Today I want to talk about how important it is to design your network solution before implementing it. I guess some would say but its easy to just throw a network together but those are usually the networks that give the worst performance and the most problems.
5 years ago I thought I was a know it all when it came to networking after spending more than a decade in the industry. But I can tell you that the me of today would be able to talk the past me into a state of confusion and despair. How little I actually knew.
Almost daily I learn new things and despite being good at what I do I will never profess to know it all. IT and networking are ever evolving fields that it is sometimes hard to keep up with everything. But I do somehow manage to keep up on most of it.
So lets talk about designing or architect a network solution. What are the main things to consider?
- How many users will the network cater to to?
- What sort of LAN to WAN and WAN to LAN security is required?
- What sort of Internet Connection or Connections will they use?
- Will there be on prem servers or Cloud Servers in play?
- How many branch offices or remote sites does the network have?
- What sort of business the network is catering to? (This one is important as some may require much higher speeds due to video and audio requirements such as marketing companies.)
- Do they have an in house IT guy?
These are just some of the many requirements. These can also be broken down further as per below:
How Many Users?
This will effect the size of the switches, the core network architecture and of coarse the size and model of the firewall or router that will be placed on the site.
Many a time Pop and Son IT companies know enough to put a solution together and get the sites up but I can confirm that almost every time they do under provide for the sites needs and slowly over time the sites do show performance degradation and problems.
For example many will throw a gaming or home SOHO router into a large installation and expect it to perform as well as say an enterprise class router. Guess what? It wont.
Network design and architecture is a specialist field that requires loads of experience and knowledge to get the most of the environment.
I will continue this article in another episode soon.