Considerations for Using Network Design Apps on Smaller Networks

Posted on: 25 January 2016

As a networking administrator for a small business, you may be tasked with both implementing the network design and coming up with ways to cut costs in the networking department. One design tool you may have considered using is a networking app. These apps are available, like most apps, to the general public and can save a fair amount of money over buying more costly larger software packages. if this is something you are considering, you may want to consider a few key points of what the apps can do as well as what to look for in an app for your businesses network needs.

Do You Need Diagramming Features?

You probably already have a network diagram set up for the business, but that diagram may not always be the best option. This is especially true if the business plans on expanding or if they plan on updating the network anytime in the near future. Having an app that has a primary function of network diagramming may be an ideal option. This type of app will allow you to make changes to the network, it will allow you to see where changes can be made to allow more efficiency in the current network. It can also help troubleshoot problems with networking diagram plans before they become reality.

Who Needs Access?

When you are looking at apps for your networking department and network design, a key point to consider is who will need to access the app program. If it will just be yourself and a handful of other networking staffers, then a smaller often free app may be the best option. If you have a multitude of people from different departments, or even branch offices, that will need to access the networking design app you may need to consider an app with cloud storage and multiple account capability. This will allow anyone who needs to access or make changes to the network design the ability to login and take care of their project needs while others are also using the program. It will also allow for changes to be made so that another individual can be logged in simultaneously and see those changes or notes in real time.

What Operating Systems Will be Used?

The truth is, not every company can afford to give their employees the same tablet or smartphone. This means you may have not only multiple users using the app you choose, but also multiple platforms. A key consideration for the app you choose is the compatibility and availability it has across the platforms. You also want to make sure that you can sync the app with your desktop computer programs so you can make necessary changes in the office and view those changes when you are working with the actual network design or a specific point in the network regardless of its physical location.

By keeping these three key considerations in mind, you can choose an app that will serve a large amount of your network design needs. You may also find that a grouping of various apps will help fill in gaps across the board to not only design, but also remotely maintain the network.