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“What is the cost to your business of an unreliable network?”
“What is the cost associated with one minute of network down
From String to Fiber
The impact of technological advancement in networking has had a
profound effect on the way we do business. At no time in history have we
seen as rapid technological change as in the last decade of the Internet.
Network types such as X.25 and low speed private networks have been made
obsolete by the acceptance of the low-cost, open standard Internet.
Client/server computing environments communicating over TCP/IP have
replaced large mainframes with “dumb” terminals connected to
Front End Processors. Just ten years before the end of the Millennium, the
term “networked office” usually referred to a few workstations
attached via a slow-speed “serial” cable. We have seen
seemingly great technologies replaced with better technologies. ArcNet,
ProNet, Token Ring, and shared Ethernet have been replaced with high speed
LAN infrastructures that require low cost shared cable plants. Technology
such as this is comparable to tin cans and string, when considering the
latest gigabit networks over light-speed fiber-optic cables. Greater
reliability, availability, security, and reduced latency have become the
standards by which we measure our businesses and our network
Unfortunately, while the cost of networking on a per-databit basis has
dropped dramatically, many network managers find themselves wishing for
the older, more manageable days. As the environment grew, systems were
patched together with a dizzying array of new products—each one
sporting newer and better capabilities. Additionally, the rush to the web,
ECommerce, and M-Business increased traffic a hundredfold – most of
it coming from outsiders such as customers, visitors third-party vendors -
without a trust relationship.
Untangling the Knot
The rate of technological change and the rush of new traffic create
unimagined network problems. One moment everything is running fine. The
next moment someone downloads the latest movie trailer and the whole
office slows to a crawl. Most organizations try legislating these problems
out of existence—they make rules against such use. This seldom works
and does not get to the root of the problem.
Knowing what’s wrong is the first step
Network & Security Technologies network and security experts can help
to pinpoint bottlenecks and malfunctions. Our consultants have years of
experience building, operating, securing, and analyzing all types of
networks—from the office LAN to global, tier-one Internet service
providers. This unparalleled level of understanding of your technology and
business can help your organization create network efficiencies and help
you to concentrate on your core competency while we concentrate on ours
– Network and Security Management.
The Assessment Process
The Network & Security Technologies project teams begin every
appraisal by gathering information about existing and expected uses of the
network. We interview staff, review documentation, and perform direct
traffic measurement to develop a statistical data-flow Network Performance
Measures Throughput Latency Security Reliability model. This enables us to
understand what your organization needs and what impact a failure or
slow-down will have.
The next step is to evaluate the existing design. Relying upon our
experiences and knowledge, we consider many possible pitfalls. Does it
provide the needed throughput? Are broadcast domains segregated? Is
addressing optimized? Is it truly reliable, or just redundant? In short,
does it meet the requirements spelled out by the traffic-flow model
(business model) and what variances will lead to problems? Variance
provides a measure of probability. Knowing probability of a problem and
its impact provides a measure of risk to your organization. This is the
fundamental analysis that enables a manager to prioritize.
Reducing Risk, Increasing Benefit
The Network & Security Technologies approach is unique in that it is
based on a quantitative, objective means of determining what activities
will provide the best value. Additionally, the Network & Security
Technologies approach to Network Assessment always includes an evaluation
of the security measures that exist within your environment. Our team
focuses on the mission critical nature of your network by considering the
These questions are best answered by knowing their results in terms of
cost and reduction of business risk.
- What is the best way to protect a network from outsiders while granting access to customers?
- Is a major capital outlay needed, or will a more modest redesign
permit continued use of existing facilities?
- Are important monitoring and management functions in place and effective?
Network & Security Technologies’ staff of field proven network
and security consultants has a broad base of experience with multi-vendor
environments. We understand how to design and configure from elementary
network principals. The final result is a fast, secure, reliable network
that is a business enabler, not a burden.
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