We configure and deliver cloud managed networks that are highly secure, and let you know when there is a problem.
In the industry of network infrastructure, Cisco is the industry leader for large corporate networks. They also are the leader in high cost networking. Most start-up businesses quickly see that Cisco is what all the big companies typically have, so they ask for Cisco.
When searching for infrastructure equipment, one must understand licensing. It is the backbone and lifeblood of networking companies. If you purchase a switch, that's the only time they're selling something. Luckily for them, they figured out a great little tactic to keep you paying indefinitely. That would be licensing!
So every year, in order to keep using that expensive equipment running, you must keep paying out for licensing. Some companies have tried to fight back against this by not requiring licensing or having better licensing models for equipment. Cisco's biggest competitor in our minds, would be the older company known as Avaya but now known as Extreme Networks.
Extreme Networks, in general, can seem more cutting edge and forward thinking in most network management and routing aspects. They are also very advanced with security as well. Extreme Networks now boasts a new product called Fabric Attach, which is quite possibly the most advanced form of commercial networking infrastructure on the planet. These switches come embedded with stealth networking technology. This new technology hides networks and creates IP structures on the fly to communicate. In essence, the connections don't exist and there are no IP schemes to just navigate as a hacker and surf for hours. Instead, they show up to an empty network and can navigate nowhere.
So this new technology is one of the most secure in the industry if not the absolute most secure. It's highly innovative and comes with less licensing costs than it's Cisco counterpart. Cisco does not have a product like this and has not countered the technology yet to our knowledge.
So there is one highly advanced and less expensive option already. Although, this is still extremely high-end enterprise network equipment that is used on a data center level or for companies with serious internal systems.
Luckily, we are almost in 2020 and not in 1992 anymore. This means that there are hundreds of options that will cost less with blazing speeds, rock-solid security and even reliable redundancy.
Of all the options available to businesses looking for network installation, we have tested dozens of the best ones. We have narrowed the options down to 3 category levels for you by using years of experience, practice, trial and error as well as testing.
We are happy to provide you more information and answer any questions you might have about network installation, its capabilities and its limitations.
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The next item in our networking basics review would be network security. Your main security threats lie around two device types: your security appliance, and WiFi equipment.
The security appliance can be deployed in several different ways. One option is to purchase a dedicated security appliance or firewall such as a Sonic Wall by Dell Computers. Another more current way of deploying a security appliance is to install a router that has a built-in firewall.
Today, most companies are relying on cloud technology and security. There is an amazing new product called SimpleWAN, which is your site router paired with a built-in firewall, plus cloud security management. The firewall is constantly updated with the latest security threats and monitored by you, SimpleWan, and if desired, our team of help desk engineers. Anytime an issue arises, you can see the thread, apply an action to resolve it and shut off any ports needed to stop it temporarily until an engineer can diagnose it. SimpleWAN even comes with a Real Time Attack Map to show you where attacks are coming from and what type of attack is occurring.
The final type of security appliance we will review is a router / firewall / redundant 4GLTE modem. This might come in the shape of a CradlePoint or Datto Networking Appliance, and provide backup internet to keep your office online even when there is an internet outage. If the main broadband connection drops out, then the 4G LTE cellular signal modem instantly transfers the internet connection to the backup internet connection. It tries to ping Google using the broadband connection over and over until it can keep a solid ping for a couple minutes. Then it switches the internet back over to the main site connection from your ISP.
All of these options allow for a great deal of network security and have cloud monitoring capabilities that will ensure threats are dealt with immediately and the firewall has the latest threat updates. If SimpleWAN is deployed then it will constantly test the local area network to make sure it is HIPPA or PCI compliant, just in case you are storing secure personal data or running credit cards and want to stay constantly compliant.
Network throughput, or speed, is a critical factor in planning a great network design. We can't say how many times we have had clients with dragging speeds say "I have a Gigabit switch, there's no way speed is my problem". Yes, indeed, there are many switches which contain the technology to do Gigabit speeds, but most routers and switches don't have the throughput that users expect because the devices they purchased may not be able to accommodate Gigabit speed.
For a network to maximize its speed, it must be configured properly. One problem we see regularly are switches that aren't connected together with fiber optic cables and may be connected to outdated, copper patch cables (that aren't even Category 6). This type of problem can bottleneck the network speed, so cabling is always an important factor to consider. A local area network also needs to have QoS or quality of service setup, as well. This will ensure the correct types of traffic, such as video or audio for phone calls is routed with the highest priority.
The next consideration is how the vLAN's or virtual LAN's are set up, because they section off traffic from certain ports of the switch, in order to make the network run faster. If these are configured improperly, it can greatly affect network speeds. There is also no reason to have IP security cameras traveling across the entire network either, so instead they should have their own network with dedicated speeds applied.
Some of these best networking practices can help keep internet traffic moving fast. Now that we covered ideas in the network equipment configuration, let's cover other items that would affect speed such as network cable infrastructure.