New Year’s Resolution: Getting Your Network in Shape for 2020

Your business depends on your network and while some networks have been carefully planned out, others have grown “organically”.  Whatever your network structure, here are some tips for improving it without breaking the bank. Let’s jump in.

A Fiber Saved is a Fiber Earned

If you have multiple locations with fiber interconnects, you know fiber spans are a huge expense. If you lease them, they are a monthly expense with a long term. If you own them, there is plenty of maintenance and repair costs that have you regarding them as treasure. When it’s time to add additional fiber interconnects, it’s a decision to be considered carefully. Over the long term, it almost always makes sense to do more with the fiber you have, rather than to deploy more. That’s where WDM passive filters come in!

Passive filters are instrumental in making smart use of your fiber resources. They do have costs that scale with the capabilities you require, and use special transceivers that transmit at specific wavelengths, but those costs are trivial compared to what they can save you. One fiber pair can carry way more than the one connection that they used to. CWDM styles typically get you up to 16 connections and DWDM gets you up to a standard 40, but even those numbers can be pushed.

Making Connections

Upgrading your network equipment can be an expensive endeavor. Before forklifting in new platforms with expanded capabilities, it is best to utilize what you have. One approach is to add additional interconnects between your routers and switches. When every router has connections to every other router in your network, that’s referred to as a full mesh. The benefit is that the most efficient routing paths are chosen and traffic jams are avoided while also providing resilience and redundancy in the case of failures. By utilizing link aggregation, you can make your four 10Gb links behave as one 40Gb while having the protection if one of them goes down.

Consolidating Resources

With a resilient, responsive, and effective network, you can consolidate resources. Instead of providing every desktop with a backup solution of their own, centralized NAS (network attached storage) devices can be a fault tolerant, fast, and a secure way to keep your workforce’s information resources protected and available. Using a Storage Area network, basically a network of multiple servers, switches, and storage arrays, you get high availability and scalability.

Pushing Some Resources Out of the Nest

While “the cloud” is not the buzzword it once was, as long as your business’s internet connection is reliable, resilient, and fast enough to keep up, it makes sense to leave some hosting to the professionals. The virtual server that’s running your web presence can be housed elsewhere ,freeing you of the worries of maintenance costs and environmental controls. True, the adage “the cloud is just someone else’s computer” isn’t wrong, but letting someone else worry about upkeep and upgrades while keeping all security up-to-date is an advantage in the right scenario.

While network growth is something that should always be budgeted for, you can certainly make the most of your expansion dollars with a bit of planning. Ready to talk to someone about growing your network on a budget? Chat with one of our optics experts today!