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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