Whether your company is large or small, your network is the backbone of your operation. It's how you stay connected to each other, your vendors, and your customers.
If you built your network with limited resources or had a friend hack it together for you, the likelihood of experiencing network failure in the near future is great. A network failure will cost you more than downtime. Repairs and hardware replacements can cost you more than you originally paid.
Not investing in quality equipment for your network is like ignoring the blue screen on your laptop, and wondering why it takes so long to boot up
. The cost of a network failure is huge
The reliability of your network is only as strong as your equipment and how it’s maintained. The cost of a network failure due to poor infrastructure or management is extensive.
Ed Matts, technology director for a regional planning commission, shares his experience
with consistent equipment failure after frequent lightning strikes, “When we get hit, it typically doesn’t kill things right away. It puts stress on the equipment and puts them on a track to fail, which may take six months.”
Several months later his equipment would fail. The network would slow down, there were outages, and applications became randomly inaccessible. Matts had no choice but to replace the faulty equipment each time.
Though what Matt experienced was originally caused by an act of nature, it doesn’t take a lightning strike to fry your infrastructure. Aging hardware and poor setups can also lead to eventual network failure.
The article linked above also details another scenario. The police in Henry County, Georgia, were relying on outdated infrastructure, and their dispatch system software was being phased out by the vendor. Before jumping to buy new servers and storage equipment, the county buckled down on upgrading their network first.
They swapped out their old Cisco routers for new Cisco 7200 Series routers, using one as a backup. They also replaced their switches, upgrading from 1Gbps to 10Gbps at the core, and 100Mbps to 1Gbps for connected computers. This upgrade now supports the county’s new software applications as well as their IP-based video surveillance system, and will support future desktop virtualization.Take an honest look at your network infrastructure
Imagine the day your $40,000 network setup finally fails. After spending $10,000 to patch it and repair it, you discover the infrastructure needs to be completely replaced and a workaround isn’t feasible. The cheap equipment you bought years ago isn’t an option today, and a new setup will cost you around $50,000.
At that point, you will have spent $100,000 on your network. Had you invested a little more in quality equipment from the start, even just another $20,000, you would have saved $60,000. Now you have no choice but to spend more.
That’s not a fun scenario to think about, but it happens to startups all the time. Your network is the backbone of your operation, and should always come first. That’s not to say you need to buy the most expensive equipment, but careful thought and planning should go into what you buy and how you set it up.
Most IT companies prefer either Cisco or Juniper’s Ethernet switches and routers for their reliability. However, the price of buying new networking equipment is a barrier to many. Buying top of the line equipment doesn’t necessitate paying full price, though. BrightStar Systems sells used switches and routers
from top names like Juniper and Cisco at a fraction of what you’d pay for new equipment.Plan for your future needs
Hardware failure isn’t the only reason you might need to upgrade your network. As technology advances, if your hardware can’t keep up – if you don’t have enough bandwidth to handle the traffic – you’ll need to upgrade.Upgrade incrementally and keep an eye on your LAN
Many businesses choose to upgrade portions of their network every year. This cost-effective approach will keep your network consistently stable. You’ll also be able to buy better components when you’re not buying them all at once.