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  • Writer's pictureFlagler Technologies

What is Network Infrastructure?

Updated: May 7


network infrastructure

We hear the term networking being tossed around quite a bit in IT circles, but other than having a vague understanding that it has something to do with computer connections, few lay people have a nuanced understanding of what system networking entails. This article will delve into some of the basic concepts of networking to give business managers and non-IT players a better understanding of what networking is and why network infrastructure solutions are essential to businesses.


What is Networking?

Networking allows different types of computers — desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones — to connect with one another on a local area network (LAN) or to a larger network. In the earlier days of computing, the devices had to be hardwired into the network to have access. However, cloud-based computing has changed that. Computers with an internet connection can access the network if the user has the appropriate credentials.


As one can imagine, the more devices that connect to the network, the greater the number of active users connected to the network, and the greater the demands on the network connection. Additionally, a larger network operates with proportionately large security needs, which is why companies often turn to professional IT service providers when developing a network.


What are Networking Infrastructures?

Network infrastructures are the necessary hardware, software, and network service components needed to create a network. Some of these components can be purchased outright, while some are available on a subscription basis.


What are the Different Types of Networks in IT Infrastructures?

The following is a brief overview of some of the most common infrastructure components:


Hardware Infrastructure

Even cloud-based networks require hardware. These are some of the physical components of hardware infrastructure.


Routers

Routers allow data packets to be transferred from one device to another.


Switches

Switches work like routers, but the switch only allows data to a designated device instead of a network.


Hubs

A network hub is a node that relays data to all connected devices.


Repeaters

In networking, repeaters boost the signal of a network. They are particularly useful when the network coverage needs to be expanded, or there is a broken or weak signal in a specific area.


Gateways

Gateways can connect a private network to the open internet or to another network. They translate between different protocols and data formats as well.


Bridges

Bridges are used to connect multiple local area networks to a larger LAN. The bridge can be used to divide network connections to improve the overall performance of the network.


Modems

The term “modem” is short for “modulator-demodulator.” These devices connect the network to the server and convert the data into a compatible format.


Monitoring Tools

In order to ensure the smooth operation of your network, you need to deploy monitoring tools. This automated tool will help your team avoid slowdowns, shutdowns, and delays.


Operating Systems

As long as human beings are using computers, they will need an operating system. The operating system is the network’s user interface. It allows network users to enter and receive data.

What Makes a Good Computer Network

Knowing about the components that go into a computer network doesn’t guarantee the optimal outcome. The following criteria are important for any business’s computer network:


The Performance of the System

There are few things that can be as frustrating as a slow or unresponsive network. Network performance can be measured in several ways. Transmit time, for instance, is the amount of time it takes for messages to travel between devices. Response time means the time that elapses between an inquiry and a response.


Once the data is collected, the information technology professional in charge of monitoring the functionality of the system can explore solutions for slow responses. This might require increasing the visibility and bandwidth, upgrading or updating hardware and software, or reconfiguring the architecture of the system.


Network System Reliability

While this may seem like a subset of the system’s performance, reliability is substantially different enough that it requires its own category. Is the transfer of data accurate? How quickly can the network recover from a disaster?


The Security of the Network

2022 was the most prolific year in terms of the scope and frequency of cyber attacks. As security systems are constantly evolving to meet this threat, the complexity and ingenuity of these attacks keep improving. Developing strong security protocols is essential for any computer network.


Wired vs. Wireless Networks

For years, wired networks were really the only option, but this isn’t a practical solution for businesses with multiple locations, employees who travel for work, or companies with hybrid or work-from-home schedules. Modern cloud-based networks allow users to access the network over an encrypted connection. Cybercriminals can’t reach access points without a connection and login credentials.


Frequently Asked Questions About Computer Networking

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about networking that our IT professionals hear from clients. For specific answers to your questions, contact Flagler Technology today.


What is Network Topology?

This is the way that the network is physically and logically arranged. This affects the way that information travels between devices. Consequently, the proper network topology is crucial to the performance of the system.


What are Nodes and Links?

All of the communication devices connected to or in the network are called nodes. These can be modems, computers, smartphones, servers, etc. Links are the connections between nodes. Links can be wired or wireless.


Is Building a Computer Network Complicated?

Depending on the size of the network and the number of potential users, building a network can be extremely complicated. This is why so many IT departments outsource their network construction and monitoring to a managed service provider (MSP) like Flagler Tech.

For years, Flagler Tech has had the expertise in building networks from scratch and can leverage improving the performance of existing networks. Contact us today to speak with a networking professional.


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