Mean Time to Convince

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

I attended VoiceCon Orlando 2009 this week and had the privilege of participating in three events:

  1. Teaching a half-day tutorial on “VoIP Troubleshooting, Monitoring, and Metrics” in which I covered a number of VoIP problems, what their symptoms are, and how to correct them.  I then covered network monitoring systems and what information they need to provide so that you do less reactive troubleshooting and more pro-active identification and correction of problems before they have a big negative impact on VoIP.
  2. Moderated a panel on “Network Management: Finding the Right Tools” in which four industry executives answer questions from the audience about finding and using good network management tools.
  3. Facilitated a Birds-of-a-feather session “Troubleshooting Converged Networks” in which attendees could interact with one another to share information about what tools work best for them in troubleshooting their converged networks.

I was pleased to have two attendees tell me that my sessions were the best ones that they had attended during the show, primarily because of my “nuts and bolts” content.  I’ve been talking with the VoiceCon organizers about expanding the detailed technical content and have some ideas on how to do that.  Check out the VoiceCon San Francisco 2009 conference later this year.

I was talking with the Network Management panel members, Steve Guthrie of CA, Tom Praschak of Dimension Data, John Dunne of Prognosis, and Phil Moen of Unimax Systems, prior to our panel session and John mentioned that a major component of MTTR is “mean time to convince,” or MTTC.  He described it as the time that it takes the network team to convince the server, apps, or security team that the network is not at fault for some problem that the other team sees.  He went on to say that they have found that up to 60% of the MTTR is due to the MTTC.

At that point, Steve piped up with two more similar metrics: Mean Time to Guilt, which identifies which component of the system is at fault for degraded performance; and Mean Time to Innocence which is comparable to MTTC.

The implication is that it is very important to have network management tools that clearly indicate the source of the problem and, if possible, what needs to be done to correct it.  The next time you’re in a meeting to resolve the source of a problem, you can impress your peers with MTTC.



Re-posted with Permission 

NetCraftsmen would like to acknowledge Infoblox for their permission to re-post this article which originally appeared in the Applied Infrastructure blog under


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.