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Designing, Upgrading or Replacing a Network – What to Consider

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In designing, upgrading or replacing a network, there are multiple options and combinations that can be used. The choice can depend on several factors, including an organization’s requirements, budget and other considerations. Below we’ve provided a brief overview of 3 different network options, along with some advantages and disadvantages of each.

A. Network is all in-house. This is a traditional network in which all servers, computers and associated equipment are located at an organization. This typically includes servers that store files, run databases, and handle email. In addition, back up is handled by a method such as employing a back-up server at a different location or using back-up tapes.

Advantages:

  • Do not have to rely on internet.
  • No monthly costs

Disadvantages:

  • Have to periodically replace equipment
  • Maintaining the integrity of your network. Cloud is always up to date and highly secured.
  • The cloud is scalable on the fly
  • Disaster recovery
  • Having to pay for IT support

B. Network is hosted in “The Cloud”. In this situation, an organization utilizes cloud services for server and other IT functions. This would include utilizing services such as hosted email/exchange, cloud file servers, managed back up, etc.

Advantages:

  • cloud is generally immune from your environmental variables like weather, fire and floods
  • access from anywhere with an internet connection
  • can scale to grow with your business
  • cost efficient be reducing total cost of ownership
  • easy to incorporate mobile devices
  • budget expenses with no surprises
  • IT support is included

Disadvantages:

  • If the internet is down you don’t have access

C. Combination of in house and hosted cloud services. In this situation, a combination of in-house servers and cloud services are used. As an example, an organization may utilize their own servers for files and databases, and then utilize cloud services for email and back-up.

Advantages:

  • can create a custom solution to meet your needs & your budget
  • Cloud services are scalable and can grow with you
  • Cloud services typically have minimal up-front costs
  • IT support is included for the hosted cloud services

Disadvantages:

  • Possibility of equipment failures
  • Disaster recovery (ensuring proper backups are being run & periodically testing restores of your data) unless utilizing cloud online backup
  • Having to pay for IT support for non-cloud based systems
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Mike Dorr, President

Mike began as a Burgess network engineer in 1998. He later spent 3 years as Five County Credit Union’s Director of IT before returning as an owner in 2006. He lives in Bath with his wife and children and is an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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