A good computer network is the backbone of your business. After all, it’s what hosts most, if not all, your devices, business applications, and many other corporate digital resources. It’s also where most communication within the company and between employees and customers takes place. Therefore, having a network that’s not only functional but efficient is crucial for any organization. This is where network design enters the picture. It involves assessing and understanding how all the elements, such as routers, servers, switches, desktops, and printers, link together and how they can operate efficiently.
However, designing a network is a complex project, especially for a small business. If you’re planning to build or upgrade your current one and don’t have a clue where to start, then it’d be a good idea to hire NYC IT support services. Nevertheless, it’s still prudent to learn everything involved in the project, and that’s what this article aims to discuss. Keep reading for tips on small business network design process.
1. Define Your IT needs
The first step when designing a network for a small business is to understand all your IT needs. To come up with these, you’ll need to assess your current network, what you need from the new set-up, and the required resources. Here is a detailed explanation of these three aspects:
If your plan is to upgrade your existing network, it’s imperative that you assess the current infrastructure. Also, be sure to check the services on the network and all the components connected to it. It’d be a good idea to invite an expert to carry out this assessment because they have a proper understanding of business network designs.
In the process, they’ll note down the servers, routers, and other devices used in the existing network infrastructure. Other information that should be collected are circuit speeds, routing protocols, security controls, and cabling layout. From this data, you’ll know which of the components can be reused in the next design process. It’ll also help you when listing down your requirements.
Describe Your Objectives
Every business has a goal for their network design, and yours is no exception. Consider the current state of your network and what you think is missing. Whatever you want the new set-up to achieve should form the basis of your objectives. Among the common objectives set by most small businesses include improved network performance and simplified network management.
Your final aspect to tackle in this first step is resources. What do you need to meet your objectives? Start with the components discussed above. After your earlier assessment, which components can be reused and which ones need to be bought? List down all the things that must be purchased together with the person who will be doing all the installation.
Remember, your budget management skills will determine the brand and size of components you’ll purchase. It’ll also play a huge role when choosing an installation technician because most of them don’t charge the same fee. So, be sure to have enough money to meet your objectives.
2. Determine The Size Of Your Network
For optimum performance, you’ll need a network that can handle the expected bandwidth demand. Therefore, you’ll need to know the number of devices that’ll be connected and their intensity of use. Many people make the mistake of designing their networks based on the number of users, and that’s wrong because some users can use more than one device at a go.
Some technologies like virtual reality and live streaming tend to eat a lot of bandwidth. Therefore, make sure you pay special attention to such devices and their intensity of usage. For instance, consider using dedicated streaming servers to ensure you enjoy high-quality bandwidth designed for your business’s streaming needs. To prevent bandwidth concerns when designing your network, work with professionals who provide reliable streaming solutions, including dedicated servers for streaming.
Once you have everything covered, you can then decide the size of the network you’ll design. Remember, size here refers to both the optimum performance ability and the geographical radius of the network.
3. Design The Physical Layout
The next step is to study the floor plan of your office and design the physical layout of the network. Plot the desired locations of every device from desktops, printers, to servers. This way, it’ll be easier to determine where to place the switches. Placing them at convenient locations ensures that no device will be too far from the access points.
4. Choose An Internet Service Provider (ISP)
The final step in your network design process is to find the right internet service provider for your business. The ISP you decide to work with will have a huge impact on the overall performance of your network. If your goal is to handle many devices at a time, then you’ll need an ISP that can offer such bandwidth seamlessly. Unfortunately, not all of them have the capacity to provide search services. Some factors to consider when choosing a good ISP are their location, feedback from previous customers, and the price range of their subscriptions.
For instance, if you want your ISP provider to address any issues that may arise unexpectedly,
they can go to your business location as quickly as possible without delay. To ensure you find a
reliable internet service provider, read some client reviews online. You can also ask for a list of
references from your prospects and call them to find out what they say about their services.
It’s wise to compare your prospective providers’ subscriptions’ price ranges to know which suits
your budget and needs. But aside from the ones mentioned, you should also factor in your
prospects’ experience and reputation. Check their track record and track record of their working
in the industry.
By doing all these, you can ensure your internet service provider can be trusted with your
internet and network needs.
Designing a good network for your enterprise will have a huge effect on your success as a small business owner. Among the things to keep in mind in the process are your IT needs, the size of your network, your office layout, and the type of ISP. It’s worth noting that your budget will determine the quality of components and the ISP subscriptions you’ll afford. So, be sure to put aside enough investment for this project.