Networking makes it possible for computers, servers, and software to talk to each other. It can be something you’re using in-house or a hosted application in the cloud. Revo IT Services also works with any brand of a networking device. Here is a rundown on some of the networking devices and IT practices we utilize to keep your business running smoothly.
A modem is provided by your Internet Service Provider that turns their data signal into something that commercial networking hardware can work with. Revo IT Services monitors and logs your connection to the internet in order to diagnose issues for your internet service as well as guaranteeing stability.
This is the main device in most small business networks. It establishes a connection between your Modem(s) and your servers and workstations. The router also is used to define the network so that all other devices can know how to find each other. Most routers in small businesses also operate as firewalls. A firewall is used to say when data can come in and out. For instance, a firewall is a great way to prevent people on the internet from accessing your servers or computers remotely. If you ever have something like a camera system that you can view remotely or a Time and Billing software that requires a direct connection to the manufacturer, that would be something that we would configure on the Firewall.
WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) can be both extremely handy and frustrating at times! Troubleshooting wireless issues can be frustrating because it seems to work ‘sometimes’. Issues with WiFi can be caused by updates to a computer, physical obstruction of the signal, or hardware issues with the WiFi device or the wires that connect it back to your router/firewall. Upon onboarding, we provide a wireless survey to make sure all potential space is covered. We also monitor and log the uptime for WiFi Access Points, and can provide workstation logging to track down persistent issues.
Switches are used to expand the number of available Ethernet ports. If you only have one port in your office, and you need to connect your phone, computer, and printer, chances are you have a switch. If you’re looking to get more ports, we can find a contractor to wire your building. Otherwise, switches are typically pretty hardy devices. Some types of switches are needed for more advanced networking configurations. In these cases, it is important to keep it documented in order to ensure future serviceability.
IP Addresses, DNS, and DHCP
IP Addresses can be thought of like a street address. If you were going to go to Stanley’s home, you would think of it as ‘Stanley’s home’ and not by the actual street address. However, you would need to have the street address to actually find Stanley’s home. Similarly, the internet and all networks rely on a system which allows us to refer to things by their domain names (Stanley’s home), rather than by their IP Addresses (Stanley’s street address). DNS stands for Domain Name System. A DNS Server is able to translate a website’s name (domain name) into its networked address. Problems with DNS tend to manifest in all systems and tend to be very widespread. We can manage your DNS both on your internal hardware as well as for your public domain (Our public domain is revoits.com). DHCP is another critical networking service that stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, which is a wordy way of saying that it assigns IP Addresses to devices. We can configure and manage your DHCP server in a way that accommodates your current configuration and that plans for future expansion.
If you are interested in learning more about IP Addressing, this is a great article to help you get started.
High Availability is a term that is used to describe a guarantee of service uptime on a higher than normal basis. High Availability systems tend to be hardened against any single device failing. In Networking, High Availability practices include the organization of devices such that if any device fails, the least amount of other devices are affected. It also includes complex configurations with multiple devices acting as fail-overs (in case one device fails, the other device can handle all of the work). If there is a very critical part of your business that needs to be up as much as possible, we can work with you to ensure that is the case!
Networking issues can be problematic to diagnose because there are usually multiple devices that could be the culprit. Logging data into a software called PRTG allows us to keep this data in a single place so we can track down your networking issues quickly. PRTG is lightweight, and can monitor networking diagnostic information such as ping times, downtimes, webpage load times, and in many cases allows us to monitor bandwidth usage, Netflow, Appflow, and networking devices hardware properties such as CPU and Memory usage.