When companies find themselves growing faster than they had planned their network grows with them. Keeping up with the day-to-day tasks of running an organization that is growing obviously requires focus and dedication and the network almost always gets left behind. I don’t mean left behind from a Bandwidth or Capacity standpoint, as those things must keep up with the business, what I mean by left behind is the planning, maintenance and overall architecture standpoint.
The result can be overwhelming: Where does one start? Do you rip it all out and start fresh? Do you employ a phased approach? What Vendor do you go with? Do you need to hire a Consultant or Project Manager?
When I come into these situations I must be careful not to insult the person or people who let it get to this stage, after all they were just responding to the needs of the business. So, where does one start……
I have found that if the organization focused on anything it was the server infrastructure and the network infrastructure is nothing more than a number of BIG BOX store items from various manufacturers.
So, I start with this Foundation and based on the business goals segment the network to allow for Stability, Security and Scalability. Spend a few dollars on this infrastructure and you will save yourself a ton of time and effort in the long run. Employ a logical distribution of servers, services and there tasks across different VLAN’s. Think about some of the longer term goals like VoIP… Maybe putting in PoE switches now is the right thing to do even if VoIP isn’t in your immediate plans. Think about the industry you’re in and if it hasn’t already developed some form of compliance requirement, will it in the future? Build your network as if you are a bank. Build your network based on best practices.
You will find that once this foundation is in place, the task to add, remove or change any aspect of your network becomes just a task and not some unattainable goal.
Document and monitor your network!!!!!! Purchase a maintenance contract on your equipment (it’s called insurance)… And Finally – if you’re not a network professional give us a call to help you design, build and maintain your network because it is what we do for a living…