Overview of Modern Corporate Network Architecture
Corporate networking has a relatively long history spanning six decades and can be traced back to the early days of computer technology. Today our devices switch effortlessly between networks and our data seamlessly hops across the globe in order to keep our information flowing on the optimal path. The networks we rely on each day have come a long way from simply connecting two mainframes in the same building by wire to managing millions of devices across diverse wired and wireless connections. Over the past 60 years, the networks that power our lives and livelihoods have revolutionized the sharing of information. Here are a few key milestones in the development of corporate networking:
- 1960s: The first computer networks were created, primarily for the purpose of sharing resources such as mainframe computers. These early networks were typically limited to a single location and were primarily used by government and academic institutions.
- 1970s: The development of the TCP/IP protocol suite in the 1970s laid the foundation for the modern internet. This allowed for the creation of networks that could span multiple locations and connect different types of computers.
- 1980s: Local Area Networks (LANs) began to be widely adopted by businesses. LANs allowed for the sharing of resources such as printers and files within a single office or building.
- 1990s: The widespread adoption of the internet and the development of the World Wide Web (WWW) led to an increase in the use of Wide Area Networks (WANs) for corporate networking. WANs allowed for the connection of multiple LANs over large geographic distances.
- 2000s: The emergence of virtualization and cloud computing changed the way networks were used, providing more flexibility and scalability for organizations.
- 2010s: Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) emerged as a way to control and manage network infrastructure through software. This provides a more dynamic and flexible way to manage networks and has been widely adopted by the industry.
- 2020s: 5G Network, Cloud Networking, IoT, Cybersecurity, and Remote working are the trends in corporate networking. The use of 5G networks, Cloud Networking, IoT devices, and remote working has increased significantly, providing faster and more reliable connections and enabling businesses to support more devices and users. At the same time, the increased use of these technologies has increased the importance of cybersecurity.
As the corporate networking field continues to evolve, new technologies, trends, and advances in protocols will shape the way networks are designed, built, and used in the future.
Modern corporate network architecture refers to the design and organization of computer networks within a business or organization. It typically involves a combination of several different technologies and protocols in order to provide a secure and reliable network infrastructure. Today, a typical modern corporate network architecture includes the following components:
- Firewall: A firewall is a security device that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It is typically placed at the perimeter of the network to protect against unauthorized access and cyber-attacks.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN is a way of securely connecting remote users or devices to the corporate network. It uses encryption to protect data as it travels over the internet.
- Routers and Switches: Routers and switches are network devices that forward and filter network traffic. They are used to connect different parts of the network and to control the flow of data.
- Wireless Access Points (WAPs): WAPs provide wireless connectivity for devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. They allow users to connect to the network without the need for cables.
- Intrusion Detection System (IDS)/ Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): IDS and IPS are security devices that monitor the network for suspicious activity and can take action to prevent or block it.
- Load balancer: Load balancers are devices that distribute incoming network traffic across multiple servers. They can help to ensure that the network remains available and responsive even during periods of high traffic.
- Cloud Integration: Cloud integration allows access and utilization of cloud resources and services like Software as a service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offered by cloud providers.
- Network segmentation: Network segmentation is the process of dividing a network into smaller, isolated segments. This can help to improve security by limiting the spread of any potential breaches or malware.
- SD-WAN: Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a technology that allows for the management of wide area network (WAN) connections. SD-WAN uses software to dynamically control and optimize network traffic over multiple types of connections, resulting in more efficient and cost-effective WAN connections.
These are just a few examples of the components that may be included in a modern corporate network architecture. The specific requirements of a corporate network will vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization, physical location geography, as well as its security and compliance requirements. Modern networks have evolved rapidly in recent years, contact us to ensure yours is up-to-date and not becoming a historical relic.