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A Definitive Guide to Networking Solutions

A definitive guide to networking solutions

What is Networking Solutions?

Networking solutions consist of a group of servers, mainframes, network devices and endpoints (like computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones) that are connected to allow sharing of data between all components of the network. Networks can be segmented into two major categories:

  1. Local Area Networks (LANs)
  2. Wide Area Networks (WANs)

Every organization uses networks to communicate and collaborate with key stakeholders — employees, customers, partners, suppliers and, increasingly, other machines.

Components typically comprising a network include:

  • Servers
  • Mainframes
  • Firewalls
  • Switches
  • Hubs
  • Modems
  • Routers
  • Bridges
  • Repeaters
  • Consoles
  • Endpoints (desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, webcams, etc.)

What is a Local Area Network?

A local area network, or LAN, comprises switches, routers and other components that enable devices to connect to internal servers, web servers and even other LANs via WANs. The advantage of a LAN is that it enables your team to share files, printers, one internet connection and more.

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Click here for our article that provides a deep dive into what is a local area network.

What is a Wide Area Network?

A wide area network, or WAN, is a computer network that spans over a large geographic area and connects multiple local area networks (LANs). In practice, a LAN serves a single office, store location or campus while a WAN connects LANs across cities, states, regions or countries. A WAN’s primary purpose is to connect computers on one LAN to computers on another LAN or to computers located at a central data center located on-premises or hosted by a cloud service provider.

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Check out our full guide on what is a wide area network.

Networking Solutions Requirements in 2024

Networking technologies have evolved, enabling transformation for businesses of all sizes. In short, today’s hyperconnected businesses are hyperdependent on their network connections — not only to communicate and share information but often to deliver their products and services.

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As you’re evaluating what’s a “good” networking solution, consider these five must-have networking solutions requirements.

Securing your networks (WAN or LAN) is a vital component of any security strategy.

Cyberattacks have become omnipresent across company sizes and industries, with nearly 4000 new cyberattacks occurring every day.

While cybersecurity risks have existed for decades, the number of attacks and their associated costs have continued to increase steadily. In 2023, the global average cost of a data breach was 4.45 million, a 15% increase over the previous three years. 

From phishing to brute force attacks and ransomware, the security landscape is fraught with rapidly-evolving threats. There has never been a more crucial time for organizations of all sizes to implement and maintain comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to protect their networks effectively.

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Click here a current list of networking solutions trends most businesses are running on today.

What Are Common Networking Solutions Challenges?

Businesses typically need to address common network pain points, which can be solved by outsourcing to an MSP like TPx. These include:

Filling Technology and Training Skills Gaps 
MSPs typically are paid monthly as part of one-year, two-year, or three-year term contracts, so your business gains a bankable set of solutions with a predictable monthly operating expense. Aside from creating hard, forecastable numbers in your IT budget, a primary benefit of this pricing model is leveraging hardware that the MSP sources on your behalf in manageable, cost-friendly monthly installments. In other words, when you’re working with an MSP, you don’t have to foot the bill in advance when your company needs a critical piece of hardware to implement a solution set. Whether that equipment is $50 or $50,000, the MSP helps you get what you need without scrambling to make upfront capital outlays. Here again, is another reason to work with a larger MSP with the capital resources to get you the right hardware for the right job.

As the complexity of IT has ratcheted up, businesses often don’t have the necessary IT resources available to handle the specialization that networks require. In many cases, companies with an in-house IT department rely on an IT generalist, or they’ve assigned IT responsibilities to an employee whose core job is not IT-related. An MSP like TPx can help fill these gaps with IT specialists in a range of areas.

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Click here to learn about networking solutions challenges businesses struggle with today.

How to Build a Networking Solutions Strategy

Looking to get a handle on your networking solution strategy? 

Identify Your Network Needs
Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What do you need to accomplish through your network?
  2. What problems are you trying to solve with your network?
  3. Do you have critical applications that require 100 percent uptime?
  4. What are your current network resources?
  5. Which existing network resources are on-premises?
  6. Which existing network resources are in the cloud?

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Click here to learn more on how to build a networking solutions strategy.

How to Improve Networking Solutions Performance

Figuring out how to improve your corporate network can be a tall order, so we recommend leaning on a well-versed MSP like TPx to guide your business through the process from end to end.

Here are five steps to improving networking solutions performance:

  1. Gain Network Visibility – through network management tools, gain insight into your network to assess current status and resources.
  2. Assess Network Needs – network requirements change over time, so network configurations must be assessed and revised to meet evolving needs.
  3. Monitor Network Performance – observe your network over time to discover what’s working well and what should be improved.
  4. Patch Firmware – sometimes improving a network simply means keeping firmware up to date. Since network technology is all software-based, an MSP working on your behalf can patch the applications remotely. 
  5. Upgrade Gear – finally, depending on your network structure, you may elect to acquire new and improved network technology such as Wi-Fi 6 access points or upgrade to new hardware components like edge devices

Have more questions about networking solutions?

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