Just like the goblins, ghouls, and ghosts that’ll be walking down your street tomorrow night, network management can be scary.

If you’re not a network expert (and don’t have one on your payroll), it can be intimidating to make changes to clients’ infrastructure for fear of taking the network down. Small actions can have a big impact.

In a 2017 study from Dimensional Research and Veriflow, the surveyed network professionals admitted that the vast majority of network outages are caused by human error. Fat finger mistakes are scarily common.

For instance, in February 2017, Amazon Web Services (AWS) suffered a huge network outage caused by human error. An IT employee was debugging a problem in one of its billing platforms and accidentally took too many servers offline.

Amazon said in a statement, “Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended.” That single error on the CLI took down major websites like Quora, Slack, and Business Insider.

A few months later, in May 2017, a British Airways IT maintenance contractor accidentally switched off the uninterrupted power supply (UPS). When it was reconnected, it caused a power surge that took down the airline’s entire global network.

British Airways cancelled over 400 flights, stranding 75,000 passengers. This calamity severely marred the airline’s reputation and took an estimated $112 million off the company’s bottom line.

ghosts chasing Danbo

Photo: Pixabay

Equally shiver-inducing is the potential for making fat finger mistakes if you manage networks manually. Working in the CLI often involves typing out complex commands and one missing letter or stray character could be disastrous for your client.

For example, an access control list (ACL) error—like a mistyped port number, rules put in the wrong order, or incorrect criteria—can result in unwanted external connections that authorize the wrong traffic. That compromises your client’s security, and can cost them big bucks—which would, in turn, have a blood-curdling effect on your bottom line.

Add to that hair-raising thought the diversity of today’s networks, and you’ve got a monster mashup of complexity. There are few standards across networking hardware made by different vendors—and it’s extremely unlikely you’ll have a single-vendor client site.

In fact, more than 75% of MSPs handle more than four vendors on their managed networks—and some MSPs manage more than 20. Having to navigate multiple standards and protocols is complex, causes headaches, and is a huge drag on time.

With Auvik, you can leave your fear of the network behind. The software automates and simplifies network management. You don’t have to hire (very rare) experts to handle complex network tasks, or take the horrifying risk of manually performing them yourself.

Find out more about how managing networks can be a walk in the park—unless, you know, you’re being chased by zombies.