Would you build your dream house and spend a lot of money on the furnishing and decorating but not make sure it had a strong foundation to hold it up? Would you expect the bridges you drive over every day not to have strong footings to hold up the structure?
Of course not, but many organizations spend a great deal of money on their servers, applications and workstations without reviewing the foundation that holds everything together. The easily overlooked IT foundation includes the switches, routers and even the wiring that connects the systems together.
For example, we often find situations where switches are daisy chained together, causing workstations to go through many hops to get servers. Even if workstations are connected to a GB port on the switch, they may have 24 people all connected at a GB competing for just one GB uplink to where the servers and Internet connections are located. That is just one example; slow switches and routers, faulty wiring and poor network design can all lead to network slowness and frustrated users. Management can also get frustrated when they have spent large amounts of money on servers and new workstations to support a new application but did not allocate money for the foundation, and network performance is still poor.
When building an IT infrastructure, even if the services users are trying to reach are in the cloud, there is no substitute for a solid foundation. Bottlenecks and slow network equipment must be eliminated to avoid creating frustration for your users and causing them to blame the new applications that may have been deployed.
Building or shoring up the foundation is not always inexpensive, but if it keeps your dream house from crumbling, it is certainly worth the expense.