Network and ServersNetwork have been a significant part of my work life for more than 25 years. I will not trust myself to work with very large networks today but SMB basically have the same issues only with cheaper and simpler solutions.
Security, a word with more meanings.
Availability is by far the most important.
Today this will be almost synonymous with internet access.
Does this mean You have to have alternative cabling in case someone happens to cut Your primary cable?
Does this mean more ISP's (Internet Service Providers) or maybe a backup line?
Are You sitting in a location with a slow and unreliable connection and is it possible to improve on that within a fair budget?
How much redundancy do You need in your network to insure continued running of your business even if a device is down?
Is your environment inducing problems on your cabled network say from high voltage cables?
Is your WiFi (Wireless network) troubled by thick walls or other items blocking part of the coverage?
Do You need access to company data from home or while on the road?
Survaillance is a must in a large and complicated network but do You need it in yours? I don't
It may be nice to have when diagnosing problems or if You want me to attend to your network on a daily basis (from a distance). I may give indications of problems coming up.
My advice is to consider the subject and make a deliberate choice. It may not cost much but it is of no use unless someone check up on it regularly.
Acccess controle. This is all about hacking and legal responsibilities.
If You are the registered owner of an internet connection You are legally responsible for its use including sharing of copyrighted material.
Also You don't want hackers to snoop around inside your firewall potentially learning company secrets.
On the other hand You do want easy access for You and the staff.
Economy.Economy is a very important part of a network design and the daily use of it.
Yes, You can get state of the art devices and design but at a price. The real art is to find the right balance between price, performance and functionality.
The right balance will ensure your business goals but without excessive spending.
The math is quite simple: "probability for a break down" times "price in the event of a break down". This calculation will be the upper limit for the investment. Even though it is easy math it may be difficult to set the numbers. What will the cost of a day without internet be? Will You loose business? Will You loose customers? Will You loose work time - or is it of no great concern as long as it is for only one day?
Servers.You may already have a few hidden somewhere? ;-)
Is it time for an update i.e. hardware, security patches or user administration?
Are they performing well? Do they offer the service You need to reach your business goals?
Is it a good idea to house them yourself or would it be better to outsource it and buy the service as a service (cloud).
I have installed a lot of servers and I have a lot of experience trouble shooting and maintaining servers. I have primarily worked with windows based servers (and OS/2 and DOS in prehistoric times :-)) I do however have a Linux server myself (running samba, MySQL, DHCP, dynamic/cache DNS, DLNA - and offering service for two users :-)).