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    Everything You Need to Know About Network Infrastructure

    October 31, 2023

October 31, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Network Infrastructure

Everything You Need to Know About Network Infrastructure

Today’s businesses and organizations rely on their network infrastructure to operate, giving employees and customers the tools they need and immediate access to information, product inventory and services.

Because this technology is the backbone of a modern business, it’s important to understand what network infrastructure is, what its critical components are, and how it’s designed.

Understanding Network Infrastructure

A network infrastructure is the combination of hardware and software that allows people, computers and other devices to connect and work together.

This infrastructure is critical to the modern business. An unreliable infrastructure can lead to organizational inefficiencies, unexpected downtime, customer and employee frustration and loss of profits. Network infrastructure issues can also stymie an organization’s ability to secure systems and data or recover after a disaster.

Example of Network Infrastructure

Consider one piece of a network infrastructure: a company’s computer system. 

Each employee has a computer that is connected by cables and wireless technology to other computers in the office. Switches connect multiple computers to create a network, allowing information sharing and communication throughout the office. Routers connect multiple switches, creating an even larger network.

All of this allows data and information from each computer to be shared and be stored in a central repository either using a physical server or by an upload to a cloud storage platform. It also allows each computer to connect to other networks, such as the internet.

The Three Components of Network Infrastructure

Network infrastructure is made up of three categories of equipment:

Network Hardware

Network hardware includes servers, routers and switches as well as basic needs such as cables and network cards. This hardware connects devices and apps, carrying data and communications throughout the network.

Network Software

Network software is the collection of programs that allow the network to operate, such as operating systems on individual devices, and includes critical access management and security features across the network such as firewalls and virus and intrusion detection systems.

Network Services

Network services are the various pieces of software that run on the server to provide functionality to users across an office or across multiple offices and remote locations, such as DNS, email and active directories.

The Role of Network Infrastructure

These three components of network infrastructure work together to affect every aspect of a business, no matter the product or service it offers. This connectivity allows critical functions such as:

  • Facilitating communication and data transfer
  • Supporting business operations and productivity
  • Enabling connectivity and collaboration
  • Enhancing security and data protection

Common Types of Network Infrastructures

Network infrastructures can take on different forms, depending on the needs and size of the organization.

  • A Local Area Network (LAN) connects devices and technology in one location, such as an office.
  • A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) connects several Local Area Networks and allows them to communicate with one another, such as throughout a town or city.
  • A Wide Area Network (WAN) is larger than a Metropolitan Area Network. For example, if a MAN connects a city, a WAN connects a whole state.
  • Cloud-based Network Infrastructure covers all or part of an organization’s network, hardware and other resources into the cloud, where they can be accessed on demand.
  • Wireless Network Infrastructure connects computers and other devices wirelessly, without the need for cables.

Elements of a Network Infrastructure

Network infrastructure includes physical components, logical components and security components.

  • Physical components are cables and connectors, including network devices such as routers and switches.
  • Logical components are made up of network protocols and communication standards, such as IP addresses and subnets.
  • Security components add protection, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption and authentication mechanisms.

Network vs. Network Infrastructure

A network provides the ability to communicate and move data between people and locations. The network infrastructure is part of the network, providing the hardware and software that allows that communication.

Building Network Infrastructure

There are three key phases to setting up network infrastructure:

  • In the planning phase, you will assess the organization’s specific requirements and objectives and design the network topology.
  • In the implementation phase, you will choose and acquire the needed hardware and software and configure the various network components.
  • In the testing and deployment phase, the network infrastructure is fully assembled and ready to be tested. Once troubleshooting is complete, the infrastructure is ready to be launched.

Contact GUT Consulting for Help with Your Network

Because an organization’s network infrastructure is the backbone of its operations, it’s critical to understand how this infrastructure works and make proactive investments it its health and future.

The professionals at GUT consulting can help your organization create and maintain well-established network infrastructure, setting you up for and secure and successful future. Let us be your partners in success. Contact us to get a secure and reliable network for your business.