Assess Your IT Network Before Adding New Requirements

Paul H. Mauritz
President, CEO

Today I want to focus on one component of the “house” that affects the whole: the plumbing. The plumbing components of your home are not unlike the network to which all of your computing systems, data storage systems, user interface systems, and input/output devices connect.

Your plumbing carries water throughout your house, regulates the water pressure, carries wastewater out of your house, and releases it to the proper community system. Your network operates in much the same fashion, carrying and regulating data flow.

The odds are good your original network was designed more than five years ago. It was probably top of the line at the time it was installed, with plenty of bandwidth to handle the flow of data. Your applications responded to user input quickly.

However, over time, just as homeowners add new appliances or even whole wings to their homes, you added on to your network to support new business initiatives. And when you did so, if you’re like many business leaders I meet, you probably did not think much about the goals of your original network design, and how this new addition puts stress on your network beyond its initial capabilities.

Maybe you added virtualized computing (whether on premises or via the cloud) to your network, and attempted to drive application data at speeds it was never designed for. That would be like installing a high-capacity dishwasher in your kitchen. Or perhaps you added larger Internet connections to your network. All of a sudden, you are attempting to move much more data across your network than it was designed for, creating bottlenecks that degrade application performance and the user experience. That would be akin to adding a Jacuzzi tub to your master bathroom, with its higher demand for water, and the need to drain a much larger volume of water than your plumber anticipated when he sized your drainage system.

I could go on with analogies, but I think you get the idea. The question you should be asking yourself now is this: What would Norm do if I asked him to build a sunroom on the west side of my house with solar panels to warm the water for my new 10-person hot tub? Or: What should I be focusing on as I move our CRM system to the cloud by deploying

Both of these questions point to a need to assess the state of your current network to determine if it is capable of providing the new functionality you are looking to deploy. You should be focusing on your network’s capacity and capabilities before you begin deploying additional technology.

Said another way, before you spend the big money on bringing Norm and his team in to remake your house, spend a relatively little amount of money needed to assess your existing network. Make sure that you have designed, deployed, and are managing a network with the functionality, capability, and capacity you need for the next five to seven years.

And if you find that your network needs a redesign, or a simple refresh, complete that upgrade, and thoroughly test the new network – before you deploy new technology across it.

Save Norm and his team the trouble of discovering that your “Old House” needs an upgrade to its base components before you can relax in your hot tub.

For more information about assessing your network, please feel free to reach out.

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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.