You wouldn’t ignore a broken phone system in your office; if you did, your team wouldn’t make it through the day. Your network system is equally, if not more important. It’s not as simple as your phone system, but requires the same degree of urgency when the signs point to the need for an upgrade.
There’s no way around it. At some point in time, you’ll need to overhaul your IT infrastructure. Since user needs are continually expanding, even the best setup in the world won’t last forever. The ultimate setup in 1995 is not the ultimate setup in 2017.
It’s the nature of hardware and software to become outdated while simultaneously being advanced through innovation. You don’t want to wait until your network crashes.
Do You Know How Your Network is Setup?
Although it seems like Google knows everything, managing a network isn’t something you can learn on that search engine. Hopefully you hired a professional to setup your network. If you did it yourself, it’s not the end of the world; you just need to be aware that you’re probably overdue for an upgrade.
An infrastructure upgrade naturally creates hesitation, especially when you’re comfortable with the technology you’ve always used. However, many IT experts agree that stepping out of your comfort zone is vital for the sustainability and growth of your business. That’s what U.S. nuclear lab Los Alamos did when they promptly replaced potentially compromised network switches. Waiting wasn’t an option.
Know When It’s Time to Upgrade
According to networking solution architect Sven Rasmussen, there are two reasons companies upgrade or overhaul their network infrastructure. There are also many factors to consider with each:
- If you initially purchased basic equipment to get off the ground and now you’re expanding, you may find that your network no longer supports your needs. In this case, an infrastructure overhaul is the only way to ensure your continued expansion.
- Consolidation of Space to Save Money. If you’re downsizing and moving to virtualization to cut costs, you’re probably aware of the extra load virtualization places on network traffic. This will require an upgrade to support the technology.
Cut to The Chase. Upgrade With Juniper
There are other network hardware companies to choose from like Cisco and Arista, but Juniper has a solid reputation for being the innovative leader in the industry.
You’ll pay a bit more for new Juniper hardware when you purchase it directly from the manufacturer. However, there are companies like BrightStar Systems who provide top-of-the-line used Juniper networking equipment at a fraction of the cost.
When it comes to scalable, secure networks, Juniper is an industry leader. It comes as no surprise that Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE) recently upgraded their proprietary network platform with Juniper’s MX480 3D Universal Edge Router.
Ryusuke Yokoyama, Executive IT Officer for Tokyo Stock Exchange, comments on the upgrade, "World-class performance, reliability and stability is crucial for our daily operations at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and we are delighted to have been able to rely on the consistent technology and services from Juniper Networks through the years, having had zero major incidents since 'arrownet' was first established in 2009."
As the largest stock exchange in Asia, TSE had to upgrade their technology to keep pace with the evolution of customer needs. Juniper provides reliability and performance that enables integration with other trading networks like the Tokyo Financial Exchange (TFX).
Making the switch to Juniper eliminated the need for users to have separate network connections, which simultaneously reduced the cost of running the network. TSE’s choice to move to the MX480 will increase their network’s efficiency by delivering multiple services across the same network.
Core Strength Isn’t Just for Your Body
How many switches have you accumulated in your network? Did you start with a 24-port switch, only to realize that wasn’t enough? This "switch collecting" approach doesn’t let you see your network traffic. If you’ve only got a few people using the network, it probably won’t matter. However, with enough users, soon this setup will become unmanageable.
You need a powerful, organized switching structure that lets you use a single switch to manage your entire system. You also need to get organized and upgraded before experiencing any significant problems.
If your network was setup by someone you don’t currently work with, bring in an expert to examine your network and provide their expert opinion before making any decisions. Remember that a network architect will have the expertise and experience to support you in your goal to have a sustainable, fast network.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher. A graduate of Iowa State University, he's now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant. Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and Forbes.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter (@LarryAlton3), at LinkedIn.com/in/larryalton, and on his website, LarryAlton.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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