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Pretend you could take your current IT infrastructure and start fresh, what would you include? What things do you wish you'd done from the start that would make your life easier, your network more efficient, or just make life better for the users?

Things like:

  • Servers, virtualisation, mainframes etc.
  • Networking equipment
  • Clients, thick or thin clients, everyone with netbooks etc.

What would you do if you had a clean slate greenfield project with no restrictions to setup the perfect network?

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Are you talking about just network equipment like switches and routers, or including servers and workstations? – Adam Brand Jul 16 '09 at 18:09
I was considering everything, network equipment, servers, even clients, would you use thin or thick clients etc. – Sam Jul 16 '09 at 18:12
"Unlimited (within reason)" - admit it, you work for an ISP! – David Spillett Jul 16 '09 at 18:19
This question is meaningless with out a purpose for the network. – Cian Jul 16 '09 at 18:24
Seconded. Is there some particular part of your existing network that you're not happy with. Maybe then some suggestions can come your way. This is an unbelievably open ended question. – Tatas Jul 17 '09 at 17:21
up vote 6 down vote accepted

That's too wide open to make any concrete statements about. Gold-plated Ethernet switches? Gigantic workstation-class PCs for every user? You're going to get different answers from different people.

Okay, okay... I'll bite. What I do want would be:

  • Application software that doesn't use crappy "technologies" and doesn't "suck" (client/server database engines, directory-service integrated authentication, good error reporting, operating-system native software package installation, sensible WAN bandwidth requirements, vendor tech support contacts, decent documentation for sysadmins and users)

  • Clear policies from mangement with respect to:

    • Permissions, retention policy, and organization of shared data areas on server computers

    • Email retention / deletion policy, acceptable use

    • Acceptable computer / Internet usage policies (to be enforced by non-technical managers, rather than by IT!)

    • Backup requirements, including retention periods, restoration SLA

    • Non-company-owned equipment policies (attachment to the network, installing of company software onto, etc)

  • Buy-in from management to make proactive infrastructure / service monitoring, performance monitoring and optimization, automated deployment of new hardware / software, strict change control procedures, hardware lifecycle management, security, disaster planning and recovery, and user training all priorities (with money allocated to them)

The technical side would be a piece of cake if I had all of this!

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Evan... gold plated switches? You think too small... all IT staff need a gold and diamond encrusted wall plate that they can string around their neck with a length of gold CAT6, letting every person know them for the cool cats they are... :-p – RascalKing Jul 16 '09 at 18:50
Dont forget your patch cables. – JS. Jul 16 '09 at 19:23

The NOC (my desk) would have to be huge to allow space for all the 50 inch monitors.

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Fiber backbone. Server room of suitable size with proper security and AC systems. Rack up some physical servers and create small portable VMs for each server role : LDAP, remote access, communications, etc.

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