For approaching two decades, we have designed, implemented, and optimized networks ranging in size from 5 users to more than 5,000 crossing county, state, and international boundaries. Our experience proves the value of investing time up front to properly determine the requirements for the network and allowing that knowledge to drive the design process. It is the foundation of our success delivering network solutions of all sizes and complexity.
Networks exist to deliver mission critical IT services to users, partners, and customers so the business can thrive. Users, partners, and customers consume IT services over the network. Each group’s reliance on an IT service may vary in expected performance, access method and schedule, downtime tolerance, and security as the basis for the Service Level Agreement (SLA) that IT offers.
The consumers of IT resources have requirements (expectations) for the delivery of those services across several categories:
We use a proven interview process to gather the business requirements for each IT service and use them as inputs to a model that determines the aggregate uptime requirements, consumption patterns, what IT assets are used to deliver the services, and produces the design requirements for each IT asset on the network. Our model translates business requirements for each service directly into design requirements for the network.
The current state of the network must be assessed to determine the starting point for any changes to the network. Constraints that might impact the design process include the availability of maintenance windows, migration strategies and methods, uptime requirements for existing services, and the quality of documentation for the existing network.
With the design requirements expressed for each IT asset, the wide open landscape of solutions is narrowed to a select set of satisfactory options and simplifies the design process. The available solutions can be evaluated on the basis of cost, implementation method and risk, and effectiveness in meeting the requirements.