While every network infrastructure is different, one thing remains the same. The network must meet service levels, security, quality of service goals and allow for expansion and/or convergence. And let’s not forget budget constraints. It’s not enough to possess the technical know-how of network infrastructure, you also need to understand business and align your network design with the business needs.
The following is based on a TechTarget interview with leading system and network administrator, Tom Limoncelli. He suggests questions both network consultant and client ask of each other before embarking on a network project.
In addition, a client should ask a prospective network consultant about their experience in the client’s industry, if they have any references from clients for similar project types and sizes, and if they belong to any professional membership groups (such as BICSI). And don’t forget the intangibles, such as whether the consultant seems friendly, helpful, and easy to do business with.
Designing a network infrastructure requires a keen understanding of the client’s needs. Often the client speaks in terms of business needs instead of IT needs. That’s when network consultants must probe a little further to translate business needs into a network infrastructure design that can meet the needs.