The Network Health Checklist – A Best-Practice Guide

Network Health Checklist

In the ever-evolving landscape of information technology, maintaining a healthy and efficient network is paramount for organizations to operate seamlessly. A comprehensive Network Health Checklist serves as a valuable tool to assess and verify the robustness of an existing internetwork.

This article explores the key components of the checklist, offering insights into the critical factors that contribute to a network’s optimal performance.

The Network Health Checklist: A Best-Practice Guide

1. Documented Network Topology and Physical Infrastructure:

Verify that the network’s topology and physical infrastructure are well-documented, providing a clear understanding of the network’s layout and components.

2. Structured Assignment of Network Addresses and Names:

Ensure that network addresses and names are assigned in a structured manner and are well-documented, facilitating efficient management and troubleshooting.

3. Structured and Labeled Network Wiring:

Confirm that network wiring is installed in a structured manner and is adequately labeled for easy identification. This promotes a clean and organized physical infrastructure.

4. Testing and Certification of Network Wiring:

Validate that network wiring has been tested and certified to meet industry standards, minimizing the risk of connectivity issues and signal degradation.

5. Optimal Distance for Network Wiring:

Ensure that the distance between telecommunications closets and end stations does not exceed 100 meters, adhering to best practices for signal integrity.

6. Network Availability Meeting Customer Goals:

Verify that network availability aligns with current customer goals, minimizing downtime and ensuring a reliable network.

7. Network Security Alignment with Customer Goals:

Confirm that network security measures meet current customer goals, safeguarding against unauthorized access and potential cyber threats.

8. Network Utilization Below Saturation Threshold:

Regularly assess network utilization to ensure that no LAN or WAN segments are becoming saturated, with a recommended threshold of 70 percent average network utilization in a 10-minute window.

9. Collision-Free Ethernet Full-Duplex Links:

Confirm that there are no collisions on Ethernet full-duplex links, ensuring smooth communication without data packet collisions.

10. Optimized Broadcast Traffic:

Monitor broadcast traffic levels, aiming to keep it below 20 percent of all traffic on each network segment. Some networks, sensitive to broadcast traffic, may opt for a lower 10 percent threshold.

11. Optimized Frame Sizes:

Wherever possible and appropriate, optimize frame sizes to be as large as possible for the data link layer in use, enhancing data transfer efficiency.

12. Efficient Router Utilization:

Ensure routers are not overused, with 5-minute CPU utilization staying under 75 percent to prevent performance degradation.

13. Packet Drop Rate within Tolerable Limits:

Monitor routers to ensure they are not dropping more than 1 percent of packets on average. Networks intentionally oversubscribed may adjust this threshold accordingly.

14. Regular Collection and Analysis of Device Configurations:

Regularly collect, archive, and analyze configurations of routers, switches, and other network devices as part of a proactive maintenance strategy.

15. Responsive Client-Host Communication:

Verify that the response time between clients and hosts is generally less than 100 ms (1/10th of a second), ensuring a responsive and efficient user experience.


A robust and healthy network is fundamental to the success of any organization. By diligently adhering to the Network Health Checklist, businesses can proactively identify and address potential issues, ensuring their networks remain resilient, secure, and optimized for the demands of the digital age.

Regular assessments and adherence to best practices outlined in the checklist contribute to a reliable and high-performing network infrastructure, laying the foundation for efficient operations and seamless connectivity.

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