Building a Network - Starting from Scratch

January 19, 2018 by
Building a Network - Starting from Scratch
Lighthouse IT Solutions, Matthew Almendinger

The first steps to building a network are actually quite simple; that is to say that you know where to even begin. I would like to try and help ease some of the initial questions and problems that you may run into on this adventure of basic networks.

This is most relevant for those who are just getting started with a computer network, or looking to do an overhaul of your current basic network.

There are some items to note in the below lists. First and foremost is that you will want a quality, next-generation firewall. A high-quality firewall grants you the flexibility of allowing permissible traffic into your organization, all the while keeping the bad guys out. They can also do traffic scanning of data coming and going out to make sure there is no malicious software detected. This can protect your company from being compromised or even isolating computers that have already become compromised.

Consider using the Sophos XG 105/105W or the Cisco Meraki MX65/65W.

We have used both and we highly recommend them.

The most basic network should have

  • A quality firewall
  • A network switch
    • not a hub; may be integrated into the firewall
  • A server
  • Client computers

It is also important to consider:

  • Wireless Access Points
    • may be integrated into the firewall
  • Multi-function Print devices or printers
  • Tablets and mobility devices

The other important item to note is that we recommend you have an on-premise server. Why have an on-premise server when so many cloud services exist? Simply put, an on-premise device allows you to enable centralized management of your organization. It enables you to have centralized security and will become the hub of your successful network. As an added bonus, you will find that many applications integrate with Active Directory, meaning you can reduce the number of logins your staff has, plus simplify managing the number of accounts you need to maintain! Since entry-level servers have become very reasonably priced, there isn't really a reason not to have one to start your network.

And this is just the beginning...

There is a plethora of other essentials for a network to run smoothly and hassle-free.

So much that I wrote an ebook on building a network!

Read It Here

Active directory, server roles, updates & patches, endpoint protection, backups & disaster recovery, and even documentation and reporting are covered in the book!