Archive for the ‘Converged Networks’ Category

Wired vs. Wireless Local Area Networks in the Office

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Wireless and cordless is everybody’s darling these days. We even wrote an article last year on current Wi-Fi speeds in Dallas. Who doesn’t love the freedom it brings? But there are a few more things to consider when weighing wired versus wireless for your local area office network (LAN).

Wired LANs

Back in the day, everybody’s workstations, printers, network adapters and other devices were all strung together with Ethernet cables. Nowadays, this clump of cables is optional. But there are still some reasons you might want to hardwire your devices.

Security: Generally speaking, Wired LANs are more secure than wireless. In a wired situation, your network security ends at each device, and is all housed in your building. But when you go wireless, you expand the system beyond the confines of a building, and perhaps beyond your control.

Speed: Ethernet is faster than Wi-Fi. However, Wi-Fi has gotten faster in recent years. Usually your internet connection will be the real limiting factor for speed. If you’re passing large amounts of data directly from one computer to another on the same network – without the use of the internet – you’ll notice that a wired connection is faster.

Stability: Wired is more stable than wireless, especially when you require a constant data stream.

Latency:  Also known as ping, latency is the time it takes a packet of information to travel between computers. Wired beats out wireless here. This could be important if your  business is involved in video editing, or downloading and uploading large files, but the difference in latency is not so significant.

Less Interference: Wired LANs don’t run into all the interference that wireless do. Your neighbors’ networks, objects between you and the router, and competing devices pose no problem for the wired LAN user.

Wireless LANs

It may seem that Wired LANs are still beating out Wi-Fi in the enterprise. Wi-Fi only enterprises are rare, and unattainable for most businesses, which can benefit from a hybrid dual solution. However, a Wireless LAN has its strengths and adoption has been growing in recent years since the creation of 802.11ac.

Convenience: As more offices trend toward “hot desking” – the lack of an assigned desk in favor of working collaboratively – wireless is clearly necessary. Without it, hot deskers would spend half the day unplugging and plugging cables.

Tidiness: Cords are not attractive. They’re hard to clean. And they seem to make dust bunnies multiply.

Cost: For a business that is constantly adding employees or spread out over a large office, wireless can win out in cost. Wireless LAN signal strengths have improved, with a few access points strategically placed, miles of cable and office overhaul can be avoided.

B.Y.O.D. Compliant: Many companies encourage employees to BYOD. That is, bring your own device. Again, wireless wins. Fortunately, our iPhones and smart phones don’t come with ethernet ports.

Scenarios that Benefit Wireless LAN’s

Several have already been mentioned, but we will emphasize a few of the common scenarios we see for clients when implementing wireless LAN or wired LAN networks.

Business in Education

The education industry has quickly adopted both wired LAN connections and wireless LAN’s for students, faculty and staff. Most universities for the last decade have supported wireless internet, although as students in elementary, middle and high school grades continue to use devices in the classroom, wireless LAN adoption has been spreading.

Businesses with a Young Workforce

Hiring millennials? When your workforce is overwhelmingly under 30, you are more likely to have a corporate structure that supports collaborative office environments. There is freedom over where to sit and freedom over which device – requiring Wireless.

Retail Businesses

Wireless LAN’s serve a dual purpose for retail businesses. Access to the internet for employees and a separate network for customers. Customers require wireless connections, which can be an influencing factor for retail administrative internet access.

Businesses with a Flat Management Hierarchy

Flat managed businesses are by nature collaborative and often don’t have strict rules on devices and worker placement. A business management structure that follows a hierarchy org chart, tends to have cubicles and cubicles lead to wired internet connections.

Businesses Without Security Risks or Close Neighbors

Without a need for strict network security precautions or close neighbors, Wireless LAN becomes an attractive option. However, if your office is located on the top floor of a 8 story office building in Addison, there would likely be too many competing networks and both security and productivity would suffer.

Businesses With a Committed IT Help Desk Team

Whether your business has an internal IT department, or works with a consulting provider, the number one issue for an IT department on a Wireless LAN network will be connection issues. Be prepared for an onslaught of questions pertaining to your network.

Consolidate Servers, Streamline Your Life

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

If you’re running your own servers, you’re losing money. Have you considered server consolidation? Server consolidation means taking your group of servers, which typically run at only 15-20% capacity each, and reducing the number of servers through resource sharing to increase efficiency and eliminate redundancies. NCC Data can help you maximize ROI on your data center through this server consolidation process.

Consolidating your servers presents a new array of complex processes in data center management, though, so the most efficient way to manage this is through sever virtualization, which simplifies the data-sharing processes by hiding the more complex details to make server management easier for the average user. These two processes help streamline your IT needs and, while the upfront costs may be significant, the money saved by consolidating your server (not to mention the energy saved through this “green” process) make it a legitimate venture for your company.

Some facts and figures:

  • A worldwide financial group used 52 servers in 2005 and through virtualization, is running on only 14 in 2010.
  • A mid-sized New York law firm has ‘gone green’ through virtualization, reducing its electric consumption. At the same time, the firm has increased network uptime, simplified its disaster recovery backup process, and freed up IT staff to work on other projects. (Source: Network World)

NCC Data has the skills and professionals in place to seamlessly transition your servers to a consolidated system- call us at 972.354.1600 to discuss how we can help you consolidate your servers and cut your IT costs today!

Virtual CIO Services from NCC Data

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Have a big project coming up but your IT department’s spread a little thin? Considered migrating your systems to a new platform, or changing software? You could benefit from the temporary addition of a high-value Virtual CIO. A Virtual CIO is an experienced, multi-faceted professional who serves as the part-time chief information officer of a small or medium-sized business that otherwise could not afford or would not need a full time executive to hold the position of chief information officer. Hiring NCC Data as your Virtual CIO provides a team of knowledgeable experts and a wide range of services for much less than the base-pay for an in-house CIO. When you need us we’re there for you, offering security analysis, strategic guidance, platform and software recommendations and expert troubleshooting. We take great mid-level IT staff and add in our wide breadth of IT expertise- but only when you need it!

Call a Virtual CIO for:

  • Strategic guidance, staff training, and project management
  • Systems analysis and service architecture design
  • Security analysis and system hardening
  • Platform/ software recommendation and configuration
  • Expert troubleshooting and support
  • Executive technology liaison services

A Virtual CIO from NCC Data can help you identify your company’s IT needs and begin assessing how to grow and manage your company’s technology.

Take Your Business Network to the Extreme

Monday, October 25th, 2010

NCC Data’s converged infrastructures now have advanced automation capabilities.

Converged infrastructure solutions have been the subject of some of the recent conversations in the IT industry regarding new and efficient offerings for our clients.  Convergence is where computer applications like word processing, e-mail, and CRM are combined with communications applications including telephone, video conferencing and data streaming.

Implementing this converged technology gives exceptional control for networks that support real-time voice, video and data applications over wired and wireless infrastructures.

The converged application platform that NCC Data has selected for our clients is made by Extreme Networks, and offers a common, scalable architecture that supports telephony, video and data services through a single device. Converged infrastructure solutions enhance the delivery of application services.

Converged application platforms bring together multiple functions – the recipe that includes all of these ingredients can be modified for the tastes and needs of the organization:

  • Voice switching
  • Enterprise routing
  • Firewall/VPN
  • Quality of service
  • Application services
  • WAN and Wi-Fi access.

Applications convergence is the next step for businesses that already initiated greater efficiencies through network convergence.  NCC Data aids you in implementing a modular approach that increases efficiency, allows for Hitless failover, dynamic loading of modules without the need for a reboot, power conservation, security and scalability needed for future growth when you need it.

In this relatively new area of IT support services, the first step with our clients has been to assess their specific needs, then design a custom application that will help streamline the various networks operations.  In the end, we’ve seen our clients experience reduced power consumption, more functionality, and less investment than their previous solution.  It’s tough to beat – and we can make it happen for your business.  Contact us to learn more: 972-354-1600 or