An intrusion detection system (IDS) is a software that works with your network keeping it secure from someone trying to break into your system.
The Importance of IT Infrastructure Health Checks
Technology is an ever-evolving field. The hardest part is knowing where your IT infrastructure is in its life cycle. There are a lot of components to an IT infrastructure, and these parts are rarely all upgraded at the same time. The IT infrastructure maintenance process usually follows an “upgrade where issues arise,” or “upgrade when expanding” model. Essentially, we see a lot of our customers being reactive when it comes to the health of their IT infrastructure instead of proactive. While this reactive model is common (and works to a certain degree), it can be more expensive and hinder productivity. We understand how hard it is to know what needs to be upgraded or changed before there is a break or a need to expand, so we have started offering “IT Infrastructure Health Checks.”
What is an “IT Infrastructure Health Check?”
An IT Infrastructure Health Check is essentially when we send a subject matter expert (or multiple depending on the size of your network) out to your site to analyze your existing equipment and systems with you. This process is completely free, and there are no strings attached for you. Our goal is to help you understand where your IT infrastructure is in its life cycle to determine when you will need to make changes or upgrades. This has been extremely helpful to our customers following the year of remote work due to COVID-19. Many companies implemented new software and hardware quickly to keep their employees productive and as we have said before “quick solutions create long-term problems.” In some cases, we do a health check with you and find that your IT Infrastructure is up to date and will function safely and efficiently for a few more years, in other cases we find that you have outdated cabling or hardware that is already creating latency or security concerns. At the end of an IT Infrastructure Health Check, we will discuss our findings with you and help you come up with a plan.
What are you looking for when you conduct an IT Infrastructure Health Check?
Your IT Infrastructure is made up of a ton of different components. There are the physical hardware components and software or applications. These components work together and create the network used by everyone at your company. The reason it is important to analyze the health of your IT infrastructure is to prevent latency issues, increase productivity, and even prevent cybersecurity breaks. To name a few items we look at when we do the IT Infrastructure Health Check:
- Copper Cabling
- Fiber Optic Cabling
- Switches, Routers and Access Points
- Wall Jacks
- Servers and Data Storage
- Laptops and Desktops
- Firewalls (can be hardware and/or software)
- Productivity Applications (Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, Outlook)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms
- Cybersecurity and Firewalls
- Managed Services Contracts
In addition to analyzing the hardware and software components of your IT infrastructure, we can also discuss the team you have managing and maintaining your systems. We can help you identify areas where you may need to have a person focused to ensure proper functionality.
How could an IT Infrastructure Health Check benefit my business?
There are a lot of ways that and IT infrastructure health check can benefit you and it all depends on what issues you are having with your network. As internet connectivity technology and Wi-Fi evolves, the cabling that we use to connect must also evolve. If you have upgraded your network bandwidth but still have outdated copper cabling, you will not see an increase in internet speed because the cabling simply cannot support the bandwidth – even though you may have upgraded or added access points, or increased your data package. An example of this would be having Cat 5e cabling installed, which provides performance up to 100MHz, while your other hardware can utilize 500MHz. In this case your cabling is simply not going to support the speeds that your other hardware could handle, resulting in a cap of 100MHz. To utilize full performance in this case, you would need to have Cat 6a cabling (or higher). To put it simply, your IT infrastructure can only be as fast and safe as its weakest component.
This is only one example of how a full IT Infrastructure Health Test can help you identify issues, but it allows us to understand how it can be beneficial to understand how and when to invest in upgrades or changes. If you upgrade all your end user hardware but have structured cabling that was installed 10 years ago, you will find that your equipment is not performing as you had planned. This is like purchasing movies in 4k and then trying to watch them on a DLP TV from the 1990’s. It is much easier to analyze and plan your upgrades from the foundation (structured cabling and data center) up to end user components (computers, phones, and applications). This method ends up being more cost effective, more organized and ultimately better for your company.
If you have any questions about IT Infrastructure Health Checks or would like to schedule one of our subject matter experts to visit your site, please contact us at ContactUs@Matrix-NDI.com or call 763-475-5500.