Network Infrastructure Design and Implementation

When working with many different companies, we find a common thread running through the voice and data network of most companies; a seemingly random growth and expansion pattern.  At least it seems random until you overlay the growth of the corporation as a whole, then the pattern emerges.  The company's growth pattern is typically shaped by emerging market trends, new products and services, or customer demand.  Unfortunately, company growth drivers are usually very poor ways to expand a voice and data network to optimize use.

Networks, when implemented correctly, are very hierarchical in nature.  This is what allows for redundant, symmetrical, and optimal traffic flow.  Additionally, hierarchical networks allow traffic to reach the final destination in a minimal amount of time and effort.

Internet Access- Our engineers can analyze and recommend solutions that range from initial Internet access through design that include redundant, load balanced, and symmetrical BGP connections to multiple ISP's.

Intranet Access- Working very closely with your business units, we can recommend necessary changes to help streamline data and voice access.  Of course anyone can throw money at issues to solve them, but our professionals can ensure our solution stays within budget and has an acceptable Return on Investment.

Voice and Data Convergence- In today's highly competitive marketplace, no one can afford to install, maintain, and expand two separate networks of T1 pipes, for voice and data.  Unfortunately, that is just what many of today's legacy organizations are attempting to operate.  The cost of installation is just the tip of the iceberg when you consider the total cost of ownership; installation, moves, changes to the network, and of course the recurring cost of the connections.  Our team of engineers can recommend solutions that allow the two networks to converge into a single highly available network that eliminates much of the operations cost of the two networks.  


Network Security

Intrusion Detection- Intrusion detection is the art of wading through mountains of IP data packets and application log files to find suspect activity.  While this may seem like an insurmountable task when you consider the amount of data that flows through an average Internet connected network daily, it is quite manageable using today's advanced tools.  Unfortunately, detecting the bad packets is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg in the area of Intrusion Detection.  Once an actual intrusion or compromise has occurred, you need seasoned veterans who know how to handle every aspect of the situation.  Questions like: How do we recover the systems, is our data safe, what are the monetary losses, and what criminal prosecution is possible should be handled by IDS professionals who are able to see the big picture and react accordingly.  We specialize in partnering with our customers to help define and establish process and procedure for handling the entire Intrusion Detection System from installing the initial system to documenting and auditing recovery procedures.  

Firewall Audit- Firewall installation, maintenance, upgrades, and operation require highly trained and certified staff to help minimize the risks associated with operating an Internet connected company today.  Our specialists are capable of assisting in all aspects of a firewall's lifecycle; however, the routine audit is far and away the most important part of any operational firewall's security posture.   

VPN- VPN, or Virtual Private Network, are the hottest new buzzwords in the IT industry today.  What are VPN's and how can they be used to supplement our existing network?  Our seasoned veterans can assist you in understanding all of the why's, how's, and when's of VPN integration.  


Network Performance

Capacity Planning-  Our professional engineers have built entire careers upon analyzing existing traffic and predicting emerging traffic patterns.  We work closely with every customer to proactively plan for future network capacity needs just-in-time.  This helps to ensure we don't order and install circuits that are under-utilized or at the other extreme, have circuits that do not have capacity to carry the demands placed upon them.  A good solid plan based on the historical data coupled with strong analysis of future business needs are the linchpins to success in this area.  As always, a good working relationship with our customers is key to any professional capacity plan.     

Quality of Service- Today's converged networks demand an extreme level of end-to-end quality of service.  As the old adage says, your chain is only as strong as the weakest link.  This has never been truer than in a converged network.  One over utilized link can destroy the quality of many voice calls.  Additionally, today's web based applications are generating more bursty traffic than ever before however, many current networks are still attempting to support real-time traffic to mainframe systems.  Without a high degree of control over the quality of service running on a network, the bursty nature of web traffic can overwhelm the low-volume real-time traffic.

Our engineers can work closely with your engineers to develop a long-term strategy that will mitigate the effects of bursty traffic and support voice and other real-time traffic even on your slowest and most heavily congested links.  Our tool chest has a number of advanced traffic shaping, prioritization, and queuing strategies that can be applied through careful planning and implementation.  Of course the final solution is only as good as the response the end-users experience.  As such, the end-users are an integral part of quality of service planning and execution.

Network Availability- Let's face it, your network is the most important means you have to communicate with your customers.  It is also the most important network in the world; it is after all yours.  The art and science of predicting network outages coupled with a solid network design incorporating determinism, symmetry, and optimization are the key ingredients to maintaining your most vital link to your customer.  

What is determinism, symmetry and optimization and why are they important in network availability?  Determinism is the ability to accurately predict the flow of voice and data traffic across the network even in failure situations.  This is important to ensure a network is first resilient and secondly, not overloaded during a failure situation.  Symmetry is the ability to engineer a network so traffic takes the same path back to the requestor as it arrived on.  The is quite possibly the most important ingredient in maintaining quality of service because your users will surely let you know when the voice traffic is unacceptable.  Optimization is the deliberate engineering of traffic flow to ensure the deterministic and symmetrical data is traveling over the best path to any given destination.  All three of these items are critical to consider to any Enterprise concerned with network performance.


Network Integration

When we initially engage many of our customers, we often find they have built a network to serve a specific purpose but don't have a good handle on how it is performing during peak operating times.  Additionally, little if any data is being collected to assist in capacity planning, availability studies, and the people responsible for maintaining the network are alerted to outages by the end users.  

Our team of software engineers are capable of partnering with your network operations staff to install, configure, and operate world-class tools such as HP Openview, TAVVE, and CiscoWorks to help proactively monitor the network for outages. 

Network System Monitoring Toolsets- HP Openview is beyond question the industry leading tool to manage networks with SNMP.  When did a SNMP reportable event occur?  What is affected by the outage?  Where is the down link or router?  These and many other questions are all easily within the realm of answers provided by Openview.  Our Software engineers can install Openview at your location to immediately begin to answer those questions.  Openview is only the first step necessary to fully proactively manage your network.  Tools such as TAVVE and CiscoWorks are necessary to fully manage your network.

Router/Switch Upgrade/Installation- Thinking about upgrading your existing network or adding additional sites?  We can assist you in many ways.  From the planning of required features of your network to procurement, installation, and maintenance, our team of professionals are there to assist you. 


Network Operations Center Management

Monitoring your voice and data networks is an around the clock non-stop symphony of proactive notifications and corrective actions designed to minimize network downtime for your users. Sounds just like your network doesn�t it? Or does it?

An alert appears on the Network Management System console signaling a potential failure. Your staff reacts to the event following the Standard Operating Procedures carefully prepared to handle this very event. No?

Our Network Management personal and process engineers are the solution to assist your organization migrate your existing NOC to one that runs like a well-oiled machine.

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