What / things You Consider When Evaluating Equipment For Your Network Infrastructure (eg Routers, etc)


When you are put into the unenviable position of making decisions on selecting an equipment solution for your company’s system infrastructure… LAN or WAN…. the evaluation process could be overwhelming. Without a plan, you’re doomed to failure and a massive migraine.

Keep in mind that you have to consider the culture of your business and what qualities it believes.

For instance, if it values self-sufficiency in IT – or sights it as core to the business – it may be more prone to look for the best of breed of dog solution. If IT is less central to the enterprise, a broadly implemented adequate solution that can easily find experienced people to focus on may be the solution of choice.

Making the list of qualities all of us want in a piece of gear/vendor is easy. Figuring out which ones to emphasize in the analysis is the challenging chore and the analysis that really ought to drive your decision.

To help points go smoother….. focus on these types of simple attributes in your assessment.

The number one answer is the honesty of the corporation. The company must be dedicated to making their products work as promoted and documented and not reduce corners on Quality guarantees.

Another critical factor associated is their customer service and technical support. What is the turnaround time for you to get replacement components which might be defective? When you talk to the tech support team, are they knowledgeable or authorized on the product they assist and the platforms the product goes on?

Base your company evaluation on the above; the rest will follow along.

Upcoming…. confirm the design requirements, network traffic, kind of site visitors (data, VoIP, etc . ), number of remote networks intended for WAN, future growth, and redundancy. Cisco has an online instrument that will suggest the appropriate product based on answers to these forms of questions.

If cost is no object, you’ll prosper with Cisco. It may be worth evaluating Juniper and Foundry depending on your needs, and for SMB solutions, you may even consider open-source options such as the Vyatta router/firewall.

Over the years, I’ve seen men and women tackle this question, beaten in various ways. I have often observed the desire to make more documentation/examination of products / due diligence without focusing on what’s at stake.

No longer complicate the question excessively – focus on your specific demands, and make sure you don’t exclude the. What you need now may be a perfect ice-breaker for what your needs lie ahead – make sure you have a preference to scale.

The other big problem I think is also overlooked is usually residual costs associated with acquired equipment. Many companies are gung ho on maintenance acquired annually…. remember, there is a charge associated with downtime, and in several environments, this cost is prohibitive; in most, it is nonimpact. Factor these items in your evaluation and the expense to support the solution.

For a speedy checklist:

* First of all, examine known and proven manufacturers when possible since the concern of continued support from your company and availability of warranty repair and replacement will be a significant concern on a considerable investment.

* Second: Choose the correct level of product or service for the job. Avoid purchasing added functionality if the consumer would never (be conscientious, things can change) make use of these things. Don’t buy a légamo when you only need a cycle.

* Third – Compare and contrast performance, price, and necessarily mean time between failures (MTBF). Look for “end of life” announcements. These are superb clues if you are looking for a bargain and want longevity.

* Fourth instructions Google the product(s), attempting to find reviews and other responses.

* Fifth – Hands-on evaluation with a call to guide the finalist products.

Some time in here, you may need to evaluate the need for failover or redundancy. If this unit represents there are points of failure, not having a backup, cross dispatch warranty policies, or neighborhood availability may be critical.

Commonly….. it all starts with figuring out your needs. Routers can link up networks with different media, perhaps different networking techniques. Articles are Fiber-to-UTP and Ethernet-to-ADSL. You should have a computer device that can address your needs. Will your needs probably change in the future, and if so, is the device able to adapt to those changes?

Additional considerations are security….. will the device stand at the edge of your current network, at the risk of getting attacked, or is it anywhere in the middle of your LAN, merely connecting departments to the key. In the first case, you require something with a firewall characteristic set; in the second circumstance, a layer three swap might do.

Don’t forget….. are usually the amount of traffic the router needs to process.

Once you know what you require and bring back your whitened list to the devices that will address your needs, more selections must be made.

When it comes to THAT, in general, money is a severe problem. As IT usually will be known as something that costs money. Thus at first thought, the price of the tools is essential.


You should consider that will also for often managing the network environment. When your original expenses are low. Still, the truth is spending a great deal of time always keeping it up and running, it is not easy to adapt to changes, or if your company suffers network breakdowns….. your management will not be satisfied. So you need to look at MTBF figures concerning failure and how fast you will get a replacement. With some exotic companies, a replacement can be an issue.

To get essential routers, you must think of a hot standby setting that costs more but will transition over automatically in case of failure without anyone knowing your primary router died. Except for you, naturally, as you are monitoring both units.

Another critical item related to dealing with the equipment is how the item fits in your IT team. If your network engineering team is a group of well-trained Juniper specialists, buying a Cisco produces additional costs for schooling.

Boiling it all down here is the real message:

Firstly much like all business considerations, you need to consider the costs. There is no level at looking at the top in the market if the business is not going to stretch to that point. It might be worth discounting cheaper alternatives ASAP if the business will be prepared to pay for the right option rather than the cheapest.

The next thing to consider depends on the nature of your business and your current need for security and stability. But at a general stage, most businesses need anything reliable. This means if you are distant or have remote offices together with tiny support, you want anything with a high time between problems. Security often depends on the size of your business protection. For illustration, financial and medical information is considered more of a risk than most general data. There is always a basic need for safety, but again, there must be an account balance of Cost, Usability, and Security. It must never become your only consideration. It also will depend on the size of your IT help organization. Will hundreds of folks require access to these products…. or will this be restricted to a select few? Will centralizing and auditing entry be worth it for your organization?

Supportability is also part of this picture; you may want something with great remote management features or something simple anyone can maintain. It may be tougher to find remote service employees capable of support if you obtain rarer equipment. However, should you design the systems properly…. with spares and repetitive paths…. a centralized physique may handle this to suit your needs. You see, it all depends on your approach to the problem.

Next, how high will you scale? Do you possess growth projections for the future? Are there a few new applications or completely new company acquisitions which will affect the solution? In a few years, will you be going from a DS3 bandwidth backbone to an OC3 bandwidth backbone?

Once every one of the considerations has been looked at, you will need to be consistent. Classify various types of sites and have set expectations in operating systems, hardware tools, IP Addressing, and adjustments for sites. This is good from a TCO perspective, making supporting the multilevel easier and cheaper. Regardless of using low-end equipment, swapping a standard item held in stock is much easier often when trying to figure out a new configuration in hot weather of a network outage. To invest is a makes documentation easier that is undoubtedly the core of world-class architecture. Support on sites not having documentation is always a pain.

For network designers, you will discover many brands for you too, but most will often recommend CARBONILLA solutions. I recommend CARBONILLA from a security, manageability, scalability, and supportability perspective. But it surely can be quite expensive depending on the needs you have.

It is up to you to manage the healthy balance between the price and the remainder. You may end up with a different dealer for routing, switching, cellular, VOIP, etc. The important thing should be to try and keep it manageable. An item price is not the total fee. Consider Maintenance, Support in addition to Reliability in your equation. Often the most expensive option has a much better support cost than the cheap upfront options.

No matter what solution you choose in the end… I hope you follow a well-thought program incorporating the above concerns and suggestions.

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