Has your network been optimized? No? Your competition thanks you!

Network Optimization

Is your network setup conspiring against your business velocity? 

Chances are, it is. The networking environment of any business lays the foundation for business continuity and goal attainment, so why do so many small businesses ignore it? Optimizing the environment is a simple process that will speed up data transfer rates and reduce network related work slowdowns or stoppages. Continue reading for tips on increasing your business’s growth opportunities.   

Adding devices to a network is easy, right?

Adding a device to a network by typing in a WiFi password, plugging in a network cable, or pressing the WPS button on the router is so easy even my Mother-In-Law can do it. She doesn’t, but she could! So can you. And you probably already have. Router manufacturers have worked very hard to simplify the process of adding devices to a network, but these processes will cause serious issues on a business network.  

Without using boring techie lingo, let us examine what happens when a device is added to a network. Once the device passes any security check-stops the router (the thing that gives you “The Internet”) assigns it an address (called and IP Address) from a large pool addresses. The assigned address is then used for all forms of communication to and from that device. This includes things like email, data transfers, surfing the Internet, and print requests. In this scenario, the router is in control of the entire network. While it does an admirable job most of the time, this setup introduces technical issues for small business networks.

The address assignment process is dynamic, which means that any device could experience an unexpected address change, which creates problems on the network. Any network device or resource that receives a new address (DHCP Lease Renewal) WILL NOT leave a forwarding address. Therefore, any device looking for it WILL NOT be able to find it. For example, if a file server gets a new address, then no users can access it without remapping the network drive. Without files to work on, your business is effectively out of business.

Common issues include printers mysteriously dropping offline, IP Address conflicts, network issues become difficult to troubleshoot, and having undetected rogue devices connecting to your network and stealing valuable bandwidth! These are just the tip of the iceberg. Any or all of these issues can combine to bring your hard earned business velocity to a grinding halt!

How can I start optimizing my network?

The good news is that optimizing a network to maintain or increase business velocity is a straight forward process that can be completed in-house or with the assistance of a credible IT Service provider. All that is required is the creation and implementation of an IP Addressing Scheme. This ensures static IP addresses are assigned to shared network resources and that dynamic addresses are still available for non-shared devices.

High level overview:

  1. Identify network devices.
  2. Divide devices into categories (Printers, Servers, Workstations, etc.).
  3. Mark devices as Shared or Non-Shared.
  4. Create IP Addressing Scheme (based on device type; computers assigned addresses in range A-D, Printers assigned from E-F…).
  5. Configure static address (on shared devices).
  6. Configure DHCP address range (ensure it does not overlap with the Static address range).
  7. Restart router and devices.

As a small business owner, why wouldn’t you look for an advantage in your market space? Especially if the solution is simple and cost effective to implement? Take control of your network and watch your business velocity take off! If you would like more information on how to get started, then please email me at jim@cloudcraftit.com, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

If you found this article informative then please like and share it! Feel free to post comments regarding any network connectivity horror stories you may have.

Have a great day,

 

About the author; Jim Morris is a classically trained IT professional who has first hand experience with the pain of poorly setup networks. His mission in life is to provide small business owners with affordable services that increase their ability to compete in their chosen market space. He is a dedicated husband, father, and son who spends his down time vacationing with family, visiting friends, coaching lacrosse, mountain biking, and enjoying all things Marvel, Star Wars and Science Fiction. As a transplant to Calgary, his primary concern during the winter months is staying warm… #velocity #optimizeme #YYCadvantage