Businesses operate in a constant state of change. Is your technology evolving to align with security demands, increased traffic and growth?
Did you resolve to work smarter, reduce costly downtime and enhance security in 2024? Then it’s time to evaluate your business IT hardware and the health of the central nervous center of your technology environment.
When a server goes down, the cost of downtime for your business can be exponential when you add up lost revenue and productivity, reputational damage, customer dissatisfaction, and the cascade of negative consequences associated with data loss.
But servers are just one aspect of your tech hardware arsenal. Routing and switching are essential to your network, along with firewalls to monitor, filter, control, and protect your IT environment. Wireless networks also require access points and controllers, and the technology engineering and business planning expertise to design and implement custom hardware solutions.
Ready to give your IT hardware a comprehensive checkup to secure your environment, maximize uptime, and get the most out of your tech investment? Let’s address the four key components of tech hardware:
- Servers and storage
- Routing and switching
- The complete wireless environment
Server and Storage Solutions
IT is swiftly moving toward the cloud, but some businesses maintain on-premise servers for various reasons. For example, security or compliance demands might require your business to maintain full control over hardware and the data it stores. This is often the case in highly regulated industries. Sometimes, there are workloads that cannot be shifted to the cloud, or doing so would not be cost-effective. In other instances, some workloads are moved to the cloud and others maintained on on-premise servers. Businesses with an aging server that must stay on-premise could require updating. Replacing servers calls for monitoring and analysis to identify the right amount of storage for the near term and the next three to five years.
COMMON SERVER PROBLEMS
Server storage sizing – During server analyses, we frequently run into servers that are overburdened, increasing the risk of downtime and data loss. Another storage-related error we frequently discover is multiple servers with roles that are not properly divided. One server is running on not enough storage and another is underutilized. By running storage assessment tools for one or two weeks on-premise, we can identify the appropriate size for servers and storage.
Lack of shared storage – If one server goes down, can others on-premise run your business IT environment while the other is repaired and brought back online? If the answer is no, your business needs to be “N +1,” meaning a closed loop so if one server fails, redundancies are in place so your data is still fully accessible and secure.
Lack of customization – An out-of-box server solution might have worked for your business before, but now your needs have changed. When you partner with an IT hardware and managed services provider with robust hardware partner vendors like DMC, you unlock concierge services. We design and implement storage and servers on-premise to accommodate your data consumption now and down the road based on industry standards. Plus, DMC is a Dell Gold partner and can also customize servers.
Routing and Switching: Essential IT Hardware
When routing and switching are not properly designed for your IT network infrastructure, your network can get congested with data that moves more slowly because of bottlenecks and there are significant security vulnerabilities. Inadequate routing and switching capabilities are a welcome sign for unauthorized users and traffic sniffers that intercept data. We frequently address these routing and switching issues in businesses’ tech environments.
We frequently address these routing and switching issues in businesses’ tech environments.
Lack of redundancy – When routing and switching design is not executed with redundancies in place, there can be multiple points of failure that increase the risk of network outages and result in downtime.
Poor customer service – When a network is poorly designed with inadequate routing and switching, this impacts video and voice quality along with your ability to serve customers in a timely manner.
Expansion challenges – Your IT network’s routing and switching might have reached its full capacity or beyond and require updating to manage more data. The key is to work with an experienced IT solutions partner that can assess your organization’s needs and implement first-class hardware by vendors such as Cisco Meraki, which is cost-effective, seamless to implement, long-lasting and easy to manage.
Effective Firewalls Protect Business Data
The firewall guarding your IT network is mission critical for protecting your system from cyber threats and unauthorized users, and it should be built to prevent the most sophisticated attacks. An effective firewall successfully monitors network traffic patterns for suspicious behaviors and then limits or blocks access. At DMC Technology Group, our knowledgeable team of IT specialists and experienced IT engineers consider firewalls your first line of defense in securing your IT environment. We partner with best-in-class providers like SonicWall and Cisco Meraki, which are ideal for businesses that have multiple locations.
Firewall updates — Your business might be subject to regulations that require updating firewalls within a required frequency.
Adding a firewall – When your network grows, so should your firewall capacity, which can mean adding another firewall for increased traffic or redundancy purposes.
Mitigating threats – If your business experienced a security threat or vulnerability, we recommend implementing firewalls with specialized threat detection and prevention. Your existing firewall might not include advanced security that would better secure your IT network.
A Secure, Robust Wireless IT Environment
Servers, routers, switches and firewalls contribute to your overall wireless business environment, along with components including access control systems that manage user authentication and authorization, and network monitoring tools to track performance, availability and security.
IT hardware is the foundation of your wireless network, and a lot goes into customizing solutions that align with businesses’ capacity and growth potential.
HOW LONG DOES AN IT NETWORK UPGRADE TAKE?
At DMC, the process begins with running specialized tools that analyze storage and network performance, along with other metrics depending on the business. This helps identify gaps in the network.
- Weeks 1 to 2: We generally run these tools for one to two weeks. For businesses that experience especially busy seasons, we like to analyze traffic during those peak times to evaluate the server and overall network load.
- Weeks 3 to 4: From there, we can present analytics to begin hardware selection and design, followed by delivering cost estimates from our partner vendors, which can take up to two weeks. So, from the initial meeting to delivering a quote, most businesses can expect three to four weeks of time. Remember, this includes the analysis period, so results and figures are provided rather quickly.
- Weeks 4 to 12: Once IT hardware is in hand, implementation can take two weeks to several months depending on the project scope. We maintain ongoing communication with clients undergoing hardware upgrade or IT network expansion efforts, ensuring a seamless process that is on budget and supports their business objectives.
Customizing Hardware Solutions for Your Business Needs
At DMC Technology Group, we are committed to doing the right thing for our clients and providing a high level of hardware solutions and managed services that meet their needs 24/7/365. We take pride in our talented staff of engineers and IT specialists with strong communication skills that allow us to develop long-term relationships with clients, who see us as a vested partner in their success.
Let’s talk. DMC’s expertise and industry knowledge can help your Toledo, Ohio-based organization develop and execute a robust IT environment with reliable, customized hardware solutions that drive growth and innovation. Contact us to learn how.