I remember when I drove my new, fast, car off of the dealer’s lot and although it feels like yesterday, it’s no longer new or fast. It continues to break down and doesn’t support my growing family. Just like how cars have an optimal life span, so does your network infrastructure. It may have been ‘State of the Art Technology’ at the time of installation, but will it be able to handle everything you throw at it now? If not now, how about the near future? The purchase of a new car is best to occur before you are stuck on the side of the highway and a new network infrastructure is best to upgrade before your business crashes to a halt.
Check out these 5 key questions to ask when you inevitably update your Network Infrastructure.
- Is there any hardware that will remain?
Have you recently upgraded or added any new pieces to the puzzle? This portion of the infrastructure may still be highly functional and sufficient for the years ahead. No need to spend money on this portion, but the underlying equipment/media will need to be taken into consideration. Copper verse fiber, 1GB or 10GB, Cat5 vs Cat6, etc.
- How much growth will your network experience in the future?
How much bandwidth does your network consume currently and how much will it need for the future? Will there be increased network & power requirements for IP phones or cameras? Will public Wi-Fi be required? How much growth is projected? The new infrastructure should be able to handle the current load as well as projected future growth. Bandwidth will most likely need to be addressed.
- Does your current Data Center have sufficient power and space allotted?
If an infrastructure upgrade is needed, there will need to be a determination on whether the power that was supplied for your current network will be sufficient for the new hardware. Do the locations have redundant or backup power allotted in case of power outages? Is the space large enough for all the new hardware coming in? Will new cables be needed to connect all the devices? Hopefully, the locations for all the new network equipment has been set up sufficiently to handle any upgrades. If not then a new location may be needed and/or surveyed.
- Will the upgrade be a slow parallel switch or will there be a complete swap from old to new?
Both options have pros and cons depending on the network environment and usage. Will there be sufficient power to have both networks running? Will new and old hardware be able to function together? When will this switch occur? On the weekend, night hours, or during business hours? Running both network infrastructures in parallel provides added security, but may not be possible depending on the environment.
- Once the infrastructure is upgraded who is monitoring its health & usage?
Do you know how much of your network bandwidth is actually being used? What time during the day and what locations are using the most bandwidth? Has the usage increased from 6 months ago? Monitoring your network not only provides knowledge, but also security. During monitoring, data can be collected to support the task of doing network upgrades and what hardware could be going in which locations.
Need further experience and knowledge, with more than 40 years of service, CCSI has provided clients a rock solid foundation on, which to secure their organization’s future. CCSI leverages technology to inspire innovation, promote growth, drive efficiency, and accelerate our clients’ success. Contact us today!
Author Bio: Steven Rainess is a Solutions Architect for CCSI. He has 25 plus years experience in the IT industry. For most of these years he has been a consultant as a Subject Matter Expert in Systems, and Networking area, as well as, some Project Management and Development work. His work has covered many verticals including Financial, Education, Broadcasting, and Software Development.