Your computer network, much like a good story, is comprised of several elements. An IT environment is a lot like a web; each individual piece works together to create the digital tapestry that allows you to conduct your business.

Behind the scenes, your workstation is connected to your company’s information through various network resources (the individual threads of Charlotte’s web).

While your workstation is made up of various pieces, it communicates with your network through something called a NIC (Network Interface Card). You’ll be able to see where the spiderweb begins since this is where your network cable plugs into. Data is transmitted through your network and fed into a hub or a switch that, in turn, passes it along to other network components, such as your server. The spider’s strands connect every piece of your network, creating an entire web!

Just like any other functioning relationship, that communication works both ways. While your workstation is sending data, it’s also receiving information that allows it to successfully retrieve everything—from your Excel spreadsheets to your emails. These components sit behind your router or firewall, the gatekeeper between your office and the rest of the worldwide web. Imagine each computer connected by a spider’s thread creating one massive gossamer! Every time you Google an article or sign onto your favorite social media page, your router decides where that request goes. If your request is allowed, the router ultimately passes the response back to your computer. Your information is then delivered and you end up with the speedy desktop experience you expect.

These exchanges happen constantly, and you would never know it—until one of those pieces stops functioning.

As soon as one string from your local web is pulled, the entire process can come to a screeching halt. That’s why it’s important to consider your network’s health as a whole and not exclusively as individual pieces. Paying special attention to one piece of the web is only part of having a healthy, optimized network that communicates effectively.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave! When making decisions for how best to assemble your network, it’s important to realize that each piece affects the other. Lightning-fast internet might have sounded great when you signed up, but if your router isn’t capable of handling those high speeds, you’ll still be waiting quite a while for your files to download.

The moral of the story? Your network allows your business to run efficiently, and it’s a complicated system that relies on a lot of moving parts. The next time you’re getting ready to make an investment in your technology infrastructure and company productivity, let IT Radix help you weave together the internal intricacies of your businesses’ network. Keep in mind…your network is only as strong as its weakest link. So give us a call today!

First published in our September 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter