What Is Network Optimization? – 5 Techniques and Solutions

Entuity Software

Jordan MacPherson - global Network and Server Management leader - headshot
Jordan MacPherson Published: June 13, 2022 Last Updated: March 22, 2024

The importance of network performance cannot be overemphasized. A reliable, efficient network can reduce the stress of your day-to-day duties, help you focus more on strategic IT initiatives with your team, and avoid those 2 a.m. network failure calls that could ruin your week (or year). By monitoring your network and implementing the right solutions, you can keep your business running smoothly and avoid costly network downtime.

Network performance optimization is a matter of measuring performance and making the necessary changes to remove bottlenecks and find areas of potential improvement. By combining a data driven approach to analysis with iterative performance tuning, your network can be a competitive advantage to your business.

However, another important aspect of network optimization is the inherent “optimization” aspect. Optimizing your network does not mean building an overpowered solution that can withstand any disaster known (or unknown) to man. Optimizing an enterprise network means striking a healthy balance between performance and cost. If you under-build your network systems, your life, and the life of your team, will be miserable. If you over-build your network systems, you’ve likely wasted money and gone over budget.

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To reach the goal of network performance optimization, however, it is important to understand how to analyze your network, what things play a role in network performance, and the best practices to optimize networks both now and in the future. Understanding how to optimize your network can be straightforward and simple to implement once you have foundational knowledge about how to improve network performance.

What Is Network Optimization?

Network optimization is the iterative process of improving the performance, reliability, and resilience of your IT network. Different network optimization techniques, tools, and architectures can be leveraged to optimize performance within the bounds determined by your organization’s IT resources.

As a network administrator, you understand that your goal isn’t merely to avoid “downtime,” but to deliver an efficient experience for users. Given your physical infrastructure, and the budget your business has allotted for your network operations, you need to find the ideal balance of performance and expenditure.

The Importance of Network Optimization? – 5 benefits

Now we know what network optimization is, let’s explore how critical it is to any IT infrastructure. The takeaway here is that optimizing your network should not be a ‘nice to have’ but more of a complete necessity.

1. Improved performance

Optimizing a network can significantly enhance its overall performance, leading to faster data transmission, reduced latency, and vastly improved response times. In an age of fast-paced digital environments where users expect quick access to information, this is vital.

2. Cost Efficiencies

Efficient network optimization can often lead to large cost savings by ensuring resources are utilized effectively, this includes minimizing bandwidth wastage. Businesses where network expenses form a significant portion of operational costs will greatly benefit, with the initial investment in optimization techniques being only a small percentage of total operational expenditure saved.

3. Greater Security

A network that is well-optimized will discover any security vulnerabilities promptly, including data breaches and malware attacks. Once discovered, robust security measures can be implemented to protect sensitive information and guarantee continued network operations.

4. Enhanced Reliability

Network optimization techniques aid in identifying and mitigating network bottlenecks, reducing the likelihood of network failures and downtime. This supports uninterrupted access to services for organizations, naturally important in maintaining customer satisfaction and business continuity.

5. Scalability

A well-optimized network is better equipped to manage increased demands from evolving requirements. With traffic fluctuations a common theme in networking, optimized operations ensure network infrastructures can accommodate these changes.

Network Optimization Metrics & KPIs

Although network traffic optimization is often viewed as a complex and daunting task, the main goal is actually very simple: to improve network performance. While there are many ways to achieve this, the most important factor is which metrics you track.

Packet Loss

Packet loss is one of the most important metrics for network optimization. Loss can degrade network performance in many ways. This will result in slower response times, reduced bandwidth, and increased latency.

There are several factors that can cause packet loss, including hardware failure, software issues, and congestion. To optimize your network, you need to identify the source of the packet loss and take steps to mitigate it. Common resolutions include hardware refreshes or upgrades, expanding available bandwidth, and QoS prioritization. Fortunately for network admins like yourself, network fault management software platforms can help you pinpoint precise hardware failures that may be causing packet loss within your network.


Latency is another important metric for network optimization. It measures the time it takes for a packet to travel from its source to its destination. Latency can be affected by many factors, including network, storage, or server hardware failures, software faults, and sub-optimal networking configuration.

how to improve network performance cables bandwidth

High latency can lead to issues including dropped connections, choppy audio and video, and delayed response times. To reduce latency, you need to identify the source of the issue and take steps to mitigate it. If hardware failures are behind your latency issues, network topology mapping software can help you pinpoint the device-level geographic location of your culprit.


Bandwidth is another important metric for network traffic optimization. It measures the amount of data that can be transferred between two points in a period of time. Bandwidth can be affected by hardware, software, and networking configuration.

High bandwidth can lead to issues like increased latency, dropped connections, and poor audio and video quality over your network. To reduce bandwidth utilization, you need to identify the source of the issue and take steps to mitigate it. Common causes of enterprise bandwidth strain include malware, sporadic application updates, and even content streaming/social media applications that are resource-heavy but not business-critical.


Availability is the final metric for network traffic optimization. It measures the uptime of your network, or the amount of time that it is available for use. Network and service availability and uptime can be affected by several factors, including software, hardware, and the configuration of your network.

It’s important for your workforce and any external end users to have uninterrupted access to the resources and applications they need. To realize high availability, you must identify the source of your outage and put redundancies or prioritizations in place to maintain uptime.

5 Network Optimization Techniques and Best Practices

Perhaps the most important benefit of optimizing your network is avoiding costly downtime, which is estimated to burn $5,600 per minute.

Different techniques can be used to optimize a network. Some of the most popular include:

1. Load Balancing

This technique helps distribute traffic evenly across a network, which can help prevent congestion and ensure optimal performance. This ensures that no one server is overutilized during high traffic periods and is instead smoothed among your broader server pool.

2. QoS Prioritization

QoS prioritization allows you to prioritize certain types of packets sent across your network. This includes prioritizing mission-critical packets like video conferencing VoIP packets over server backups that don’t need to happen in real-time. This can help ensure that critical data is always transferred smoothly and efficiently.

3. Payload Compression

Payload compression reduces the size of data packets, which can help improve bandwidth and avoid congestion.

4. Leveraging an SD-WAN

Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) can help improve network performance by dynamically routing traffic. SD-WAN leverages a virtualized, centralized control function to direct your network traffic across a wide area network. This eliminates the need to backhaul data to a central source if your organization has multiple campuses.

improve network performance - SD-WAN abstraction

5. Improved Hardware

In some cases, simply upgrading your network hardware can be enough to improve performance. If an old switch or router is causing frequent bottlenecks within your network, an upgrade could be all it takes to restore order.

Factors that Affect Network Optimization

There is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to optimizing a network. Every infrastructure is different, so implementing the above techniques without accounting for current network conditions can lead to unexpected results. The below lists a variety of factors that can impact network optimization.

Network size

The quantity of devices, users, endpoints and applications within your network can significantly influence bandwidth consumption and the flow of network data. The greater the size of the network, the more difficult it can be to optimize, or at least, more investment will be needed to make a considerable improvement.

Existing Equipment

The performance and age of devices and equipment in the network, such as firewalls, routers and switches can also impact the effectiveness of network optimizations. Replacing old hardware with new, modern equipment would likely have a greater effect on network performance than if hardware that was 1-2 years old was replaced.

Environmental Factors

Physical factors such as humidity, temperature and power supply stability can influence network optimization performance. A substantial amount of effort can be spent optimizing a network, but if the environmental conditions are not favorable, such a data center that struggles to keep temperatures low, then results will not be as successful as hoped.

Geographic Locations

Networks that span a greater distance can be more difficult to optimise compared to a small local area network (LAN), due to complexity and reach. By nature, networks with a greater physical distance between devices are more likely to face latency issues, therefore this may always be an underlying issue.

How to Optimize Network Performance – Two Popular Solutions

Why haven’t you already optimized your network? The reason is simple: In today’s economic atmosphere, your IT team is likely suffering from having the wrong tools, or having the wrong people (or too few of the right people). Resources are not limitless, and network optimizer tools don’t always fit your business needs.

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Luckily, there are several types of solutions that can help your team with network optimization. This includes network optimization tools that empower you to in-house your optimization efforts, and network optimization managed services that do the heavy lifting for you.

Network Performance Monitoring Software

Network performance monitoring software is a type of software that helps you track the performance of your network. This type of software enables you to optimize your enterprise network across devices supplied by a host of different vendors.

Enterprise network monitoring software can automate network device discovery and provide intuitive workflows that make it easy to identify when faults arise. Responsive dashboards let you quickly assess your network health or drill down to the device level to quickly and fix network problems.

network optimization techniques

Entuity Software™ supports network infrastructure monitoring for thousands of devices out of the box across hundreds of vendors. And, Entuity has been consistently recognized as leader in the Network Monitoring & Management category by G2, setting it apart in the field of network optimization software.

Network Management as a Service

Network management as a service (NMaaS) provides managed engineer assistance for optimizing your network. Network management services can help you with a variety of tasks, including monitoring performance, identifying issues, and implementing solutions.

NMaaS providers can help streamline your network management processes by taking care of hybrid environments, supporting new networking technologies, and ensuring outstanding end-user experiences. Some of the best network infrastructure management providers, like ParkView Managed Services™, are backed by an Enterprise Operations Center (EOC) that ensures a smooth deployment with a tailored onboarding plan that includes custom set-ups for network device management, custom dashboards and reports that cater to your organizational goals.

Optimize Network Performance – Choosing the Right Way

There are many different options available for network optimization. The right solution for you will depend on your specific needs.

If you’re looking for a solution that will enable your networking team to monitor your own network, then network performance monitoring software may be a good option. If you’re interested in having an expert team optimize your network so you can focus on more strategic initiatives, then network management as a service may be a better choice.

As the leading Global Data Center and Networking Optimization Firm, Park Place Technologies can help your team with nearly any networking hurdle you encounter. Contact us today to learn how Entuity™ Software and ParkView Managed Services™ can support your team!

Jordan MacPherson - global Network and Server Management leader - headshot

About the Author

Jordan MacPherson,
Jordan is responsible for guiding the global Network and Server Management offerings for Park Place’s ParkView Managed Services division. His responsibilities include collaborating with Sales, Marketing, Enterprise Operations, and the R&D team to develop and bring to market Park Place’s world-class managed services. He brings 12 years of global experience in planning, monitoring, and delivering IT Services, including nearly 10 years as a Team Lead and Strategic Applications Developer with MSP IntelliNet before its acquisition by Park Place. Jordan is a graduate of Ohio University.