is on your end.
Lean on Technology for Greater Visibility Into Issues
You don’t have the luxury of walking down to the data center for in-person troubleshooting if the ghost issue is occurring at remote locations. If you need to determine whether there’s packet loss or a problem in the data path at a remote location, you’ll need some help.
Taking advantage of remote server functionality will let you dig into the environment experiencing problems. From there, you just have to start troubleshooting. Break the problem down into variables and test different pieces until you can identify a root cause.
The root cause of your remote ghost issue could be any number of things, including:
- Integration issues between new cloud services and existing third-party software.
- Misconfigured WAN that is causing a lack of network visibility.
- Service delays resulting from limited staff resources.
- And many more.
No one said every remote troubleshooting scenario would be easy, but if you set yourself up for success with the right technology and migration models, you can simplify inevitable problem-solving situations.
If you want to learn more about keeping end users happy at your remote locations, download our free whitepaper, How to Solve the Top IT Issues at Remote Locations.
Published at DZone with permission of Joe Michalowski, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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