For the modern business, a network is critical to nearly every business operation. Without a reliable network, businesses struggle to communicate, collaborate, store and access data, and conduct business-critical activities. To remain competitive, businesses need to invest in a robust and secure network infrastructure that can meet their needs today and in the future.
Network Security Appliances
Cyber threats are a constant concern. A firewall improves network security by acting as a barrier between a trusted internal network and an untrusted external network, such as the internet. A modern firewall protects your business from malicious traffic and unauthorized access, ensuring regulatory compliance and giving you full visibility and control over your network. With features like WAN optimization and traffic shaping, a firewall also improves network performance and productivity.
Here are some of the ways firewalls improve network access and security:
- Traffic Filtering: A firewall filters incoming and outgoing network traffic, allowing only authorized traffic to pass through. This helps to prevent unauthorized access to the network and blocks malicious traffic that may contain viruses, malware, or other threats.
- Access Control: Firewalls can restrict access to specific parts of the network based on predefined rules. For example, a firewall can be configured to block access to certain websites or limit access based on device or user rules.
- Intrusion Prevention: Many firewalls include intrusion prevention systems (IPS) that monitor network traffic for suspicious activity and can automatically block or alert administrators to potential threats.
- VPN Support: Firewalls can provide virtual private network (VPN) support, which allows remote workers to securely access the network from outside the office. This provides a secure connection and helps to prevent unauthorized access to the network.
- Traffic Shaping: Firewalls can also be used to manage network traffic and allocate bandwidth to ensure that critical applications and services receive priority access. This can improve network performance and help prevent network slowdowns caused by heavy traffic.
CDS proudly partners with industry leaders such as Cisco Meraki, FortiNet, Palo Alto, Sonicwall, Ubiquiti, and others to provide secure, powerful, cloud-managed firewalls. If you want to safeguard your business and its data, start with a firewall.
Managed & Unmanaged Network Switches
A network switch is a networking appliance that connects other devices together on a local area network (LAN) and allows them to communicate with each other. A switch operates at the data link layer of the OSI model and is responsible for forwarding data packets between devices on the network.
Managed and unmanaged switches differ in their level of configuration and control. An unmanaged switch is a plug-and-play device that requires no configuration and is best-suited for small network deployments. It simply forwards packets between connected devices. A managed switch, on the other hand, offers more control and configuration options, allowing network administrators to monitor and manage the network more closely. Managed switches often provide features such as VLANs, Quality of Service (QoS) management, link aggregation, and network security options.
PoE stands for Power over Ethernet, and a network switch with PoE is a switch that can provide power to devices over the same Ethernet cable used for data transmission. PoE switches are useful for powering devices such as wireless access points, IP cameras, and VoIP phones. If you have or plan to deploy multiple PoE-enabled devices on your network, a PoE switch can simplify cabling and provide power to those devices without requiring additional power cables.
Whether or not you need a managed or unmanaged network switch or a network switch with PoE depends on the specific devices you have on your network. If you have devices that require power over Ethernet, such as wireless access points or IP cameras, then a PoE switch may be necessary to power those devices. If you want to employ more sophisticated network rules and programming or generally enable greater control and improved security for your local network, a managed switch will be required. If you just need to provide basic connectivity (for example, to share a wired Internet connection or connect workstations back to a server), an unmanaged switch may be a more economical fit.
CDS proudly partners with stalwart manufacturers such as Aruba, Cisco, Dell, HPE, Meraki, NetGear, TP-Link, Ubiquiti, and more to provide top-quality network switches for our clients. Whatever your business needs, CDS can help you choose the right network switch solution for your network.
Wireless Access Points & Point-to-Point Connections
Wireless access points allow employees and customers to connect to your network wirelessly, providing greater flexibility and mobility. This can be particularly useful in environments where mobility is important, such as retail stores, warehouses, or hospitals. With wireless access, employees can work from anywhere within the coverage area of the WAP, making it easier to collaborate and share information. This can lead to increased productivity and improved operational efficiency.
Today, more devices are WiFi capable than ever before. IoT devices such as thermostats, fire alarms, access control units and more can be connected, in addition to common business devices like VoIP phones, printers/MFPs, and of course computers. Providing a fleet of WAPs capable of supporting the ever-increasing number of WiFi connected devices is critical for today’s businesses.
Additionally, deploying WAPs can be more cost-effective than running network cables throughout a building. Wireless access points eliminate the need for some additional cabling, reducing installation and maintenance costs while still providing fast and reliable network connectivity. Furthermore, expanding wireless coverage is as simple as rearranging or adding more WAPs to your network. This makes wireless networks more scalable and adaptable to changing business needs.
Wireless access points are a great way to supplement your hardwired business network to provide added flexibility.
Wireless Point-to-Point Connection
Wireless technology can also be used to beam network connectivity over longer distances to connect multiple buildings when a hardwired connection isn’t feasible. For example, if your business operates an office in one building, a separate warehouse, and a customer-facing storefront, while a fiber link to each location might be ideal, it can be difficult, expensive, and even impossible to connect these facilities with traditional wiring. In those cases, a wireless point-to-point (PtP) connection could save your business thousands of dollars while still providing high-speed and stable network links between your remote facilities.
A PtP connection is created by connecting two or more (point-to-multipoint, or PtMP) radios wireless. Generally, a PtP or PtMP connection requires some level of clear line-of-site between connected radios, but the level of clarity depends on the frequency at which the radios operate. For this reason, CDS is experienced with a broad range of wireless PtP products, ranging from 2.4GHz or less up to 60GHz and beyond. If a point-to-point solution is a good fit for you business, CDS can design a system to make it happen.
CDS is proud to provide our clients with bleeding-edge wireless technologies in partnership with leading brands like Aruba, Cambium, Meraki, MikroTik, Ubiquiti, and more.
Secure, Reliable, Manageable & Scalable Wireless Infrastructure
Thousands of organizations across every major industry category have deployed Aruba’s products to meet their campus wireless LAN, branch office, and remote networking, and network management needs. From the main campus to the home office to the mobile user, Aruba provides best-in-class products for securely connecting users to information and applications.
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company is a leading vendor or data networking solutions and is focused on bringing Wi-Fi wireless LAN mobility solutions to enterprise networks. With its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard (now Hewlett Packard Enterprise) in 2015, Aruba Networks has become the entity of Hewlett Packard Enterprise bringing to market all campus and small business data networking offerings of HPE. Its core products are wireless Access Points (APs), wired switches, mobility controllers, and network management software.
For more information, please contact us!