8 Things To Keep In Mind When Creating a Network

7 09 2012

Planning a network requires 8 things to consider.  Otherwise, the alternative is to jump right in to it, and, before you know it, ip addresses are conflicting, people can’t login, and techs are playing Detective and working together burning hours to ‘figure out’ how to fix things.

Network Diagram

We at Techsuperforce always implement and follow these 8 principles when we first attack a new network design job.  Do the same  and you will breathe easier, suffer fewer headaches, and save money and time.

POLICY

policy is a document that describes the overall goals and requirements for a network. A policy identifies what should be done, but may not necessarily define how the goal is to be reached. Depending on your network, you might define policies for different areas of implementation such as policies for:

  • Administrative delegation
  • Network documentation
  • Security

REGULATION

regulation is a requirement published by a government or other licensing body that must be followed. While you are not responsible for writing regulations, you are responsible for knowing which regulations apply to your organization, and making sure that those regulations are understood and adhered to. Policies are often written in response to regulations.  For smaller networks, such as a Home Server, you may still want to make sure you adhere to regulation politics to not cause conflict for yourself.

PROCEDURE

procedure is a step-by-step process outlining how to implement a specific action. The design of a procedure is guided by goals defined in a policy, but go beyond the policy by identifying specific steps that are to be implemented. The use of consistent procedures ensures that the goals defined in a policy are met, and provides consistency of action by multiple administrators.  Examples are procedures for hardware demotion, user promotion, password retrieving procedures, etc. (the list goes on).

NETWORK DIAGRAM (Good Choice)

A robust diagram is always highly recommended.  This one is NOT one of the ones you should leave out, in fact, this key is one of the most important ones and should be in your top 3 priorities.

network diagram shows the logical and/or physical layout of your network. The network diagram could be a collection of diagrams showing the following information:

  • The location and IP addresses of hubs, switches, routers, and firewalls.
  • The relationship of remote locations and the WAN links that connect remote locations.
  • Subnets within your network, including the subnet addresses and routers connecting each subnet.

Really, this is important when down the road you no longer remember by heart your layout, and someone else needs to take a look at your network without running into pesky trouble situations that waste time hunting for cables, patch panel paths, which brings us to our next point….

WIRING SCHEMATICS

One of the top three most important principles, a wiring schematic is a type of network diagram that focuses on the physical connections between devices. The wiring diagram typically shows:

  • The location of drop cables and ports within offices or cubicles.
  • The path that wires take between wiring closets and offices.
  • A labeling scheme that matches endpoints in offices and cubicles with specific switch ports or punchdown block locations.

CONFIGURATION (This is CRITICAL to troubleshoot, maintain, and expand your network.)

Configuration documentation identifies specific configuration information for a device. For example, a configuration document for a firewall might include information about the IP addresses assigned to each interface and opened firewall ports. Configuration documentation has two goals:

  • Document the configuration so that the device can be restored to the original configuration.
  • Document the configuration so that the current configuration can be compared to the desired configuration to identify any changes.

CHANGE or HISTORY DOCUMENTATION

Change or history documentation keeps track of changes to the configuration of a device or the network. Change documentation is often included as a part of the configuration documentation. For example, you might record a change in a network interface card in a device, or a repair to a WAN link. Change documentation is useful for troubleshooting to identify what has been done to the device, and keeps track of changes in the configuration as well as the rationale behind those changes.

BASELINE

baseline is a snapshot of the performance statistics of the network or devices. The baseline is used as a logical basis for future comparison. Baselines enable you to effectively monitor the performance of your system to determine when changes negatively impact performance or when systems need upgrading or replacing. It is important to measure network performance at subsequent intervals to see how your server is performing compared to the baseline.

There are many monitoring programs that can show you live statistics and help you document the performance of your systems, helping you create profiles that will help you determine the health and state of those systems.  We like using Nagios, but there are a few programs out there.  Even the Windows Performance monitor can be a useful utility that you can pull information from and chart the system’s progress.

Microsoft Visio is a great program to use to design networks.  As simple to use as Word, it can help you build, implement, and document all of these principles mentioned above, and keep a good record for technicians and engineers that may need a map to your network.

Snapshot of Microsoft Visio diagram

We hope you have enjoyed this article.  Don’t forget, for more information. please visit our main website, www.techsuperforce.com.  We are honored to provide services and information for those that welcome this art.

Thank you!





Twitter Strategies and You Tube Video Explanation on Twitter Tips

27 08 2009

Bad Business Twitter Strategies

via Associatedcontent.com by

Are You Committing the Sinful Five, You Twit?

You want to bring your business to Web 2.0 standards. Myspace takes some effort, and Facebook isn’t exactly business-friendly. Naturally, your next stop is Twitter, the microblogging powerhouse utilized by small businesses, -celebrities and the average Joe — your target audience.   But many businesses fail on Twitter within the first few months, mostly because they utilize bad business Twitterstrategies.


Many businesses think they can abuse Twitter with links and promotions, but that is the quickest way to lose potential customers and gain spam status.

Here is what you need to avoid.

Bad Business Twitter Strategies
1. Only posting links or promotional content. Twitter is a personable social networking platform, and using it only for promotion goes against what Twitter stands for. Your Twitteraudience probably does not like receiving spam mail or spam phone calls, and it won’t work on Twitter either. If you need a place to post promotional material, use your website. Or better yet, stick with print ads.

The average Twitter wants interesting, personal content, not a ad ripped from Sunday’s newspaper. If you must post business links, keep it sparse. And make sure to add a personal touch when posting. Twitters appreciate it.

2. Listening to so-called “Social Media Marketing experts”. For every five twitters, there’s one twitter that claims to be an expert in social media. They have a taste for spam and like to post links to blogs spouting off their knowledge about how to amass a huge following. Note: they don’t tell you how to gain a solid, strong following where the Twitters are actually interested in what you have to say. If you look closely at their own followers, it consists of — big surprise here — spammers and so-called Social Media Marketing experts. Experts who are too busy promoting their own business. People who are interested in quantity, not quality. These experts utilize bad business Twitter strategies by focusing on the number, not the profit.

If an expert chooses to follow you or give you advice, you know where the block button is.

3. Reposting the same information. It seems like common sense, but many businesses retweet their own information, sometimes several times a day. Businesses: Would you call your customers several times a day to promote a sale?

Of course not, unless you want a proverbial kick in the balls.  I don’t know why businesses think these are good Twitter strategies, but they do it anyways, throwing up the same links and information several times a day. You want to get unfollowed? Then by all means, do this. But if you want to avoid bad Twitter strategies, start by stopping the retweets to yourself, the redistribution of this morning’s information, and constant spamming of sales. People don’t want to hear your message repeated several times a day, and your average Joe will block you faster than you can say “Please RT!”.

4. Posting too much. Using your Twitter regularly is a good thing, but be careful not to overdo it. If it would get your banned in a chatroom, avoid it on Twitter. It’s bad to post five times in a row. It’s worse to do it every day. Posting too much in a day or posting several times in a row are bad business strategies you should always avoid. If you must, leave one or two hours between tweets, and make sure the content is relevant. And as always, trim down any retweets, as it counts as repetitive information that no one likes to hear.

5. Too many retweets. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea — it really isn’t. Businesses think that retweeting information that includes them to their own Twitter will drive traffic and sales, and while it might, it’s alsocompletely annoying. Maybe your Social Media Marketing experts won’t mind since they won’t read your content anyways, but for the average Joe will mind. If you have to retweet, make sure it’s not promotional. No one minds if you retweet about a missing child or Michele Bachmann’s crazy antics. But if you continuously retweet information about the new renovations in your store, people will get very, very annoyed with you.

Video courtesy of EventsListed

Bad Business Twitter Strategies – Another Word of Advice
The most important thing for businesses to remember is this — don’t be fake, don’t be annoying, and for heaven’s sake, don’t be too promotional. Remember, if a Twitter fan says hi, the correct response is not “Hi, have you seen our latest sale? Find more information here!”. The key word is honesty. If you see a so-called Social Media Marketing expert doing it, do the opposite (since they’re the kings of bad business twitter strategies, you know). Keep that in mind, Twitter honestly, and watch the followers trickle in. You’ll feel better about it too.