Wednesday, January 20, 2016
5 reasons to reorganize your physical data network
The struggle to find a reliable Internet connection is not one that's limited to the United States. Connection problems in the UK were so bad for Richard Guy of Salisbury Plain that the 60-year-old farmer decided to set up a broadband network of his own, according to the Daily Mail. Cribbing together a 12V battery, two solar panels, a 4G mounted receiver and industry grade fiber-optic cables onto two wooden poles, Guy was able to boost his Internet speed from 1 Mbps to 69 Mbps.
By thinking outside the box in terms of configuration, Richard Guy was able to effect an astonishing turnaround in terms of network performance. Any business running a data network can learn a thing or two from this tech-savvy sexagenarian, especially with regards to his willingness to try fresh strategies to improve the reliability and performance of his connection. It is also often the case that shifts in how the network operates occur due to changes in the company's leadership. Regardless of the reason, IT specialists who are aware of the scenarios that precipitate a full network update and physical overhaul are also less likely to be caught off-guard. The following list of scenarios that may lead directly to some serious rearrangement in the server room.
1. Policy changes call for a major a shift in operations
Change across an organization is common when new leadership takes over, sometimes just for the sake of change. That means IT experts should be wary of performing widespread updates to the network shortly after an executive shakeup. For example, a new CIO may be a huge fiber proponent, requiring IT specialists to identify solutions for integrating into existing copper networks, like high-performance fiber to Ethernet hookups. There's no telling what types of new policies and growth initiatives may be coming down the pipeline.
On the flip side, management should look directly at instances of leadership change as prime opportunities to introduce new technology to the workplace, along with the tools and resources necessary to make the transition a smooth one.
"Plan new orientations based on known holes in security."
2. Physical adjustments make a big impact on security and compliance
Failures to secure the physical network or meet compliance in the process has serious consequences for IT staff and members of company leadership alike. That means a gap in security and updated compliance standards represents a problem that needs immediate attention, one way to address the issue quickly is by planning new orientations for the network based on known holes in security.
In fact, data collected in Technavio's Global Data Center Physical Security Market report suggested that security related spending on network gear is expected to explode over the next four years, according to TechTarget. Thankfully, the market is full of security enhancing hardware, such as dedicated managed Ethernet switches equipped with industry standard encryptions.
3. Eliminating redundancies helps to cut monthly costs
Data networks expend extra energy, take up extra space and boost operating costs unnecessarily when too many tools are performing redundant tasks. That's another main motivation behind network reorganizations. Once these redundancies are located, IT decision-makers can start strategizing ways to consolidate hardware and software tools.
Reducing the total number of pieces of hardware making up the network has multi-faceted advantages, as fewer servers require fewer cooling and power systems to operate. The result is considerable savings in terms of maintenance, reairs and monthly utility costs. The need to eliminate redundancies also provides an opportuniy for company leadership and IT managers to synchronize their plans and priorities for 2016.
A reorganized physical network may reveal hidden opportunities to boost efficiency.
4. Disorganized cabling creates safety and perception problems
It's not uncommon for seemingly insignificant issues to become pain points down the stretch. Cabling issues, for example, increase trouble for IT staff and create more cases of unintentional downtime the longer they are left unattended. This mess and forget approach to network organization is far from a sustainable strategy.
Collecting cables into more streamlined organizations will not only limit tripping and other safety concerns, but also help to improve navigation of the physical network through extensive labeling. Color-coding cables is another simple way to turn this maintenance chore into a major boost for network organization.
5. Updated networks ease the integration of brand new solutions
It's never too early to future proof the network, especially when considering how quickly the industry cycles through technology standards, hardware solutions and best practices. Thankfully, savvy network operators can make changes around the network that facilitate the integration of next generation hardware. It may take a bit of extra time and energy to track these trends consistently, but IT managers that find the time to go out and dig up insights will discover more reasons to refresh their network's architecture.
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