A Well-Ordered Network Infrastructure

Posted by David Néron, Hector Solutions d'Affaires 27-09-2023 02:03 PM

Have you ever had a computer problem and your technician spent hours looking for the problem? Has this situation forced you to take immediate action to organize your network infrastructure? Such a reorganization can entail an investment of several thousand dollars.

Network infrastructure is like the human nervous system. It is complex and must be healthy.

Of course, the hardest part is knowing what you need, so that you can build the right infrastructure for the job. If it’s set up properly from the outset, it will be easier to maintain and adapt over time.

The first step is to find the ideal location. A room or space with limited or controlled access. You don’t want everyone to have access to this vital structure. It should be well-ventilated and, if possible, ventilated and/or air-conditioned.

Next, you’ll need a suitable frame to house the equipment required for the infrastructure. Whether it’s a wall-mounted cabinet or an H-frame, it must be securely fastened to plywood if wall-mounted, or bolted to the floor in the case of an H-frame. A mobile cabinet or frame on locking wheels can also do the trick. This also involves central network cabling. In an ideal world, two (2) network sockets per office should be provided and connected to a patch panel. These outlets should be identified on their plates with the same number as the patch panel. Ceiling outlets should also be provided for WiFi access points, as well as outlets for networked printers or copiers.

The number of network outlets should be around 10% less than the number of ports available on the switches. This gives us room for expansion, and lets us know the type and format of the switch(es) to be installed. It will also allow us to know the number of grommets needed to connect equipment in an orderly fashion.

Next comes the "HEART" of your infrastructure, and that is of course your Firewall. It’s vital to identify the load, number of users, VPNs and other factors that can affect the performance of your firewall. This also has an impact on your bandwidth, enabling you to benefit from the maximum potential of your Internet connection.

All components of this infrastructure must be connected in an orderly and methodical fashion. A colour code to identify connected equipment is strongly recommended when patching.

Finally, equipment identification makes the whole installation coherent and easy to understand. This identification makes it possible to quickly find the various components during servicing or maintenance, or even an emergency intervention.

If you have an infrastructure that looks like the photo on the left, consult your IT specialists for one that looks like the photo on the right.

David Néron, Hector Solutions d'Affaires.