Your network design can become the heart of your business. Therefore, ineffective network architecture can have a major impact on business performance.
As a business leader, you need to find the best balance of security, redundancy, cost, and network performance. This will require some technical and project management skills to ensure the best network security.
If you want to drive your business forward to beat your competition, here is everything you need to know about network design and why it matters for your brand.
Explaining Network Design
If you are wondering what network design is, it is the practice of designing and planning an extensive communication network. Your network design is the stage before implementing the actual network and building it.
The first thing it does is identify your technical and business requirements to build an excellent network architecture. Network design can also involve IP addressing, network analysis, and hardware selection.
The network security for a large firm may be complex. However, for a small business or most homes, it is a straightforward process. You can hire a professional team to set it up for you if you have a small office.
Network design does not have to be complicated unless you are a large enterprise with many stakeholders involved. To set up the best network security for your business, read more on managed IT services.
Designing a Network
Now that you understand what network design is, you need to go through a step-by-step process of how it needs to be built. The specifics of your network architecture will depend on the size of your company and how complex your design is.
The first step is to gather information about your business. You need to think about all the tech requirements with defined targets. Otherwise, your network design will never work efficiently.
Business and technical requirements should also go over details about new offices, end-user experiences, costs, business continuity, and new regulations.
After the design stage, you hit preparation. This is where you have all the business details ready to go. Now you can focus more on the functional or technical tasks.
These include security requirements, specific project protocols, recovery time and recovery point objectives, bandwidth, and service level agreements.
After these requirements, you should also think about constraints. For instance, you may have a budget constraint that may be holding you back.
Then you need to assess your current network design. This is because most businesses rarely have a clean slate. You must have some network architecture from before that needs to be upgraded.
It is necessary to know the state of your network early, preferably before the designing process. This should help you understand your current layout, data flows, performance, applications, and network security. You can also examine the logical and physical layout of your network.
Internet is the lifeline of any business. It would be challenging to run a business if you cannot connect to the internet. To run your operations efficiently, you need a decent internet connection. Organizations rely on connectivity to engage with customers and employees.
You will also need to be connected for your search engine optimization, website, and social media marketing projects. It is up to you if you want to go for Cloud strategy or on-premises. However, your internet speed should be phenomenal.
People in your business will depend on a reliable and fast connection. Without reliable internet service, your business can crumble. Lack of connectivity can affect your profits, sales, and customer relationship management.
Data protection is necessary because it protects your business from hackers. You should think about how often data in your company needs to be backed up. Should it be done every hour? Or every week?
This answer depends on how you run your organization. It is your responsibility to protect your staff and customers’ data. Several folders and files should be backed up locally or offsite daily. These should also be encrypted at rest. Then they need to be in transmission if disaster strikes.
Network security is critical. Cybercrime is significantly increasing. Your business is always under constant threat if you do not have the best network design in place. Even though your business may be at low risk, hackers are not sparing anything these days.
A cyberattack can occur at any time. Cybercriminals also target smaller businesses more often because they know that your network architecture would not be as complex as large firms.
Your employees need to use network bandwidth to get things done. However, this will not be the same bandwidth as last year. As business operations grow, you need a stronger network. You can consider building additional bandwidth.
However, it is better to ensure that your network is modular and flexible enough to expand. This is because you cannot know what your requirements in the future will be. However, you can include flexible bandwidth in your network design if you ever need to extend.
The best network design can help your organization run seamlessly. Therefore, it is necessary to deal with regulations that can impact your logical and physical network design.
For instance, local building codes may not allow how your cable is structured. Then you will need to come up with a new network design or relocate to new offices. During your network design process, always keep these rules in mind to build the most compliant network.
Hire the Best IT Services
Your network design and implementation are just the beginning. There is a lot of work that goes into securing networks and creating the best architecture to boost your business. You need to proactively monitor how your network is set up.
Study all the regulations and carefully list all business and technical requirements during the design stage. If you enjoyed reading this network guide, check out some of our other posts for more information.