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5 Best Practices for Network Design

Network design is a hot topic in the tech industry. As reliance on technology grows, so too does the need for secure, scalable, and dependable systems. Your operation’s network is the foundation that all its data and communications run on, so it's essential that it’s up to the task. Here are a few network design best practices that all organizations should follow. 

Related Blog: Wireless Networks Solutions 

1. Prioritize Security

In today's complex world, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Ransomware attacks are at an all-time high, so it’s important to design your network with security in mind. This means incorporating devices and protocols that will protect your data from unauthorized access.

Above all else, your network needs to be secure. The last thing you want is for your organization to be the victim of a data breach or denial-of-service attack. There are several steps you can take to increase security posture, such as installing firewalls, implementing DNS security systems, encrypting data, and ensuring all devices are patched with the latest updates. Also, if your teams use personal devices to access your network, encourage them always follow BYOD security best practices.

Another way to increase security is to strictly limit access to your network. You should have a process in place for identity access management (IAM). This will verify users’ true identities before granting them limited network permissions. Large, hybrid organizations might even consider a zero-trust or zero standing privilege model alongside multifactor or passwordless authentication. This will ensure that only authorized users have access to your data, devices, and network.

2. Plan for Scalability

Design your network in such a way that makes it easy to scale up or down at will. As your business grows, you’ll likely wish to add and remove devices and users without disruptions. If your design is siloed, outdated, or mismanaged, it can create costly bottlenecks and significant downtime.

Envision the short- and long-term needs of your organization when designing your network. Do you plan to expand or relocate in the near future? Will your hardware, storage, and bandwidth needs change as you take on more clients or customers? Make sure your network infrastructure can handle an increase in data, users, and traffic without compromising performance. Consider implementing cloud computing solutions to improve network flexibility, accessibility, and scalability moving forward.

3. Modulate Key Infrastructure

When designing any network, it's important to segment it into small, specialized modules. This makes it much simpler to adapt, manage, and troubleshoot individual components and operations. By modulating your network infrastructure, IT professionals can easily pinpoint issues as they arise and resolve them both quickly and efficiently. Modular network designs also streamline scalability by cutting out excessive complexity at all levels of the system’s hierarchy. 

4. Structure for Easy Management 

Good network designs are easy to maintain. When troubleshooting issues, IT teams should be able to identify the root cause quickly and without wasting resources. This requires having a clear, concise, and structured network design.

For instance, network devices and infrastructure should be labeled and organized in an intuitive, straightforward way. Logical topologies also support greater network manageability. If your design is laid out according to precise rules, it will be that much easier to keep track of errors, updates, and ongoing processes.

5. Build in Fault Tolerance 

No matter how exceptional your network is, things will inevitably go wrong from time to time. When they do, a fault-tolerant design can drastically reduce disruptions and downtime. This often means having redundant components or paths in place so traffic can still flow if one part of the network fails. Surge protectors, backup generators, fire-suppression systems, and cloud-based data backups are also excellent methods of improving any network’s resilience.

Ask Us About Network Design

These are just a few best practices to keep in mind when designing a network. While security is always paramount, scalability, ease of access, and fault tolerance are also critical to the overall success of any network design. If your organization could use advice or support in this area, then please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to addressing your unique network design needs today.

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