What is enterprise networking?
Enterprise networking or network in an enterprise is a group of electronic devices that belong to the enterprise. The devices include computers, telephones, printers, scanners, etc., that are connected as one network.
The main objective of enterprise networking is to enable communication, and enabling users within the network to access to data that is stored in different devices of the network.
Single, LAN and WAN
Depending on needs of the organization, enterprise network can be a single network within an organization or a group of LAN or WAN networks.
Local Area Network (LAN) – A LAN is a group of devices that belong to the same geographic area, and are connected in a network. For example, a network of computers within the same room or same building or adjacent building.
Wide Area Network (WAN) – A WAN is a group of devices that belong to different geographic areas and are connected in a network. For example, connecting the main office of a business in one city to its branch offices in another city.
Things businesses need to consider
Enterprise network as a whole consists of very sensitive data of the business. The network should be secured properly in order to secure this critical information.
Enterprise network must be monitored constantly and disconnect the isolated, unwanted or inactive users in order to speed up the operations running in the network and increase the performance of the network.
Make sure that the enterprise network you choose has minimal or no limitations in connecting devices in different environments. It should be able to connect devices or computers that belong to different environments (manufactures, operating systems, etc.).
For example, in a business, enterprise network should enable connection among desktops, laptops, mainframe systems, smartphones, IP phones and computers run by operating systems such as Windows, Mac, etc., HP printer, Samsung monitors, etc.
Parts of an enterprise network
Any enterprise network generally comprises the following electronic devices.
Internet – Internet connection that an organization gets is by leased lines or broadband connection or 3G, etc.
Router – Routers act as bridges between your organization’s network and the Internet connection.
Unified Threat Management (UTM)/Firewall – UTM is a hardware appliance or a kind of software that provide security to end points or network in an organization. Example of UTM are anti-virus, anti-spam, IP filtering, content filtering, firewalls, etc.
Switches – There are three types of switches. They are core switches, distribution switches and edge switches. The core switch is the center of enterprise network. It connects to various devices of the organization using edge switches and distribution switches.
NAS (Network Area Storage) device – NAS is a location where a bulk of data is stored and any server or system of the network can access them whenever required.
Wireless access points – Wireless access points are the places that contain built-in radios, and provide signals to the devices, that have built-in adapters.
Wireless controller – In an organization, there are many wireless access points, where all the devices can access wi-fi. The device that manages all these wireless access points is called a wireless controller.
IP Telephony server – The IP telephony server provides services to all the phones connected in the enterprise network.
Network end points (Devices) – Network end points are PCs, laptops, smartphones, etc. that are connected to network through switches or wireless access points in an organization.
Enterprise network finds wide application in businesses and improves their productivity. It is cost effective and ideal for small and mid-sized businesses.