The backbone of an organisation’s technology infrastructure is the computer network. This network is an intricate chain of equipment and cables that enables all the computers to work from a central point. Each link in the chain can be a potential failure point and put every other link at risk.
Setting up a network does not guarantee a maintenance-free system environment. After the network has been set up, continual support, troubleshooting and maintenance is required to benefit from the system.
By performing the following functions, B&D System Engineers assures a network in good working order and as a result a business that can work and communicate effectively:
- Analyse the existing infrastructure;
- Determine the technology budget;
- Research current and future technologies applicable to the type of business;
- Perform cost benefit analysis and Return on Investment (ROI) analysis;
- Assess the most appropriate network for the client’s specific business process and goals;
- Plan for network capacity based on the number of users and system requirements;
- Plan for the expansion of the network;
- Develop the network topology and architecture.
- Install the network hardware including servers, routers, switches, hubs, bridges and wireless networking.
- Install data protection systems (uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), redundant array of independent disks (RAID), and tape backup systems.
- Install storage systems including storage area network (SAN), fibre channel storage and network attached storage (NAS).
- Set up storage racks to hold network hardware (servers, routers, switches).
- Install operating systems (OS), applications and hardware, drivers.
- Install software including operating systems (OS), e-mail server, database server, web server, file transfer protocol (FTP) and internet faxing.
- Install redundancy and clustering technologies like network load balancing and cluster servers.
- Implement remote networking including virtual private network (VPN), secure shell (SSH) and remote desktop access.
- Install network security including firewalls, demilitarized zone (DMZ), virtual LAN (VLAN), intrusion detection system (IDS), anti-virus software and secure socket layer (SSL).
- Install network services like domain controllers, file and print, domain name system (DNS), dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP), windows internet naming service (WINS) and proxy servers.
- Network Administration
- Update the firewall software;
- Update the anti-virus software;
- Test the network security including the firewall, server as well as internal and external processes.
- Perform routine backups of critical data on a daily or weekly basis (as per client’s request);
- Store data backup tapes offsite for disaster recovery;
- Perform defragmentation of disks and databases. User Administration
- Develop and implement workstation usage policies for employees;
- Issue and maintain authorised access ID’s for new and existing employees;
- Set security restrictions and network access for users;
- Set end-user rights;
- Limit desktop administrative rights;
- Maintain domain controllers (logon scripts, profiles, domain policies).
- Install network software upgrades;
- Install operating system upgrades;
- Perform network diagnostics;
- Resolve server crashes;
- Schedule network maintenance;
- Update service patches and service packs. Network Monitoring
- Monitor the firewall for intrusion attacks;
- Monitor the logs including system, anti-virus, firewall, error, user, application;
- Monitor user activity;
- Monitor servers for optimal efficiency;
- Perform random checks remotely to monitor user compliance;
- Monitor network for usage, collision detection and performance;
- Monitor back-up drives and software.