For those thinking of improving their existing network infrastructure, or are starting one from scratch, here are some great guidelines for getting started!
At Valor Connection, we help you design your network from beginning to end with all of the best products in the industry. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to network security, how to pick the best products for your needs, plus so much more! We asked our network specialist some of the most important questions you need to ask and covered all the major bases.
Q: I’d like to set up a network for my small business. What are 3 things I should know?
A1: How many hosts will live on my Local Area Network (LAN)?
A2: Can I get away with installing a few wireless access points, or do I need the reliability of a wired Ethernet port?
A3: Will this network need to be segmented?
Q: What are some questions I should ask about network security?
A: In the SMB (Server Message Block) arena, business/IT owners are concerned about how they protect their wifi networks. Sure a WPA (Wireless Application Protocol) password is good, but what about user authentication via 802.1x? How can I access my files remotely? We are now seeing a growing trend of pushing files into the cloud, where end users can access them anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Q: What are 3 benefits to having a quality network system?
A1: For larger enterprise, the ability to segment a network can come is a huge benefit. With the modern data center evolving, companies need to ensure that the applications they are running are getting all the network resources they need.
A2: With a managed network, an administrator can see where all the bandwidth is going. Business decisions can be made based on this data. Are my workers spending too much time on YouTube?
A3: A managed network can be a secure network. That means my data will not be compromised by malicious folks.
A: It really depends on what you are trying to do with it. Are you hooking up a T1 line? Then all you really need is a lower end Cisco model (1900 series) with a T1 card in it. Need to run a fully redundant FLEXVPN (Virtual Private Network) dual hub site? You probably need to go with something that has some horsepower like the Cisco 3900 series with beefed up memory.
Q: Why should I choose Cisco products?
A: Cisco makes premier network equipment. They have been, and continue to be, an industry trail-blazer in the routing, switching and security arena. This also applies to their VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet Protocol) and Wifi technology platforms which are, arguably, second-to-none.
Q: What are the most important reasons why I should secure my wifi?
A: You don’t want any unauthorized users on your network. Not only can they steal your data but they can also steal the bandwidth you pay for! Also, an unauthorized users can mask himself behind your wifi network and conduct suspicious activity, like torrenting, on your WiFI network, and you wouldn’t even know it. If you have some kind of MAC (Message Authentication Code) authorized list, you can control exactly what is allowed on your network.
Q: What is a switch?
A: A switch is a layer 2 device that works at the MAC address level of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection). Typically these devices have a high number of ethernet ports. Usually you can buy a switch that has anywhere from 24 to 48 ports. If the requirements call for it, you can use a chassis-based switch that can have multiple hundreds of ports on it. A switch is what provides the end users workstations connectivity into the network.
Switches are linked together via fiber or Ethernet to each other, if planned correctly, an efficient “network backbone” is created. Fiber or Ethernet (used for uplinks) plugs into a transceiver.
Q: What about a transceiver?
A: A transceiver is a module that you plug into a designated port. Right now, X2s and SFPs (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) are two commonly utilized transceivers that plug into uplink ports. Obviously if you have a 10GB X2 slot in one of your switches, it can only take an X2 transceiver (typically). If your switch has SFP ports on it, only SFP transceivers can populate them.
Q: How do switches and routers work together?
A: Ultimately switches will uplink to a layer 3 device called a router. The function of the router is to guide packets to where they need to go, out to the Internet for example, or perhaps to a different part of the Local Area Network (LAN).
Q: How does Wi-Fi Work?
A: Think of Wifi as a switch in the air. Instead of having my PC wired back to a switch port, I can now just connect over wifi. The wireless access point (WAP), needs to be connected to the switch in order for a network connection to be made. The good thing is I can deploy an enterprise grade WAP and have multiple users living on it, thus reducing the need to run cables everywhere.
Q: I have more questions! Can you help me with my other networking needs?
A: Absolutely. You can call us anytime at 813 803 0806 and get started on your own networking requirements. We are here to help!