One way to understand your IT infrastructure is to see it as a jigsaw puzzle. Numerous separate items of technology all come together to create a bigger picture. Without all the puzzle pieces the picture is incomplete and the solution won’t work optimally. The good news is that network design and solving IT puzzles are our specialty.

If you’ve ever tried to complete a jigsaw puzzle, you’ll know it takes ages! It’s the same with your IT network. Getting a handle on the ins and outs of its architecture requires a considerable time investment, and it’s not as much fun as doing a jigsaw puzzle with your family. If you’re not experienced, trying to set up a business IT network can be the opposite of fun. Business owners don’t typically have endless hours to spare for IT puzzle-solving and would rather devote their time to other aspects of their work.

There are ways you can make the process faster and easier, whether you’re dealing with your IT infrastructure or a jigsaw puzzle. There are guidelines to follow, and experienced puzzle-solvers develop approaches to speed up putting those hundreds of pieces of puzzle together. When you’re building your own IT infrastructure you can pick up some tips from jigsaw fans to help you achieve your goal.

Begin with the Edges

Compiling a jigsaw puzzle usually starts when you tip out all the pieces and turn them all face-up. The next step is to find all the pieces with a straight edge and put them together so your jigsaw picture has a frame that you can fill in. For your network design, think of it as like having a technology roadmap before you start building. When you’re creating your network you’ll need to have this kind of frame, consisting of pre-established parameters regarding your budget and the components you want to include. Without a technology roadmap and considered boundaries you’re likely to exceed your budget, over-purchase equipment and set yourself up for wasting precious time.

Focus on the Big Pieces First

When you’ve created your puzzle border, you’re ready to fill in the picture. The best way to proceed is to pick out the pieces that belong to the puzzle’s main theme. Let’s say it’s a magnificent white horse, with a backdrop of a glowing sunset. You should start by separating the white pieces from the pieces with sunset colors and try to put the horse together.

The network-building equivalent is your server, which is your biggest object. You’ll need to select a server that’s right for your needs and your budget, and has the power and capacity to be able to handle growth in your business over the next five years at least.

Smaller Objects

When you’ve assembled the horse you’re ready for the other objects in the picture, like the sun, sky, clouds and any landscape features, like trees or hills. You’ll place these in the correct position relative to the main object, which is the horse. It will become easier and easier to see where the pieces go and to connect everything together. With your IT network you’ll be connecting all the other components of your system, such as workstations, routers, peripherals and anything else your business uses.

The Big Picture

To complete your puzzle so you can see a seamless big picture, it’s a matter of slotting the remaining pieces into any remaining gaps. This is the easy part, and because you’ve approached your puzzle logically and systematically it shouldn’t take long to wrap it all up. Shopping for equipment, setting it up and the final step – getting up and running – is a whole lot easier if you start with a good plan.

If you don’t have a plan when creating your IT infrastructure then it’s more like compiling a jigsaw without the picture on the box to help you. A roadmap for the task and careful preparation before you start will save you time and money. At Quikteks, we’re really good at puzzles, thanks to our experience with network design. If you’re battling with a puzzle, or need help creating and installing your network, call us for assistance at (973) 882-4644.