This is the digital age almost everything runs through a computer.
It is imperative that when you are thinking about business you need to get a good business model with a superb network design that will support your business goals. It is most crucial to foresee how your technological design will affect the business in the future. Designing a network is a complex business. Determine information about the business. Identify the type of users, the location, network parameters, how internal or external communications would work within the company and traffic flow should be considered. In the long run, the design will influence the business in the future.
Work with your service provider and query about Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). According to Orhan Ergun of Information Week, you need to know if the MPLS is serviced at Layer 2 or Layer 3. Most packets pass through Layer 2, which is the switching level. It makes it easier to manage the network compared to Layer 3, which is the MPLS VPN (Virtual Private Network) service or the routing level. If you choose Layer 2, you need to cooperate with your service provider in regards to the Ethernet, Asynchronous Transport Mode (ATM), High-Level Data Link Control (HLDC).
If you are at Layer 3, you can run a routing protocol and be connected through an IP. You may require several physical connections from the service provider for multi-tenancy functionality if the business needs it, but this introduces complexity for the IP and routing protocols. You may need to spend more. You can use alternatives such as the Carrier Supporting Carriers technology though unpopular but it needs network management, staff training and MPLS tool support. Creating overlay tunnels is a more common method. It is more scalable using Generic Routing Encapsulation(GRE) tunnels. Building a VRF lite on top of the overlays are still needed though segmentation does not happen in overlay tunnels. Complexity enlarges based on your network design.
Why is network complexity so important for the overall functionality of the business? Different systems and protocol interact with each other. There are lots of programs that need to be monitored, troubleshoot or configured. If a system is overwhelmed, it will usually impact others resulting to downtime and costly outages. For example, if the Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) crashes, the Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP), the Label Distribution Protocol (LDP), the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and so on will be affected. The OSPF needs to merge before the other protocols will work well. Protocols converging faster than the other would prompt you to fix the IGP/MPLS or the IGP/BGP synchronization. One problem leads to another compelling you to add another layer of complexity. Prior to your MPLS VPN selection, zeroing in on the need for segmentation to provide multi-tenancy could have been made simpler without too much complication. Routing data to alternate paths can improve network performances through MPLS traffic engineering. But let us remember that there is always a relationship between business and network design and vice versa.
Have questions about your network layout? Call the experts today and get our team of network design specialists working to ensure your computer network is setup properly.