The demand for computing power and network capability is quickly increasing in a world becoming more reliant on information technology. Data networks’ significance to private and public organisations; and the broader society has seen them become ingrained not only in business, but also in our communities’ connection.
Data networks’ universal importance does not mean that they are simple by any means, however. The development of a data network is a highly complicated process which is affected by many finite details specific to an organisation’s and/or users’ requirements and profiles.
Here’s what you need to know about building a successful data network:
What is a Data Network?
Put simply, a data network is a web of connected devices which are able to transmit and receive information from one another. It is the core infrastructure that users and devices depend on to connect and communicate with one another. Networks’ crucial role in major businesses allows for communications, transactions, orders and a myriad of other actions to take place.
Whether or not they consciously think it, a customer’s choice of provider is often directly impacted by the quality of data network. Few will choose to remain with any service provider whose network is inherently worse than others. By doing so, they will subject themselves to slower download and upload speeds, higher risks of security breach or any number of other issues associated with lower quality data networks. Ultimately, businesses cannot afford to undervalue the importance of their data network to their trade and their customers.
Types of Data Networks
Your organisation will first need to determine what kind of network it needs prior to the commencement of the project. Common network types include local area networks (LANs), wireless local area networks (WLANs), wide area networks (WANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs) and storage area networks (SANs), to name a few. The type of network you require will be determined by number and type of users, the infrastructure components, housing location and network purpose and functionality.
Planning the Data Network
The development of a data network for business purposes is no small undertaking. Organisations should begin by defining their needs and parameters. After the network’s requirements have been defined, the housing of the network must be considered. What physical space is there in which to house the network’s infrastructure components? The physical parameters of the space(s) for the hardware will provide guiding specifications for your selection of components.
During this planning stage, most businesses will prioritise cost-effectiveness, compactness/ease of housing, power consumption and scalability. Fortunately, these are the same attributes prioritised by infrastructure component manufacturers, as well as suppliers and solution designers.
Most businesses that aren’t directly involved in the data business themselves will collaborate with a supplier and/or solution designer to develop a new network. Discovery will be key during the early stages of this relationship. In order to ensure successful development of a network, it is crucial that any solution designer or supplier is completely familiarised with the ins and outs of your organisation and its network requirements.
The supplier and the network designer may be a single or two different organisations/entities: either way they need possess the requisite expertise necessary to guide your data network development and selection of site and components. Network designers’ knowledge of the infrastructure component market will likely prove invaluable to your organisation, as they can recommend the hardware and software most suited to your needs, whilst also adhering to your budget and any other requirements.
Whatever your network’s purpose is, it’s almost certain that security will be a key consideration. Network infrastructure components can become common targets for nefarious attacks. Work closely with your supplier to identify which securities and firewalls are suited to your network’s infrastructure.
The key to a successful data network installation comes down to preparation. By defining needs and laying a solid foundation, businesses can work closely with network designers and infrastructure distributors to ensure the successful completion of their network.
If your organisation is looking to develop a data network, get in touch with the team from Independent Data Solutions.