Maintaining a healthy network architecture is a constantly-changing process. Over time, the structure of your network is bound to change, and good network architecture takes this into account. According to a study by the Washington University in St. Louis, as systems grow, they increase in density as well as their dependence on cross-disciplinary collaboration. Proactive network managers should be aware that computer networks are no different to this, and should constantly be looking for ways to streamline the flow of data on their networks and facilitate easier collaboration between departments. The easiest way to achieve this is through diligent and consistent analysis.
This blog looks at a few tips for making the most out of your network analysis and ensuring healthy networking architecture.
- Ensure you understand your network boundaries
Whether you’re operating a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN) that is made up of several smaller ones, setting network boundaries is an essential part of maintaining a healthy networking architecture. Knowing exactly who is on which districts of your network at any given time is important for monitoring and analysis, as well as security. For companies that operate cross-border networks or employ a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture, having lax network boundary policies could pose serious threats to the security of your network and put valuable assets on the line. Additionally, make sure that network boundaries can be crossed without connection dropping or data becoming exposed.
- Naming conventions are your best friend
It’s a common misconception that naming conventions are only really valuable for large-scale networks. While it’s certainly essential for managing a WAN, a good naming convention is invaluable even on a local network. For example, any technical issues can be resolved much quicker with the aid of a naming convention that makes it easy to identify which devices are being referred to at a glance. Setting up a name for each new device might seem laborious, but dealing with a network issue and having no idea which name corresponds to which device is much more of a hassle. The level of detail you include in your device names is also worth paying attention to – details such as the device’s location and type make adding new devices easier, and identifying existing ones a quick process.
- Consider making the move to the cloud
Cloud storage and networking technology has become affordable for almost any business. While it’s not the ideal solution for every network, it does have some significant benefits for start-up organisations whose network architecture is simple, or businesses that do not operate from an office. Cloud networking has the added benefit of making your network available from anywhere, at any time. Of course, this exposes your data to intruders, but with the ubiquity of the internet today, something as innocuous as sending an email could pose a serious security threat.
Whatever the specifics around your network may be, maintaining a healthy network architecture is easily possible with the right Network Management Software and staff that understand the importance of thorough monitoring. To find out more about IRIS and our services, please download a free copy of our Network Manger’s Guide to a Stable and Highly Available Network.