One of the biggest fears for enterprise network architects is under-provisioning – to leave an organisation with insufficient performance and capacity. However, it’s because of this that countless companies around the UK actually have much more network provisioning than they actually need, which can be a huge waste of resources – both during the development phase and in the upkeep of these networks.
Walking the line to get accurate network provisioning is no mean feat – but here are three ways to ensure your company gets the balance just right.
1. Rely on existing data
Granted, network architects have no more access to a crystal ball than the rest of us, but looking at previous baselines and using these as a guide should be the first port of call.
With historic data, an architect can map out how much network provisioning a company has used in the past, whilst also factoring in times of feast or famine – to ensure the network stands up to scrutiny during busy outlying periods.
Then, scaling up slightly to account for future developments anticipated during the lifetime of the network (as well as business growth objectives) should provide a fairly accurate measure of how much is – and indeed isn’t – needed.
2. Consider future plans
As touched on above, the company’s plans and objectives for the years ahead will have an impact on the network required. Furthermore, it’s not just about adding capacity. If business-critical operations are to move to the cloud, for example, this may drastically reduce the local network capacity and so companies shouldn’t be planning for (and indeed paying for) something they don’t intend to use for that long.
3. Know the limits
Depending on the system in use, capacity can indeed be added at a later date. However, each piece of hardware will have its own limitations. A good enterprise network architect will know exactly what systems are in place and what changes can be made to effectively add capacity.
Andrew Froelich, of West Gate Networks, wrote for TechTarget that network architects wanting to know more about their system’s opportunities and limitations should “reference the network vendor’s data sheets” to discover all the “capabilities, constraints and upgrade possibilities”.
Armed with this knowledge and understanding, businesses should be ready to develop and implement a network that will be fit for purpose, but – crucially – not more than is needed.