The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Technology of Building a Network Infrastructure
Such is the importance of technology and a solid Internet connection to businesses today that no company can operate effectively without having a strong network infrastructure in place. This infographic from Exigent Networks shows the steps that are involved in developing a sound network infrastructure. It is a time-consuming process that requires no shortage of IT expertise, but if the time and expense is taken initially to get it right at the first attempt, it actually saves businesses money as they do not need to hurriedly spend money to fix a preventable problem further down the line.
Firstly, an IT decision maker needs to determine the requirements for the network and then devise a strategy as to how best to meet these demands. These are subsequently developed and the design is mapped out. The solution is configured before finally being installed. Within a few months, or whenever the need arises, the company should then review the network infrastructure to analyse whether or not it is a suitable fit.
Having an optimised network infrastructure in place provides a number of key benefits to a business. It allows for increased efficiency and a quicker response rate. It is easy to manage and a business is utilising its full IT potential. Indeed, businesses today cannot really afford to cut corners or take chances when it comes to having a swift, reliable network in place.
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Building a Network Infrastructure
Infrastructure options for communication networks within businesses can be quite complicated, but if a solid plan is in place, the system will perform as it should, enabling companies to form reliable communications networks for future growth.
10 Steps to Building a Network Infrastructure
Determine your Requirements
- Determine factors such as site requirements, availability, capacity, and integration.
- Review the possible pros and cons of each option.
- Define the components that meet your requirements.
Determine a Solution for the Requirements
- Determine the component options that satisfy your operational needs.
- This consists of the systems that make up the architecture and the functions and applications to provide the services required.
Access Network and Infrastructure Readiness
- Review and audit all network and infrastructure areas which could be affected by the development.
- Assess network design, software, hardware, network links and network services.
Assess Operational Readiness
- Determine the ability to administer and manage the recommended solution.
- Analyze system configuration, monitoring, and upgrading.
Develop Site Requirements
- Identify the hardware and software needs for each location where the solution will be deployed.
- Review hardware components, software levels, electrical requirements, physical space requirements, and wide area network (WAN) connectivity.
Develop the Design in Detail
- Develop a detailed design based on the requirements identified.
- Analyze requirements for interoperability, application software, and customer interaction.
Develop an implementation plan
- Define the processes required for implementing the system.
- Consider scheduling, equipment delivery, resource requirements, project deadlines, and training.
Configure your Solution
- Assemble the components to be installed at each site.
- Carry out testing on the hardware and software.
- Pre-configure the devices as appropriate.
Install the Solution
- Verify that the equipment is fully ready.
- Install equipment in data racks.
- Ensure that all necessary cables are connected and in place.
- Ensure that all units power up correctly.
Review the Installation
- Assess the performance of the installation within 3-6 months.
- Measure this against design and performance metrics.
- Implement any necessary improvements.
Tips for Creating a Secure Network Infrastructure
- Utilize professional IT services
- Education your staff about data security
- Establish clear policies for using the network software
- Install a business-class firewall
- Ensure that the staff create strong passwords
- Ensure that data is backed up remotely
- Install anti-malware and anti-virus applications
- Update all software and firmware regularly
- Outsource IT to a cloud services provider
Benefits of an Optimized Network Infrastructure
- Improved efficiency
- Maximized power consumption
- Reduced energy costs and consumption
- Managed capacity
- Lower unit cost
- Quick response rate
- Reduced complexity
- Shared resources
- Easy administration
Advice from the Experts
“Ultimately, a business’ decision on the best type of Internet access shouldn’t be a decision based solely on the cheapest option available. Rather, the decision shoudl foucs on what the business incurs when the Internet goes out.” – Benjamin Anderson, Founder of Bandwidth Pool
“Deploying the right media will help avoid performance issues and keep costly upgrades to a minimum. Late in the game, when the network is already deployed, it is very expensive to fix issues. In my experience, something that costs $10 in the planning stage may cost $10,000 to fix in the field.” – Andy Banathy, Solution architect with Panduit
*These experts quotes are not affiliated with Exigent Networks.