Fundamental components of small business I.T. network

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“I m richard tucker for the battlenet in this video. I m going to cover cover the components of a small business it network. Now it s a fundamentals overview don t go into detail that s other videos that i m producing. But this video will be suitable for anyone who wants to get an appreciation of what they should be considering if they re managing an it network.

But not necessarily doing the work themselves so for example perhaps they re using outsourced it providers. The things i m going to cover our wide area network. Connectivity. Using the internet using a private network local area connectivity both wireless and wired.

I m also going to cover some considerations about what sort of services you use and whether your host those locally or through an external service provider. Things such as email document management telephone systems and also your web hosting i ll also finish up on some quick thoughts about identity management. I hope you liked the video let s go so to start off. I ve got a diagram here showing two business offices.

One in london. One in new york clearly they could be any location you could also only have one office. But the concept still apply whether you ve got one or two. I ve also got a service provider here offering all sorts of it services which i ll go through in a minute.

And then i ve got some travelling workers. Some it support it s it support is if you don t have your own resources in house and using external resources and then i ve got some customers in the middle here. I ve got the internet which we re all familiar with which allows us to get connectivity between our various physical locations. Also got the private network here which isn t as common for small businesses.

But it enables connectivity between officers. But with guaranteed throughput that s not possible with the internet. It s a public network and the reliability just doesn t compare to private networks. But private networks are more expensive.

So the first thing i ll do is i ll connect our office to the internet and that s going to be done via a router it effectively looks the same as the box that you get from your internet service provider or cable provider. When you re getting broadband at home. Now. I ve got a second office.

I ll also that with a router now i ll may want connectivity between these two offices for sharing resources. Such as printing or i might be sharing documents which i ll get to in a minute or i might be wanting to have my telephone network..


So i can just do transfer calls easily within the network. Now if i m going to do that i m going to want to establish something called a vpn that vpn stands for virtual private network. And it enables. A private network to be established over the public internet such that data that i sent between these two sites is secure.

Now that s a feature of routers and if you want to be able to get a vpn between two sites. It s configured on the router side now the next thing that i m going to want to do i ve got my two officers connected and if i only had one offer something i want to do this next step regardless is i need to have some form of connected connectivity within my office to enable my computers and my telephone and in this case. I m showing a wired connectivity. These wide connectivities is just a cable a cable that goes through walls or ceilings.

But gets presented with a socket. So it can actually plug in i can get connectivity out to the internet. Now we can also have wireless connectivity. If i ve got an access point.

And that s what the wireless connectivity is provided from typically they re up on the ceiling to get the best connectivity within a within an office location. That also needs to be cabled to the router. Now many routers have built in wi fi. And you can attempt to use that to provide wireless coverage.

But as soon as you go to a second floor that wireless coverage is going to be not so reliable. So you will need some form of access points. If you need to do large wireless coverage and in this case that access point gets cabled back this cabling is best done by professionals. There s all sorts of standards to keep to so that you get good connectivity within an office.

So this is our local area network. We ve done wired and wireless. This is our wide area network using the internet and we ve used a virtual private network to make that private now of course. We could have gone and paid a little bit more money and use this this private network connection.

And it would have established a reliable connection between these two sites without the need for a virtual private network. So there s our basic network connectivity to start off. And i ll just complete that here in the office with wired connectivity up to an access point for also providing some wireless as well as providing here now one last thing. A printer.

We want to put that onto the network as well that way in the same location. This printer can be shared by printers by computers sorry that it connected that to that network and if i connected a second location..


I can even share that printing across the network. Say from this computer to that printer. There now we ve done our network side let s talk about some of the key services. That every small business is going to be interested in i m just going to pick what i think of the main ones we re going to have email.

We re gonna have some form of document storage and sharing. We re gonna have a phone system and lastly. We re going to want to web a website. Some form of web presence now what i ve done here is i ve shown this this this box that s actually an equipment rack inside of this equipment rack our computers.

But the computers. There are a lot more they ve got a lot more capacity to take more connections of multiple users and their computers. That are used to being left on 24 hours seven days a week. We give them a special name called servers those servers are in this equipment rack.

Often that s in a you know in a closet somewhere in a building. And i ve got a couple of choices. I can host these types of services on site on my own computers my servers or i could go and get these from a service provider. Now there s a few choices.

No sorry a few things to consider as to whether i host these myself or get a service provider to use those i m going to go through those in detail in future videos. But i ll just give one example you ve i ve got document storage on site and of these are very large documents such as video files or perhaps their computer aided design files for that are used in their say architecture architectural firms those are very large documents it s much easier to access and download those documents if they re stored locally because networks that a local area networks and even wide area networks are often much larger capacity. They need were going out to a service provider across the internet. And now clearly if i ve got a vpn going over the internet.

I m gonna have those slow capacity constraints they never got a document server that s local to a site. These computers are going to get much faster access and download large files and be able to use them more more snappily. If that document server is local then if it s remote that said for email. I don t really have those same constraints.

And it may well be their service provider as a great solution for that now with the service provider. There s a couple of key things that need to be considered and that is disaster recovery and backup disaster recovery and backup. Now ideally. If you are getting from a service provider.

They re looking after both these two two elements now describe what those are disaster recovery is so that if i lose my site. In this case..


If i lost my london office and i was hosting all these sites in london. All of a sudden. These services are no longer available. So let s say new york was using these services new york is now without because i would connect it over the network and now without email.

That documents their phone systems down and their websites down for their customers. That s not a great scenario. So if i was going to have a disaster recovery solution. I d actually need to be running those same services at a secondary site now our service providers.

While i ve shown this in in in one equipment rack. Often they have that replicated already and it s one of the key advantages that they can do especially. We don t have two sites. So if you don t want to run disaster recovery that this is something you get an it service provider to do for you on your premise.

But you would still need to make sure that s done and have some form of strategy. Now that s disaster recovery backup is really around and it s disaster recovery. If i want a document that was from say one month ago. Because let s say that that documents become corrupted in the last known good version is a month ago.

Regardless of disaster recovery that says that documents available on both sites are actually one a copy of that document in the past so that s where i go to my backups. Which has set kept on a separate system and inside of that backup. I can get a restore of that backup in a past point in time and and get that to replace that of the corrupted version that i might have now so that s there my services the options between keeping those local doing disaster recovery. Myself or perhaps using a service provider and engine and making sure that they do that disaster recovery and backup.

If i m not going to do it now moving on to the last few things if i ve got traveling workers. I want them to be able to access services. If i m hosting them back into my office and again the vpn is the way that we do that if they ve got their own broadband connection or a wireless connection from a mobile carrier. The vpn provides a secure way to connect back into the office to use services that are hosted locally and of course.

There s other options. If i ve got via the internet to connect to services that might be at my service provider. So classics for document management perhaps a a dropbox for email. Most isps internet service providers.

Provide hosted email plans in your website. That could also be hosted by a service provider..


Rather than on site and similar for phone systems companies such as ringcentral. Provide hosted telephone systems. Now it support the reason. Why i put it support on there is if you are managing a whole lot of equipment locally on your site.

You do want one some form and again that would be done via vpn. Some form of connectivity for it support to monitor and manage this equipment proactively. So that any issues are resolved before they affect users and also reactively. So there s you use a problem.

They can actually come in and support support your equipment support your users in a timely manner. Now the very last thing that i want to conclude with is one other service that often gets forgettin forgotten. Sorry is identity management. Now identity management is so that when a user logs onto their computer.

How do you know that they re authorized to log on and once they ve logged on what can they get access to so for example in the document management system can they get access to hr files or can they get access to financial files. Now that form of managing identities and permissions and access is via an identity management system you know in a typical small business. This isn t actively managed in a central way the computer logon will be separate to the document management. Provisions will be separate to the phone system telephone number that gets assigned now that s fine.

When you ve got a small business of say less than ten users as soon as you get above ten users. You do need some form a system to manage identities and you can see that i actually put that identity system up in the service provider. Because there are systems that allow you to link whether you have got service provider. Provided services or whether you re running those on premise and and there are systems that let you link those all together.

So that you can have one identity across those two types of service provision. Methods and and manage your new users in a secure way. I hope you enjoyed that video on the components of a small business it network. If you re interested in any of the detail and please see our other videos and also our training courses.

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