Almost all companies these days rely on computer networks for the delivery of information to suppliers, clients, and employees. A computer network involves at least two computers connected by a communication channel to share information and data. Networks nowadays link multiple users and include servers and clients. The client is an application running on a workstation or PC and relies on servers for the management of network resources or performance of specific tasks.
For Phoenix AZ-based companies, designing a network without an expert that offers managed IT services is generally a challenge, if not altogether, an impossible task. When designing your network, for instance, you should aim to balance security issues, build redundancy into the network to anticipate breakdowns, and standardize software and hardware to manage maintenance costs.
Moreover, the design for your network should match your needs and the size of your business. The following are the network design alternatives for your business.
Local Area Network (LAN)
This is the most popular network design and is generally the simplest for businesses. It connects low-voltage devices and a group of computers across short distances such as within two or three buildings or the same building. You can share resources like printers, applications, and games on your LAN. It is often owned and managed by one person and suffices for small businesses.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
This is the ideal choice for businesses that span a wide geographical area. You can opt to connect small networks like LAN and metro area networks to a wide area network and multiple applications and devices even when they are miles apart. While more expensive compared to other network designs, it allows businesses in multiple locations to connect inexpensively. Wide area networks are generally maintained and owned by the public and multiple administrators.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
This design allows you to improve your wireless connection over a short distance. It will use radio signals rather than traditional network cables for the connection of your business computers. The access points, in this case, will be attached to the edge of your wireless network and allow users to access your internet connection even outside your workspace. This proves beneficial in this era of people working outside the office space.
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
This allows your organization to share resources over a vast region as it covers a broader area compared to WLAN and wide area networks. MANs are often used by large universities, but they can also be used by companies occupying a big geographical location. Their maintenance and ownership are handled by companies or a single person.
Storage Area Networks (SANs)
These are dedicated high-speed networks that connect shared storage device pools to multiple servers. They do not rely on wide area networks or LAN but instead move storage resources from your network into high-performance networks. Unified, virtual, and converged SANs are among the available types of SANs.
Choosing your ideal network design is not easy. Even after the choice, you still need continuous performance monitoring and maintenance to keep your network working as it should. A long-term contract with an IT service company is, therefore, essential for all profit-oriented companies.