During any given year, we at Anvil Dataworks and our sister company, Corporate Network Services are certain to see at least four of our customers move into a new space. This could be a new branch office opening, moving the whole office to a new location or even merging two offices into a single new large office. Each of these has their own challenges, but they all have one thing in common – it becomes a great time to look at all of the forgotten devices in the network closet and make some upgrades.
Let’s face it, the network switch is the unsung hero of the network. Without it, you can’t get to the server or the Internet. Printing doesn’t happen, email won’t send, and forget about iTunes or Pandora. Being so vital, its funny that switches tend to be ignored and forgotten about. They sit in the LAN room, usually unseen and get cursed at when they break. Therein lies the rub, this switch is probably the most reliable piece of IT equipment in the entire office. We’ve seen 10 year old switches still working well. Great, right?
No, not great. Think of the network switch as a highway. Ten years ago, when you first built a network in the office, you probably built a one lane highway. Speeds were good then, but now with gigabit networking and Fiber based Internet connections that one lane highway just isn’t enough. Changing out that 10 year old workhorse for something new may seem like frivolous spending, but using the highway analogy, you’ll actually be adding some lanes on the beltway and giving yourself some more speed.
What else is back in that network closet? Firewalls? Wireless network devices? KVM switches? UPS batteries? Voicemail computers? The list could go on and on and is different for everyone. The result, however, is the same. These are workhorses that run well seemingly forever.
CNS is working with a client on a large move project right now. We are replacing almost everything except for the servers. The expense was minimal (in comparison to everything else they are buying) but they will get a huge gain in performance, capability and even some old equipment to use as shelf spares in the event something bad happens.
All this begs the question, what’s the single most forgotten item in your LAN closet? And is it time to upgrade them? If so, give us a call to discuss how you might be able to improve network performance by spring-cleaning your data closet.