Welcome to Bucaro TecHelp!

Bucaro TecHelp
HTTPS Encryption not required because no account numbers or
personal information is ever requested or accepted by this site

About Bucaro TecHelp About BTH User Agreement User Agreement Privacy Policy Privacy Site Map Site Map Contact Bucaro TecHelp Contact RSS News Feeds News Feeds

Why Bother to Design Your SME Network?

A good question: most people don't. Most people browse over to their online networking accessories supperstore, cdw.com, buy a kit, plug it in and off they go. Usually it works just fine, so why bother to design your network?

The answer lies in the following main areas:

Function and performance: For a single PC with directly attached peripherals and no sophisticated requirements, an ad-hoc installation will probably be adequate, but as soon as you start to use multiple PCs or remotely-connected peripherals (such as networked printers) then function and performance become important.

You have to know what load your systems are imposing on the network, which bits might interfere with which other bits and what's likely to happen if something breaks. If you're a business, then designing your network to optimise for function and performance can make the difference between a business that struggles with its computer systems and one that doesn't notice them because they work flawlessly.

Security: This term covers a wide variety of issues, such as making sure that:
your private data stays private.
your employees⁄children⁄pets can only access what you want them to access.
your data is not destroyed nor your network rendered unusable by the failure of a single device or component.
"finger trouble" by one of your users cannot corrupt vital data.
you comply with legal requirements.

Flexibility: again, for a single computer, flexibility is probably not an issue, but what about when you buy a laptop for the kids, your smart meter or burglar alarm needs to access the Internet using your ADSL connection, you need to access your home data from your work computer or your mobileFrasl;PDA? Or what about that whizzy function no-one has even thought of yet? A little time spent considering the potential future development of your network will repay itself many times over with reduced expense and grief when you find that you have to throw away bits of your ad-hoc network because they don't support the functions you want to add.

OK, so I want to design my home⁄SME network. Where do I start?

Difficult... Or maybe not. That future unknown functionality might cause a problem, mightn't it? Well, possibly but probably not. In the "good old days" networks were proprietary and incompatible, but in the last half-century lots of people have put in lots of effort to devise standards. Some of these may look a bit quaint and awkward, but, generally, the key ones are adhered to, so future developments should fall within these standards.

For small networks, the key ones are the transport mechanisms (Ethernet (IEEE802.3) for cabled connections and Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11) for wireless), and the transmission protocols (primarily TCP-IP). Of course, there are others, but lets keep it simple for now.

But aren't these what all the available kit conforms to?

Well, in theory. However, there are subdivisions within these standards (such as transmission speeds for Ethernet of 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1Gbps) and not all the kit supports all these subdivisions. For instance, an old PC may have a 10Mbps network card. This will not work with a switch that only supports 100Mbps Ethernet.

Similarly for the transmission mechanisms: Most kit nowadays uses UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable with RJ-45 (technically "8P8C") connectors and what is known as "Category 5" (or '5e' or '6') cable. Old installations may use older category 3 or even non-standard cables (and some very old kit may use co-axial or screened cables to the 10base2 or 10base5 standards). While these may work with 10Mbps connections, they will probably fail if you try to use them for 100Mbps traffic, and the faults can be very obscure and hard to trace. Hence, especially if you are re-using old kit, you MUST know what standards it supports.

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Follow Stephen Bucaro Follow @Stephen Bucaro

Computer Networking Sections

Fire HD
[Site User Agreement] [Privacy Policy] [Site map] [Search This Site] [Contact Form]
Copyright©2001-2024 Bucaro TecHelp 13771 N Fountain Hills Blvd Suite 114-248 Fountain Hills, AZ 85268