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Is it time to refresh your network equipment? Here’s your guide

Imagine you’re driving a car. You’ve had it for years, faithfully taking you from point A to point B. But lately, you’ve noticed it’s not running as smoothly as it once did. The engine sputters, the brakes squeal, and you find yourself crossing your fingers every time you turn the key in the ignition. It’s clear: your trusty vehicle is showing signs of wear and tear, signalling that it might be time for an upgrade.

Now, swap out that car for your network equipment. Just like your car, your network infrastructure requires regular maintenance and occasional upgrades to keep it running smoothly. But how do you know when it’s time to refresh your network equipment? 

In this guide, we’ll explore the telltale signs, the research process, planning considerations, implementation strategies, and how to prepare for the next refresh cycle. So buckle up and get ready to navigate the road to network rejuvenation!

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Table of Contents

Determine when you should refresh network equipment

Just as a car might emit strange noises or exhibit sluggish performance when it’s due for servicing, network equipment gives off signs when it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. These signs could manifest as frequent downtime, slower internet speeds, or an inability to support new applications or devices. Paying attention to these cues can prevent catastrophic network failures and minimise disruption to your operations.

Research your network refresh

Once you’ve acknowledged the signs, it’s time to delve into the research phase. This step involves assessing your current network infrastructure, understanding technological advancements, and evaluating your organisation’s future needs.

Conducting a network audit

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Staying on top of technological trends

Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and networking is no exception. Stay informed about the latest advancements in networking hardware and software, such as the transition to 5G, the rise of software-defined networking (SDN), and the emergence of Wi-Fi 6. By staying ahead of the curve, you can make informed decisions about which technologies align best with your organisation’s goals.

Plan your network refresh

Armed with insights from your research, it’s time to develop a comprehensive plan for your network refresh. This stage involves setting objectives, establishing a budget, selecting appropriate equipment, and creating a timeline for implementation.

Setting objectives and budget

Clearly define your objectives for the network refresh. Are you aiming to improve performance, enhance security, or accommodate future growth? Establishing clear goals ensures that your refresh efforts are aligned with your organisation’s strategic priorities. Additionally, determine a realistic budget for the project, taking into account the cost of hardware, software, installation, and any associated expenses.

Selecting equipment and vendors

Choosing the right equipment and vendors is crucial to the success of your network refresh. Consider factors such as reliability, scalability, compatibility with existing infrastructure, and vendor support services. Don’t hesitate to solicit proposals from multiple vendors and conduct thorough evaluations to ensure you’re making the best possible choices for your network.

Implement your network refresh

With a solid plan in place, it’s time to put your network refresh into action. This stage involves deploying new equipment, configuring settings, testing functionality, and training staff to utilise the updated infrastructure effectively.

Deploying new equipment

Carefully execute the installation of new networking hardware and software according to your predetermined timeline. Coordinate with vendors, IT staff, and other stakeholders to minimise disruption to your operations during the transition period. Thoroughly test each component to ensure seamless integration with your existing network environment.

Configuring settings and security

Once the new equipment is in place, configure network settings and security protocols to align with your organisation’s requirements. Implement best practices for network segmentation, access control, encryption, and monitoring to safeguard against cyber threats and unauthorised access. Regularly update firmware and software to patch vulnerabilities and maintain optimal performance.

Implement your network refresh

A network refresh is not a one-time event but rather an ongoing process of adaptation and improvement. As technology continues to evolve and your organisation’s needs evolve, it’s essential to plan for future refresh cycles to ensure your network remains robust and resilient.

Establishing a refresh cycle

Set a cadence for future network refreshes based on factors such as hardware lifespan, technological advancements, and organisational growth projections. Consider implementing a phased approach to refresh cycles, focusing on different components of the network infrastructure at staggered intervals to minimise disruption and manage costs effectively.

Continuous monitoring and evaluation

Maintain ongoing monitoring and evaluation of your network performance to identify potential issues and opportunities for improvement. Regularly assess key metrics such as uptime, bandwidth utilisation, latency, and security incidents. Solicit feedback from end-users to gauge satisfaction and address any pain points proactively.

Stay connected effortlessly – leave your network refresh to Virtu!

Refreshing your network equipment requires careful planning, diligent research, and proactive management to ensure optimal performance and security. By staying attuned to the signs indicating the need for a refresh, conducting thorough research, and executing a well-defined plan, you can maximise the efficiency and reliability of your network infrastructure. Ready to embark on your network refresh journey? Book a consultation with our Specialists at Virtu today and unlock the full potential of your network.

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