Any organisation with several computers or software platforms needs a network administrator to keep everything running smoothly, and to co-ordinate the different systems.
With networks we aim to avoid unscheduled downtime, so services and data are always available. We eliminate single points of failure wherever possible; we do this by avoiding the use of cheap components that can fail. We usually consider having spare equipment in the customer’s IT room so there is always backup available.
MTC engineers collect statistics from network equipment to find out if a client is to run out of capacity in the near future.
MTC always recommend the fastest internet connection possible for your business so the network experiences zero delays with emails, website browsing, cloud backups, Remote Desktop Connections (RDP), and Terminal Server access.
An offices network cabling, server racks, and communications cabinets should be kept in excellent condition. With new clients, we like to conduct site audits as soon as possible. As part of this, we look at the office cabling. A well laid out, professionally organised structured cabling layout is an indication of a well maintained network. If your network is disorganised, you can experience frequent outages, and internet dropouts. Your computers can’t communicate with the servers, and network drives become unavailable. PC’s also can fail to save important work to file servers. If a computer drops off the network as it loses connection to a router, troubleshooting the point of failure becomes really difficult and time consuming if the cabling is a mess and not labelled with port numbers.
On our first audit we can get an idea of what your businesses data connectivity is like. We can check server logs, the network equipment logs, run ping tests from the PC’s. We then check the age and reliability of the vital network equipment. Next we talk to yourself the owners, and your staff to see who is experiencing what dilemmas with the network.
We can also talk to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) on your behalf, or organise a meeting and sit in on it at your request; to ask the ISP representative what the terms of the current Internet and Phone Contracts are, how long they have left, and are there any cost benefits to updating them, or are there better alternatives around from competing ISP’s? After researching these things, we can explain to you exactly where you stand in terms of data and voice suppliers and if these can be improved or streamlined.
Case Study #1:
MadTECH Computers took over the IT Contract at a private Catholic School which consisted supporting a domain of 4 servers, 200+ desktop pc’s, tablets and laptops. There was a staff of 40, and we were on site 24 hours a week. At the beginning, the network had already been replaced with fibre from the demarcation to the IT room. There was also fibre backbone between school buildings, and Gigabit cabling inside the buildings and to the wall jacks.
At the start we were experiencing network collisions. A network collision is sometimes caused by faulty network components that are flooding the network with packets. Packets are parcels of data that are sent over the wire of the network from one PC to another. At the server rack we could see lights flashing on the fibre switch. By unplugging each block one by one, we could narrow down which block was causing the collisions. We unplugged that buildings switch, which brought it down from the domain, but brought the rest of the domain up so the school was brought back online.
We then went to that block, and to the blocks communications cabinet. I could see orange flashing lights on the switch there, and commenced unplugging patch cables one by one until I found the faulty port number. This corresponded to a classroom, and upon investigation, we found an old 100MB/S 5 port switch. Once unplugged, the collisions stopped. We then went through the entire school looking for 100MB switches, and replacing them with Gigabit switches. This brought the whole network in line with the Gigabit network, and also ensured there was no older network equipment that could cause problems in the future.
Case Study #2
There was a client that had a communication cabinet measuring over 2m high, containing hundreds of cables, both fibre optic and copper. It also had fibre switches, Gigabit switches, servers, UPS, and Telstra leased equipment. The cabling was so disorganised the door wouldn’t shut on the cabinet, there was no organisation of cabling and corresponding port numbers.
The UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) was not monitored, the critical network components weren’t plugged into the battery backup either. I talked to the client, and recommended an overhaul of the cabinet. I provided a quote, including list of parts, and forecast network downtime of three business days to complete the project.
Once the quote was accepted, we booked the job for the next holiday break where there would be no staff on site to be affected.
The job entailed the following:
- Replacing all patch (network cables) that had broken clips on the end, so they now clipped and locked into place.
- Installed two side rails in the cabinet floor to ceiling, to route the cables in. These had face plates that clipped on so all cabling that ran down the sides was concealed.
- Installed rack mounted cable tidies in between the switches so all cables leading to the jacks was tidied away.
- Replaced out of date and equipment not covered by warranty with new equipment.
- Installed the door and locked it, and put spare keys in office safe, now keeping all vital network equipment locked away so staff and contractors had no access unless authorised.