Leadership Insights – Local Area Network (LAN) Design Done Right

What is “right” for your organization as it adopts new IP and IoT endpoints?

John Croce – CEO, NVT Phybridge

3 minute read time

What does “right” mean when it comes to LAN design? Webster’s Dictionary defines right as “being or following what is just, good or proper.” This definition has conflict when it comes to LAN design. What is just or good for you may, at the same time, not be considered proper by you. Confused? Let me explain.

Whenever new disruptive technologies or processes are introduced ( for example, emails to share documents versus fax machines), some may resist the change – believing it is not “proper” because the standard way, as per company policy, is to send documents by fax. As CBC’s Thomas Daigle explains, the Province of Ontario is only now moving away from fax machines as a communication method in the healthcare sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inefficiencies of maintaining dated methodologies to resolve modern problems.

Proper. When I hear this word, I think of Albert Einstein’s quote, “never let your education get in the way of your learning.” What we perceive as proper (often the best practices established based on past education/experiences) will often cause us to resist learning about new technologies or innovative ways to support better outcomes. Additionally, some industry players (like the manufacturers of fax machines) will stifle innovation to prevent their products/services from becoming obsolete, often reinforcing existing and outdated methods as “the right way.”

This brings up the question; what is the right way? What is right is dependent on perspective and motivation. At NVT Phybridge, our mission is to help organizations optimize their IoT modernization the “right way.” We view what is right from the end user’s perspective. We also want to ensure we support the right way for those who serve the end-user, our valued system integrators, and manufacturing partners.

What is the right LAN design for the end-user for enabling IP and the Internet of Things? We asked customers what they would see as just and good, and this is what they told us:

  • A LAN design that ensures network security and minimizes potential cyber-attacks.
  • A LAN design that ensures a robust network for all endpoints.
  • A LAN design that never compromises the core business. For example, a casino’s network was hacked through an IoT fish tank sensor.
  • A non-disruptive and risk-free way to test and implement IP endpoints and applications in their business.
  • A LAN design that improves ROI by allocating budget away from infrastructure and towards devices and applications.
  • A LAN design that reduces network complexity and day two costs.
  • A LAN design that is flexible and will support future growth requirements
  • A LAN design that does not put undue stress on IT and application teams, given the ever-changing characteristics of a business network.

If you start from the outcomes that customers define as right, you will quickly conclude that the traditional approach of ripping and replacing infrastructure is wrong. It is like using fax machines to share documents. Of course, it works. But it is slow, inefficient, and outdated.

So why is ripping and replacing existing infrastructure the wrong way? Consider an organization that wants to modernize its communication or security systems with IP devices. They are advised that the proper way is to rip-and-replace the existing infrastructure that has proven reliable for many years and is paid for. These organizations will need new cabling and new switches and address new IDF closet requirements, all while layering the new devices on the same network managing the core business. Remember the fish tank story? This is not the right way, as this method leads to:

  • Accepting risk and disruption.
  • Compromising security and making security management more complex and costly.
  • Spending more than is required on the network to support IP and IoT devices.
  • Higher day two management costs.

Albert Einstein also said, “you can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem.” The root cause of the problem is that traditional network switches have reach and cable type limitations, and all the attempted fixes were from this limiting paradigm. It doesn’t have to be that way if you are willing to learn about innovation and not allow your education to keep you thinking about what is proper versus what is just and good for you and your organization.

Modern LAN principles and NVT Phybridge PoE Innovations help organizations avoid all the wrongs associated with removing and replacing existing infrastructure, creating a robust and secure LAN design for IP and IoT solutions. The most powerful federal agency in the world, the leader in space research, and thousands of other organizations have levered these innovations to create better IP modernization outcomes. We want to do the same for you by offering you a no-obligation proof of concept trial. For NVT Phybridge, the best customer IP modernization outcome is what defines right, and fighting a deep routed paradigm of what is considered proper (rip-and-replace) is worth fighting for. Let us fight for you.

If you have an upcoming IP/IoT modernization project, we would love to help! Click below to book a one-on-one meeting with one of our Digital Transformation Consultants.

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