Making a Comprehensive Network Plan for your Business

Whether you are launching a new business or looking to overhaul your existing business plan, it is very useful to take a look at the way your network is laid out. For many companies, your network is your business. As such, just like you would develop a business plan you should consider making a comprehensive network plan. This plan allows you to identify your network contacts, develop a plan for outages, managing the network on a day to day basis, and much more.

Identify your Applications Early On

If you are starting a new business, you should start by making a list of the applications you need in order to operate on a daily basis. This should include all the software that you use on a regular basis as well as special programs that your specialized employees use. Consider the resources needed to run each of these programs. The amount of resources your software uses will help to determine the hardware you purchase in order to support your operations. It will also help you decide whether or not you should look into setting up a virtual private network, or VPN. It's important to have the software details set before moving forward because that way you don't find yourself scrambling for additional resources.


Streamlining File Management for Business Networks

Where are your most important files located? Most employees in a business know where to find what they use on a regular basis, but what if a key employee is out for the week or has left the company when something major comes up? File management is an often overlooked aspect of managing a business network. The larger your company grows, the more important file management becomes. Consider the tips below as a starting point for examining your file management system.

Emphasize Organization

If possible, you should encourage your employees to use a uniform file management system for any files that may be shared on your network. One option you can consider is to create a directory of main folders on your network drive that all other files will go into. These folders would be under the control of management or the IT team, so their names wouldn’t change. This ensures that, for example, all budget information goes into the network folder labeled “Budgets” rather than having one employee putting files into “Budgets,” another into “Budget,” and yet another into “Yearly Accounting.” It’s often very surprising how many seemingly self-evident names people use in their filing systems.


Handling a Remote Network Upgrade

What do you do when it’s time to upgrade your company’s remote infrastructure? In many ways an upgrade that has remote network components to it is similar to a standard hardware upgrade, but there are a few extra considerations that you should keep in mind. When it comes time to do a large-scale overhaul of your existing remote network and move on to a new paradigm, use these tips as a guideline as to some of the things you should look at.

Wait for a Significant Leap

When preparing for an upgrade, the first thing you need to do is decide whether the upgrade is worth the investment cost. Mobile technology is constantly moving forward, and very few companies can realistically keep pace with the rapid advances made in remote networking. What you need to do before you make any sort of upgrade is to analyze the product you are going to move to. Read the company press releases and check out demos if possible. Usually, a company will highlight the key features that are changing, and you can make sure that those features match what you want. Unless your current technology just isn’t getting the job done, you can be careful when it comes to upgrading.


5 Common Network Mistakes Almost Everybody Makes

Have you ever continually clicked on a button that isn’t working in hopes that the problem would fix itself? Have you ever used a suspicious link when you knew you shouldn’t? Whether you have or not, these are common networking mistakes most people make at one point or another. Here’s a short list of some of the biggest time wasters and security risks that crop up on a business network and how you can make sure you avoid them.

1: Overreliance on Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is extremely helpful and can be a great way for businesses to store a lot of data without having to deal with physical servers on site. However, you need to realize that when you put your information in the hands of somebody else, you’re exposing it to a higher chance of human error. An accidental deletion on the part of your managed services provider, an employee who doesn’t follow the proper security protocols, or a simple account management error can result in a lot of lost data. While you should use cloud computing if it is right for your company, make sure your data is accessible somewhere else as well so you don’t fall prey to the higher chance of human error.


Getting to Know the Ethernet Protocol, Present and Future

How many different “Nets” are there? Although there are many different ways in which business networks connect to the Internet and with each other, the most popular for this day and age remains the Ethernet. An Ethernet protocol offers high-speed access at varying rates and is excellent for high-data transmissions through a network. Let’s examine the different types of Ethernet connections a provider typically offers as well as what the future holds.

What is the Ethernet Protocol?

The Ethernet protocol has existed in one form or another since the 1970s, although it was more recently that it became the common method that businesses and home customers alike used to connect to one another. When the term “Ethernet” is used, it can refer to one of several different protocols, each with their own different speed. The standard Ethernet, which is most commonly requested by home users and owners of very small businesses, transfers data at 10 Mbps (millions of bits per second). Most businesses use the fast Ethernet, which transfers data at 100 Mbps and can thus handle more file transfers and larger data storage. Very large businesses might look into the gigabit Ethernet, which transfers at 1,000 Mbps. These speeds represent a maximum limit – at times, transfers might be slower than that.


6 Facts about Remote Networking that Might Surprise You

How much do you really know about remote networking? It has become increasingly common over the past few years, but there are still a lot of myths and misinformation out there. Presented below are some surprising facts about remote networking that you might not have previously been aware of.

1: Virtual Desktops are a Key to the Past

Many people know the frustration of trying to run an old application on Windows 7 or Windows 8 only to discover that the program is no longer supported. Sometimes the developer has released an update, but that upd ate doesn’t always work as effectively as the version you are more familiar with did. Sometimes the product just becomes abandonware and even compatibility mode on Windows can’t run it properly. A way around this problem is the virtual desktop. Remote utilities usually have a mode which adapts any software and runs it as though it were on its native operating system. With a virtual desktop, your favorite apps will never go out of style.


Using Multiple Operating Systems on the Same Network

What’s your preferred operating system? What would you do if somebody told you not to use that operating system? While many people make this adjustment automatically as part of their jobs, there is a growing number of businesses out there that gives their employees freedom to use their operating system of choice. It can be challenging, but it is possible to combine Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux on the same network if that is what you desire.

Why Do This?

Before you start mixing and matching operating systems, it is worth asking why you should bother mixing and matching operating systems on a business network. There are a few reasons to consider this system. It gives employees more comfort with their work computers, since they can use the same settings at work that they use at home. That level of continuity is valuable. It also allows you to tailor your office hardware to the needs of individual employees. For example, an accountant might make the most out of a Windows platform, but a graphic designer might be able to use the strong hardware and rich features available with Mac OS X. It is possible to cater to the needs of both employees.


Getting to Know your Network Topology

What is the shape of your business network? That may seem like an abstract question, since a typical network consists of machines located in many different areas, but there is more to it than you might think. Network topology refers to the general shape of how your computers and other network devices are interconnected. There are different levels of performance for each topology, and each arrangement has its own benefits and drawbacks to consider.

Important Terms

There are a few important terms you need to know before we continue. First is the term topology itself. While this usually refers to a physical or mathematical configuration, it takes on a slightly different meaning when it comes to computers. In networking, topology references the design of the network itself and the connection each computer has with the server. Other important terms include node, which is a device connected to your network, including computers. Finally, a packet is a message or bundle of information that gets sent from node to node. In addition to data, each packet also contains the address of the node which sent it and the address of the node it is being sent to.


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