Understanding network infrastructure

An Introductory Guide to Understanding Network Infrastructure

At Salient Networks, we have a simple ethos: We believe that technology is all about connection. Ideally, technology is deployed in such a way that it brings people together and enables them to communicate seamlessly. And it’s not just about connection between people, but also connection between devices; for example, in a workplace, it’s important to have different computers, tablets, phones, and other pieces of hardware connected together on the same network.

When we talk about network infrastructure, that’s basically what we’re referencing—connection. Understanding network infrastructure is an important step in exploring your IT needs and appraising possible solutions.

What is Network Infrastructure?

For those who are unfamiliar with this term, however, a brief introduction may be in order—so what is network infrastructure, exactly?

When we talk about network infrastructure, we’re talking about the branch of IT services that provides a network on which different devices can connect. Hardware, software, services, and facilities all fit under the network infrastructure umbrella.

Basically, your business needs to consider its network infrastructure to make sure everyone is able to collaborate efficiently, that all your devices can sync with one another, and that it’s easy to send or receive data between departments or employees.

Types of Network Infrastructure Technology

Now let’s get into the weeds a little bit and discuss various types of network infrastructure technology. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it will provide you with a basic sense of how sprawling this field can be.

  • Routers work by forwarding traffic, allowing devices and networks to connect together. For wireless network infrastructure, a router is going to be essential.
  • Switches can be used to connect all the computers in your office to a local area network (LAN), allowing for easy syncing and connectivity.
  • Hubs and bridges can be used to forward traffic to connected devices or to combine multiple networks into a single network.
  • Gateways allow you to connect different types of networks.
  • Servers are devices that provide a server to other computers; for instance, a Web server is needed to generate Web pages for connected devices.
  • Optical fiber cables provide the Internet access you need for all the devices in a large network.
  • Firewalls serve to control traffic based on some set rules and parameters; these can be used to keep your network safe and secure.
  • Intrusion protection systems and intrusion prevention systems can both help to keep unauthorized parties or unapproved devices from joining your network. Again, these are important to keep the network safe and secure.
  • Key management tools help you organize and manage encryption keys.
  • A VPN, or virtual private network, allows for you to connect to a secure/trusted network as opposed to a public/unsecured one.
  • Finally, a network management system refers to the tools used to organize all your network tools.

As you can tell, there’s a lot to think about as you consider your wireless network infrastructure needs—and to maintain any kind of a large network with any efficiency, you need to have both the right resources and the right level of expertise. Indeed, enterprise-level infrastructure management is a full-time job unto itself.

Get IT Communication Solutions from Salient Networks

To that end, we’ll just note that Salient Networks is a leading provider of robust IT communication solutions, and that includes network support infrastructure.

If you have any questions about network infrastructure devices or about network infrastructure and cloud strategy, we’d love to answer them. And, as an IT services company, we can also provide you with the hands-on, day-to-day network maintenance support that you need.

Find out more by reaching out to Salient Networks today.