A review of your business’ technology, equipment, software, and usage should be done on a regular basis. This may seem excessive but only with doing a network assessment will you be able to get a snapshot of your network usage and make effective strategy recommendations – to ensure you’re utilizing all your technology for your needs and still remain cost-effective.
Fortunately, most IT firms offer to do these for free, us included, to help ensure everything is maximized towards achieving your business goals. This is also to ensure no money is spent for unnecessary break/fix issues that could have otherwise been prevented had a regular network assessment been done and proactive maintenance been put in place.
There are five components of network assessment that every business, no matter the size, should be implementing: Infrastructure, Performance, Availability, Management, and Security. Let’s take a further look into each one.
This constitutes of corporate structure interview and evaluation of the specific enterprise and office components. The interview serves to provide information on current locations, number of end-users, office types, and hardware/equipment. The enterprise review looks at circuit maps, routing protocol design, and Windows Active Directory, and the office component review examines WAN, applications, and facilities for access, distribution and core offices.
The results from this review paves way for the analysis that would determine potential risks and issues with the current infrastructure. All the office components and equipment is also analyzed to determine best design and implementation.
This identifies the types of traffic currently running on the network, and your average and peak traffic loads, and determines errors with WAN segments, enterprise circuits, devices, servers, and WAN segments. The network should be tested at various WAN segments for errors, response time, and utilization levels. A traffic analysis should also be made that focuses on over-utilization issues and errors with those components.
Some typical causes of network performance problems include network device configuration, application model, equipment and circuit provisioning, enterprise design problems, and application model.
Network Availability Assessment
This survey checks diversity, design, configuration and facilities to determine if the availability requirements of the company are met or are being addressed. The various elements that could affect network availability should be considered as this is necessary for many information technology strategies. The problems identified here can also provide insight as to their effect on the company revenue.
This assessment covers the current strategy implemented on management of company devices, servers, applications, and configurations. The problems identified here should also show how they are affecting the current network operations. This also helps determine what additional processes, applications and events will be required to manage any new applications already or to be implemented.
It also good to note that the current network availability is greatly affected by the current network management strategy, further proving the importance of regularly assessing how management is done.
This surveys the perimeter, network, transaction and monitoring security, protocols, and processes. All these affect the development of your security policy and strategy, which protects your organization’s data and assets. It is needless to say that problems identified should then be addressed immediately as to avoid affecting company operations further.
All five network assessment components need to be compiled and analyzed to determine trends, problems, and issues that are negatively affecting the network, significantly or not. These should then be checked against best practices, business requirements and design requirements and for the results to be utilized to make proposal and recommendations tailored towards your business success.
These five types of network assessment are done on a quarterly basis in a managed IT services model. All for the purpose of business continuity, keep pesky gremlins at the gate away, and ultimatley for your peace of mind that your IT network is taken cared of.
If you haven't done a network review recently, click below and schedule one with us. We can help look for any discrepancy and determine your network's integrity.