Network planning is important for every IT department. From small Local Area Networks to the Enterprise environment; new expansion undertakings require thorough planning methodologies that guarantee successful results.

It may seem like common sense, but many IT pros learn that planning is paramount to a successful and optimised network – the hard way. A planned network is an effective one. Network planning means that IT avoids the unpredictability of systems that are implemented without thorough planning.

This post discusses the factors that network managers and engineers need take into account when planning the architecture of their environments, or undertaking an expansion project.

What are the key elements to keep in mind for successful network planning?

Network planning requires that you keep some key elements in mind in order to reach the result you planned for. Remember, hoping for an outcome means you haven’t exactly planned for it; but a well-planned undertaking means that you can confidently expect a calculated outcome.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Performance: How will your network perform after implementation? The nature of networks is such that a change in a certain area of the environment can have wide-ranging effects on areas you may not have foreseen due to insufficient planning. Take a step back and look at the overall picture and consider the consequences (good or bad) those changes will have on your environment.
  • Cost: Cost is frequently a contentious issue for IT Managers and businesses. Ensure that your investment yields the returns you expect and make sure that you stay within your budget. Networks are expected to deliver technology efficiently, both technically and financially.
  • Scalability: It is of utmost importance to keep the future of your network in mind. Remember that your environment will grow as your business requirements change over time. You don’t want to be caught on the back foot due to a lack of foresight.

Utilise an NMS to aid you with network planning

Network management software is an invaluable tool in the planning and analysis of WANs. Leveraging the benefits of having a comprehensive perspective of your environment will aid in the thorough planning of expansion projects. With the ever-growing number of devices joining WANs, IT departments will continually need greater insights into what is happening on their systems and consistently plan ahead to accommodate capacity requirements.

Image credit: SQL Server Performance Tuning