Design Goals and Business Objectives You Should Know to Get a Networking Job
A few things need to be said about the network in an organization. If you are hoping for a career in networking, you need to know about the design goals and business objectives you will face.
Recognizing design goals for the network
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all network. Each organization has unique requirements:
Connection to legacy computer systems: Unless you work at a startup launched just minutes ago, your organization has existing computer systems for things such as email. Connecting your computers together (and to the Internet) involves a network.
Plans for future systems: Organizations are dynamic and always evolving, including adding applications to increase customer service or reduce costs. New applications inevitably involve changes to the network.
The locations of offices: Many organizations have remote offices that need connectivity to computer systems. Companies are regularly adding and reconfiguring remote offices.
Mobility needs of employees: Companies have been issuing laptops to employees for years. Employees are now using tablets and smartphones, (their own or ones supplied by the company) to access company systems.
Throughput: As IT offers new services, users need more capacity. The good news is that high-speed WAN service is getting cheaper (although it is still much more than LAN service).
Internet connectivity needs: In addition to web hosting, many companies need to provide Internet connectivity for business use. It may or may not be company policy to allow the personal use of Internet during business hours.
Redundancy and resiliency: The architects of the network need to decide which approach is the best fit for ensuring that business operations will continue when the inevitable failures happen on and around the network. A range of solutions keeps a network up and running. Choosing among redundancy options is typically limited by budget and also by the personnel involved in restoring a failing network when all heck breaks loose.
Level of security: Just like redundancy and resiliency, you can pile on security until it becomes excessively costly and difficult to manage. The company needs to decide what level of security it wants to employ to achieve its overall business objectives.
Appreciating the business objectives of the network
It would be pure fantasy, and probably a bad idea, to think that a company would consider limiting its growth and business plans to meet the existing design of its computer network. The computer network, in all its capabilities and restrictions, needs to work around the business.
This concept of the network serving the business entails more than just coming in under budget during the current fiscal year and more than accepting budget cuts to achieve profitability during business planning. The entire computer networking team needs to be on board to provide remedies to the inevitable network glitches that occur.
Proper network management includes planning for server, LAN, WAN, and power outages; PC viruses and other malware; security breaches; and lightning strikes and other severe weather. The entire department needs to know what to fix first, second, and so on. Proper planning and operational management is not something that should be left to leadership skills implemented in real time.