A Guide To Overhauling Your Network Infrastructure
A Guide To Overhauling Your Network Infrastructure

Many companies want to stick with their dated IT infrastructure, despite its being old. This inaction is usually inspired by a perception that it’s expensive to replace network components.

Ironically, this reluctance often ends up costing more in the long run than an overhaul would. That’s because older network hardware tends to be overloaded, slower, and more at risk of being hit by cybercriminals. If these risks materialize, they could cost organizations a lot of money and time to fix.

Also, the longer businesses wait to replace their aging IT, the more they are going to spend when they eventually decide to acquire new infrastructure. They won’t just suffer from malware attacks and poor service delivery; it’s the fact that more parts degrade with time, and they are likely to affect other network components

Proactive businesses will want to replace their network hardware before it becomes a financial drain for them. In the next few sections, we discuss some of the signs that IT infrastructure has to be revamped.

Indicators That an Overhaul Is Due

Various parts of a network—especially systems and switches –need to be changed if they’ve been in use for five years or more. If an organization has used the parts of its network for this long, it should replace them.

The failure of certain hardware components is usually a good sign that they have to be dispensed with. Some of these failures include random freezes and shutdowns, blue screens, persistently slow network connections, and command-line freezes. If these things happen frequently with no pattern to their occurrence, then it may be time to replace the devices at fault. 

Deteriorating speeds are among the more noticeable signs. If an organization has been using the same IT infrastructure for a few years and they begin to notice poor network speeds that become more frequent over time, they should examine the whole setup. An overhaul may be needed.

Another indicator, which isn’t always recognized soon enough, is when internal IT teams spend most of their time maintaining infrastructure. They aren’t devoting enough time to other operations, because the networked devices and other parts are always failing. This should not happen in a healthy network setup.

Finally, network degradation often shows up as slower work. If the staff at a business are taking more time to get work done, and if they’re always pinning this on slow systems, their supervisors should investigate these reports. The network performance may be getting poorer due to age and overload.

Implementing a Network Overhaul 

If you decide to renovate your network infrastructure, the first thing you should do is plan the process. It can be fairly complex; unless there’s a plan to be followed, your attempt at revamping may fail.

The plan should assign duties to various people within the organization, and describe how the replacement process should proceed, covering stages from the audit of tools to post-completion.

If you don’t have an IT department, or if your IT staff can’t get this done for some reason, it’s a good idea to outsource planning to a reputable IT services provider. They will help with drawing up an action plan, based on the information you provide them.

Next, you should audit every component of your network. Look at things like the memory capacity, CPU, versions, what each asset is used for, and their warranty and expiration dates. This examination will reveal what items need to be replaced.

The audit should give you all the information you need to decide as to what needs to be taken out and replaced. Some organizations, especially smaller-scale ones, may opt to upgrade some items in a problematic network. But the better step would be to replace all items if they’ve all been around for a while. This means you don’t have to spend more money in the future on patching more faults.

Keep Your Staff In The Loop

Whatever measures are being taken to upgrade your network, be sure to let your staff in on it in time. They will have to work with the new system, including some of its new components; you don’t want them struggling to get a grip of things longer than necessary. 

Have a business continuity plan (BCP) in place that caters to the time within which replacements are to be installed and test-run. It’s probably also better to implement the changes at some point outside of working hours, say after a workday or on weekends—whenever is more convenient for your organization.

However, you choose to approach the upgrade, ensure that disruptions to your staff’s flow of work are minimized.

Often, employees will have to be trained to use some of the components of the upgraded network. Set time aside for this, and make sure everyone is up to speed on how to utilize the newly acquired tools.

Do You Need Help With Your Network Upgrade?

As has already been noted, many (perhaps most) companies and agencies require external technical help with aspects of a network revamp. Some will have an internal tech team that’s up to the task, but they are typically exceptions to the rule.

More often, organizations have to outsource parts or all of the process to competent IT service providers. These IT firms either work with the IT people at their client business or play the role of an IT department for businesses that don’t have such a team.

Regardless of which of these categories you’re in, Layer3 has what it takes to guide you through your network overhaul process. If you have decided that it’s time to give your network a facelift, you can count on us to make it happen.

For almost two decades, we have helped numerous clients across Nigeria improve their IT infrastructure. For each new project we undertake, we leverage our expertise, experience, and knowledge of Nigeria’s unique environment to deliver world-class IT solutions.

If you would like to find out more about our network infrastructure solutions, you can contact us here.

 

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