Building a wide-area network (WAN) isn’t as easy as plugging in a few cables and routers. It’s a safe bet that someone’s asked you about what to consider when building a WAN by now, because you’ve been working hard to establish yourself as an expert. So when your customers start asking you about a WAN, you’ll have an idea ready to go of what to keep in mind, and how you can fill that need.
In years past, the WAN was about connecting sites to other sites and work stations to other sites. As technology delivery models evolve, and cloud and mobility solutions become more widespread, it is more critical than ever to stay connected to those applications, see the health of your connections in real time, and be able to change at the speed of businesses today.
What Should I Keep in Mind When Building a WAN?
Keep these in mind to prevent the need for costly replacements and upgrades as long as possible. Basic design principals include resilient connectivity, visibility into the network, security, flexibility to make changes, and agility to add new sites rapidly.
Basic design. Some parts of the WAN are so basic they should be first off the bat.
- Discovering new elements. Proper WAN architecture can determine quickly and effectively when new components are added to the network. This helps later in expansion or replacement if something goes wrong.
- Performance measures. Establish means early on to measure network throughput, bandwidth, and latency. When you’ve done this, you’ll be better able to tell the difference between a network that’s slow because something’s wrong, or a network that’s slow because it wasn’t designed for the level of use it’s seeing. Having tools to analyze this data is critical to ensure optimal performance of applications running over the WAN.
The overall environment. The next point to consider is the overall environment, and how this new network fits into that. Design the network around your environment, not your environment around a clunky inflexible solution.
- Current use levels. No one wants a network that’s already underpowered when it goes online. Consider your current staffing levels, the existing applications the network will run, and current access requirements to make sure what you’re building will even work with today’s needs.
- Future use levels. With today’s demands in hand, start immediately looking at tomorrow’s. Look at likely future applications—especially those that are already planned—and immediately planned changes to staffing and use levels. Consider deliberately overbuilding to provide some future wiggle room.
How Do I Get Started Building the Best WAN?
Keeping these points in mind will go a long way toward designing a great WAN, and when it comes to making that design real, start by getting in touch with us at MicroCorp. With a wide range of partnerships across several key areas, we can help take that construction plan and make it a reality. Just drop us a line to get started.