Plan a Smooth Transition to a Multi-Site Network

Your enterprise is growing, in both the number of locations and the scope of services. Your teams are accessing new applications in the cloud, and your expanding team is anything but centralized. Remote employees and branch locations require uninterrupted connectivity and the ability to access a consistent work experience from anywhere. Rein in this complexity with a well-managed multi-site network.

When cloud solutions and branch locations multiply, enterprises naturally look at their network to determine how changes will affect performance and increased bandwidth demands. Each new cloud solution or additional endpoint device not only adds complexity to network pathways but also complicates network security.

It often only becomes clear after a major cloud transition that the network is ill-equipped to handle resulting bandwidth demands, congestion, or security issues. This leaves IT network infrastructure teams scrambling to address problems. They often look first to bandwidth levels, contacting their Internet service provider (ISP) for an increase, but leaving the network still unprepared for the demands of cloud solutions and Internet of Things (IoT) traffic.

The solution generally arrives in the form of an infrastructure change, resulting in a multi-site network that can intelligently route traffic based on bandwidth requirements, current congestion circumstances and security needs. Launching a multi-site network requires an in-depth understanding of how multi-site networks operate. Enterprises often find that outsourcing network deployment to an experienced team is the most beneficial approach.

The Role of Field Engineers

Traditionally, enterprises hired network teams that traveled from site to site, solving interruptions in connectivity and overseeing any infrastructure changes. That model is increasingly being replaced by investments in outsourced technology partners that dedicate field engineers for the successful deployment of a multi-site network.

These outsourced field engineers are available at any time to oversee a new network solution’s deployment, freeing up enterprise employees to focus on core business objectives. Take a look at some common steps that field engineers complete to ensure a successful transition to the new infrastructure:

Site Survey: A service provider begins by conducting a complete site survey to better understand the requirements for a multi-site network and the project’s scope. This information will help the provider create a comprehensive strategy for preventing any unexpected challenges during deployment, as well as proactively address common pitfalls.

Customer Premises Equipment: For the next step of executing the plan, the field engineers will assess the mounts, cabinets, and racks to ensure suitability. Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) includes servers, routers, switches, voice gateways, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones. Field engineers will take an inventory of CPE, order any missing items, and handle the set-up and installation.

Activation: The activation of the WAN circuit will allow your computers to connect over geographical distances by linking each location’s local area network (LAN). While activation is generally a simple process, there can be issues such as loss of signal strength. An on-site field engineer ensures that these issues are quickly resolved so that you don’t experience any lengthy work interruptions.

LAN Cutover: Connecting multiple LANs from various sites can introduce some risk, specifically related to the functionality of applications and systems for each site. A lack of careful planning or the failure to respond to the first indication that there’s an issue can cause the site to lose connectivity and software to fail.

This is where an experienced field engineer that specializes in multi-site network deployment can ensure uninterrupted business. Your specialist in cutover LAN cutover implementation will conduct comprehensive testing to verify successful deployment. These are often referred to as the Network is Ready For Use (NRFU) tests.

Handover: Finally, once all testing is completed, the field engineer will turn the control of the multi-site network over to the enterprise. Your provider should continue to offer problem resolution as issues arise, to avoid lengthy downtimes.

Multi-site network deployment ensures that your enterprise can engage in consistent business processes, and access shared systems, data, and applications for seamless productivity. For any enterprise investing in cloud solutions or introducing remote work options for employees, the decision to implement a multi-site network is an easy one.

However, realizing these goals without incident may be another thing altogether. Not all outsourcing providers for multi-site networking solutions are created equal, so be sure to partner with one that provides the support you need during deployment. They should fully understand your reasons for implementing a new infrastructure and have extensive experience with similar environments.

At TailWind, our on-site certified technicians ensure that seamless deployment of every multi-site network solution. We allow you to focus on your business’s core objectives while we handle your infrastructure changes to support your expanding enterprise. Contact us to discuss the right networking solution for your business needs.