Farious Net Solutions designs and implements computer networks
following a core set of philosophical beliefs and design tenets.
A brief list of these issues and why you should be concerned with
them is listed below:
- Fortress Mentality - Your file server, the most valuable
piece of equipment on your network, should be unbreakable and
should never, ever fail under any circumstance. All of your valuable
data - the reason you own computers and a network in the first
place - resides on that machine. To this end, Farious Net Solutions
strives to install only high-quality computer systems running
the extremly reliable Linux operating system as servers. Attempting
to save money by utilizing a peer-to-peer network or an unreliable
operating system will almost surely lead to data loss.
- Separation of Functionality - As much as possible,
different classes of functionality should be separated into different
devices or computers, preferably from different manufacturers.
This ensures that no single device failure can take down the entire
functionality of your network or that a flaw in a single vendor's
system can be exploited to gain access to your entire network.
This means in the real world that the file server, print server,
hub or switch, and Internet connection device (be it a modem router,
DSL modem or cable modem) should all be separate pieces of equipment.
- Plan for Catastrophe - Make (Automatic) Backups - Farious
Net Solutions has found time and time again that customers neglect
to back up their systems. This can usually be attributed to forgetfullness
or a lack of time and really isn't an indication of anything more
than your business not being a computer-related one. As a result,
however, your valuable data is at the mercy of a fire, flood,
electrical surge or other catastrophic event. Automatic, off-site
backups are a necessity if you are to have any trust in the longevity
and safety of your data. Farious Net Solutions always seeks to
get our customers to utilize our off-site backup services to ensure
that their systems are always protected from catastrophe.
- Quality Doesn't Cost, It Pays - Buying the highest-quality
computers and computer components will cost a small percentage
more (typically 10% to 50%) during the initial purchase phase
of your computer network investment, but their reliability will
more than make up for any cost differences down the road. Considering
a three-year depreciation schedule (typical for computer equipment),
and FNS's current consulting rates, there needs to be only 1 hour
and 20 minutes of billed service time per year on a cheap $1,000
piece of equipment during its usable life time in order for it
to cost more than its "expensive" (high-quality) $1,500
- High Speed Internet Access Is A Requirement, Not an Optional
Add-on - Without high-speed, always-on Internet access, many
management functions normally available in Linux or other server
operating systems are not available. System updates are problematic
and failure-prone and monitoring messages may fail to reach their
destination. Client computers will experience long delays when
attempting to do Internet-related activities such as surfing the
web and checking emails. High speed Internet access must be considered
a first-order priority in order make sure that your systems
are up-to-date and protected from all recent threats.
- Auditing and Monitoring is Critical to System Stability
- Farious Net Solutions can only act on information that
it knows about. To this end, all of our Linux systems are configured
to email nightly status reports to our network operations center
where they are analyzed by an engineer every morning. We tailor our logging
to the particular network and can check such things as file accesses,
system uptime, power failures, authentication failures and file
backups. This logging allows us to stay ahead of potential problems
and fix broken networks quickly.
Following the above philosophical beliefs and design tenets, there
is really only one network design that Farious Net Solutions installs.
This is shown below. Please note that this is a functional diagram,
not a concrete diagram such as the wiring diagrams shown on the
sample wiring designs
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