Your IT infrastructure is a lot like a puzzle. There are many pieces of technology that connect to form one big solution. If just one piece of the puzzle is missing, then the picture is incomplete and the solution will not work properly. Good thing we're great at piecing together IT puzzles!
Have you ever put together a puzzle? Seriously, puzzles take forever! If you're planning on piecing together the puzzle of your own IT network, then you should be prepared to invest a large amount of time into this project. Although, unlike a puzzle, which can be an enjoyable way to spend quality time with your family, an inexperienced user trying to setup an IT network for a business usually doesn't have extra time to spare, and when the deadline is missed, then piecing together a network is anything but enjoyable.
Whether you're piecing together a puzzle or building an IT infrastructure, there are rules and guidelines that you can follow to make the task go quicker. Every seasoned puzzler uses a standard approach when tackling 1000 pieces of fun. We can learn a lot from this old game and use these puzzle making rules to help you build your own IT infrastructure.
Start With the Border
When making a puzzle, you will start by dumping out the entire box and flipping over all the pieces. You will then separate the pieces with the straight edges and begin building out your four borders. Building a puzzle border is like having a technology roadmap in place before starting work on your network. You need to have parameters in regards to both your budget and the technologies you will be installing. Without a technology roadmap, you will go over budget and buy more equipment than you need, and sink more time into the project than you have to.
Find the Biggest Object
With the puzzle pieces laid out and your border made, you will now separate all the pieces that belong to the major object in the puzzle and begin building it. For example, if your puzzle is of a white Pegasus flying over a rainbow in space, you will first want to separate the white pieces from the rainbow pieces and then start work on your Pegasus. When it comes to your IT infrastructure, your biggest object is your server. You will want to pick out a server that meets your needs, fits your budget, and also has enough extra power and resources that it can keep up with the growth of your company for at least five years.
Next in your puzzle, you will tackle the smaller objects, like the rainbow and the planets, and position them where they are supposed to go. With your objects made, you will start to see everything fall into place and objects will start to connect with each other. When it comes to building your IT network, once you have your servers figured out, you will then focus on the other pieces of equipment, such as your workstations, routers, and all the other network devices that you have shopped for and picked out to meet the unique needs of your business.
With your borders and your objects in place, now comes the easy part of filling in the empty space with the extra pieces you have left. Because you approached the puzzle with a plan, this final step will be easy and you will be done in no time. Knowing the needs of your business makes shopping for equipment, and installing everything easier.
Not having a plan when setting up your IT infrastructure is like doing a puzzle without having the picture on the box to go off of, it will be a futile task. The better prepared you are for piecing together your network means the more time and money you will save. At XFER, our computer networking experience has made us surprisingly good at puzzles. If you need help designing and installing your network, or if you are stumped on a puzzle, then give us a call at 734-927-6666 / 800-438-9337.