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Network Design and Management

In the digital age, few technologies have had the impact of computer networking. A well-designed office network can provide amazing savings in costs, productivity and convenience. Whether you work in a small office with a handful of computers, or an international company with dozens of offices and thousands of computers, we can design a network that will work for you.

For convenience, we categorize our network offerings into the services described below:

Local Area Network Design and Installation

A local area network, or LAN, can be a critical resource for even the smallest companies. At a very low cost per computer, we can design a basic peer-to-peer network for Macintosh, Windows and/or MS-DOS computers, which will let you share printers, disk drives, CD-ROM drives, files, and applications.

Alternatively, using Windows NT, Novel and/or Unix servers, we can provide a true client/server network with user login authentication, user home directories, and the ability to securely share data and resources among user groups of any size.

We can purchase, install and configure all the necessary cables, hardware and software for each server and end-user computer. We can install ethernet (10baseT, 10base2, 10base5), fast ethernet (100baseT), and fiber-optic (FDDI) cables, with appropriate hubs, switches, bridges and routers. We can implement networks using a variety of protocols, particularly TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, NetBEUI, Pathworks and Token Ring.

In addition to the physical network, you will need appropriate applications. An electronic mail server, video conferencing, and group-ware programs, such as network-enabled word processors and tools such as Lotus Notes, can all provide you with significant benefits. We can help you determine which are most appropriate to your needs, and then provide the configuration and training that will let you take full advantage of them.

If desired, we can also design and implement an internal web site, whether it is just for posting notices and a company calendar or as a front-end to your corporate database. It is the easiest way to implement a graphical, intuitive application for accessing your company's data.

And, of course, we can design and implement solutions to provide Internet access from any or all computers on the LAN.

Wide Area Network Design and Installation

If you have offices in multiple locations, whether down the street or around the world, we can design and implement a network that will let you securely provide all the features of a Local Area Network to each location. It is in the Wide Area Network (WAN) environment that electronic mail, video conferencing and group-ware can provide the biggest impact, by saving you major expenses in telephone calls, faxes, and travel.

Using routers and ISDN telephone lines and/or permanent leased lines, we can connect your offices together. Using ISDN telephone lines allows connections at 64 kbps (thousand bits per second) or 128 kbps, but the sites are only connected for the duration of the telephone call. In contrast, leased line connections range from speeds of 56 kbps through 155 mbps (million bits per second), and would permanently connect the offices, 24 hours per day.

We have experience working with leased lines at speeds of 56 kbps or 64 kbps (DS0), 1.5 mbps (T1), 2 mbps (E1), 34 mbps (E3), 45 mbps (T3), and 155 mbps (OC3). In addition to the various speeds of leased lines, there are options for the protocols used to transmit the data. We have experience with Frame Relay, SMDS, Sonet/SDH, and ATM. Choosing the right speeds and protocols is dependent upon what quality of service you require and what your budget restrictions are.

In some cases, the most inexpensive way to implement a WAN is as an "intranet" or virtual private network over the Internet. However, if you want the best security and total control over your network, including centralized control over your Internet access, it may be preferable to implement your own private network and limit access to the Internet to a single, central point on your network.

Remote Access

If you have an outside sales force, or require access to your office network from home or while on the road, then you will need some form of secure remote access from a home computer or laptop. We can install an appropriate solution that will allow you to use a modem to connect to your office network. Depending on how many users may attempt to connect to the office at the same time, the solution can range from a single modem, attached to one of your office servers and a standard analog telephone line, to one or more dedicated remote access servers that include dozens or hundreds of modems built into a single chassis and connected to the telephone company using Primary Rate ISDN circuits (with 24 or 30 ISDN telephone lines per circuit).

An alternative to maintaining your own remote access servers and telephone circuits would be to use a dial-up connection to Internet for each remote user and implement a secure, encrypted virtual private network. By signing up with an appropriate regional, national or international Internet Service Provider, it may be possible to achieve remote access to your office network by making only local telephone calls from your remote locations.

Network Security

Everyone has heard that when you connect to the Internet, you are taking a security risk. What many people don't realize is that many more security breaches are caused by employees, either by accident or intent, than are caused by hackers over an Internet connection. Security on your local and wide area networks is just as important as security on an Internet connection. By implementing proper procedures for securing your servers and maintaining user accounts, as well as implementing network security and acceptable use policies via packet filters and firewalls, we can build security into your office network. We can also provide a security audit of your existing network.

Network Management

Once your network is installed, we can provide a maintenance contract for managing the network. Depending on your needs, this can include updating user accounts, monitoring the utilization of your network, auditing your security systems, trouble-shooting network problems, and performing any upgrades or configuration changes as required.

Office Applications     Network Design & Management     Internet Connections     Web Site Design & Maintenance

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