Gartner Research

Key Performance Indicators for Network Technical Performance

Published: 10 September 2008

ID: G00204034

Analyst(s): Eric Siegel


Key performance indicators (KPIs), which include service level indicators (SLIs), can show whether performance goals are being met. This report by Senior Analyst Eric Siegel combines and updates the Methodologies and Best Practices (MBP) documents "Key Performance Indicators for Enterprise Networks" and "Enterprise SLAs: Lessons Learned." It discusses the use of KPIs in Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and for rapid incident classification, giving precise definitions and statistical treatments (especially for the classical networking technical KPIs of latency, jitter, availability, and workload) along with best practices for their implementation.

Table Of Contents

Introduction and Scope

KPI Advantages

KPI Selection and Use

  • Relevance and Goals
  • Credibility
  • Usability for System Management and Diagnosis
  • Affordability


  • Measurement Instrumentation
  • Measurement Validation
    • Measurement Error Exclusion
    • Audit and Challenge Procedures
  • Measurement Exclusions
  • Statistical Analysis
    • Basic Statistics for Individual Metrics
    • Aggregation

Standard Network-Level KPIs

  • Latency and Jitter
  • Packet Loss
  • Availability
  • Workload

Implementing and Managing KPIs



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