When designing a new computer network there are a number of items to consider. Regardless of the number of users, their needs and desires must be explored and understood. The budget is as important to take into consideration during the network design process. Balancing security and ease of access is crucial. Redundancy needs to be built to overcome troubleshooting issues. Hardware and software should be standardized in order to keep maintenance costs in check. A recovery plan should be designed and the option for growth.
Security & Connectivity
Network connectivity in our date and age is more evolved and involved than in the past. Many employees need access to company data and emails while away from the office. This access is many time obtained on a mobile device.
Balancing remote access and security is a challenge that needs to be taken into account when designing the computer network. A decision need to be made regarding data storage location (in house or off site), which information is accessible and to whom as well as the types of devices included. Firewalls and access servers must be secured while not slowing down smooth operation.
Having backup devices is good practice for even small size networks. That means having two identical servers, configured with a fail-safe in the even one of the two needs maintenance or encounters failure. Redundant components should be placed in the design for any part of the network that cannot stay down for long periods of time. More so, if the users cannot be without internet connection, a second connection should be installed.
Standardizing hardware and software of a network helps ensuring the network works properly without glitches. It reduces maintenance costs as well as upgrades and various repairs costs. And saving money is always a big deal. Learn the needs of the different employees / departments to see if such standardization is an option for the network you are working on.
Any network design should include a detailed recovery plan. An example for such a recovery plan may include provisions for back-up power and what procedures should be followed in the event either the network or server crashes. Automatic data backups should be put into motion. Backup data location is to be considered.
Any new network design should allow for future growth. The future of any network / business is an unknown that it is best to prepare for. Designing for growth will help lower expansion costs in the even the network need to grow.