Network Infrastructure

Building on more than 15 years experience in the IT industry, 21 CTI is a leader in the design and implementation of local and wide area networks. Our design philosophy is to improve the existing infrastructure of your network, to allow it to grow with your company. 21 CTI also analyzes the existing network, to find its strengths and weakness, and to demonstrate how the overall performance and design can be improved. We believe sharing information with each other is one of the best ways to make a company more efficient and to enable the company to grow.

Our teams of certified professionals are well experienced in handling small to large projects, varying from small networks to full-blown Metropolitan area networks (WAN, MAN) and everything in between.

Whatever your business requires, 21 CTI can design it for you. A wide area network, Metro area network, or an international backbone, 21 CTI can provide a complete range of possibilities. We are also able to support your network should questions or concerns arise. Many questions can be answered in as little as one phone call. Others can be addressed onsite on a 24/7 basis with our staff of highly trained, certified professionals. 21CTI can provide for you, a total network solution on many platforms (Microsoft, UNIX, Linux, Novell) as well as the hardware that runs your network such as CISCO, Nortel, 3Com, Intel and most Name-Brand Networking Equipment.

Wireless Security

One issue with corporate wireless networks in general, and WLANs in particular, involves the need for security. Many early access points could not discern whether or not a particular user had authorization to access the network. Although this problem reflects issues that have long troubled many types of wired networks (it has been possible in the past for individuals to plug computers into randomly available Ethernet jacks and get access to a local network), this did not usually pose a significant problem, since many organizations had reasonably good physical security. However, the fact that radio signals bleed outside of buildings and across property lines makes physical security largely irrelevant to wardrivers. (Wardriving is the act of searching for Wi-Fi wireless networks by a person in a moving vehicle using a Wi-Fi-equipped computer)

There are three principal ways to secure a wireless network:

  • For closed networks (like home users and organizations) the by far most common way is to configure access restrictions in the access points. Those restrictions may include encryption and checks on MAC address.

  • For commercial providers, hotspots and large organizations, the preferred solution is often to have an open, unencrypted but completely isolated wireless network. The users will at first have no access to the internet nor to any local network resources. Commercial providers usually forward all web traffic to a captive portal which provides for payment and/or authorization. Another solution is to require the users to connect securely to a privileged network using VPN.

  • Wireless networks are little more secure than wired ones; in many offices intruders can easily visit and hook up their own computer to the wired network without problems, gaining access to the network, and it's also often possible for remote intruders to gain access to the network through backdoors like Back Orifice. One general solution may be end-to-end encryption, with independent authentication on all resources that shouldn't be available to the public.

Networking Infrastructure Methodology

Infrastructure Design, Analysis, and Implementation; Support and Maintenance; Intranet, VPN, LAN, and WAN; Data Communication; Multi-Tier IT Security Infrastructure, Network Loading Balance, and Redundancy; Storage, SAN Solutions, Fail-Over, and Disaster Recovery; Microsoft, UNIX, and Linux platforms;

21 CTI's Networking Infrastructure Solutions involves a series of several steps. These steps include analyzing your requirements, designing your system, and implementing the components. This process involves collaboration between 21 CTI technical personnel and various representatives from the client. The following 9 steps provide an overview of 21 CTI�s standard Networking Infrastructure Methodology:

  • Step 1: Determine Requirements
  • Step 2: Determine Solution Requirements
  • Step 3: Assess Network and Infrastructure Readiness
  • Step 4: Assess Operational Readiness
  • Step 5: Develop Site Requirements
  • Step 6: Develop a Detailed Design
  • Step 7: Develop Implementation Plan
  • Step 8: Stage and Configure Solution
  • Step 9: Install the Solution

Step 1: Determine Requirements

The first step in deploying the Network Infrastructure is to determine the requirements as determined by the client�s situation. This step involves:

  • Analyzing business operations to determine features and functions needed, including:
    1. Business needs
    2. Site requirements
    3. Availability
    4. Capacity
    5. Integration
    6. Deployment schedule
  • Review options and determine the implications of each alternative.
  • Define the components that meet requirements.

Step 2: Determine Solution Requirements

After the determination of the requirements, it is time to define the solution that meet these requirements. In this step, determination of the component and component options that meet the business and operational needs is addressed. The solution consists of the platforms and systems that make up the architecture as well as the features, functions, and applications that provide the services required.

Step 3: Assess Network and Infrastructure Readiness

Network and infrastructure readiness assessment involves the review and audit of all network infrastructure areas that will be affected by the deployment. The assessment is performed at each site where the network solution will be deployed. Items to assess include:

  • Network design (routing and switching network)
  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Power/environment
  • Network links
  • Network services

Step 4: Assess Operational Readiness

Operational readiness assessment involves determining the ability to administer and manage the recommended Networking Infrastructure Solution. Based on this assessment, it will be determined whether additional products and services are required, either temporarily or long-term, when the system is deployed.

Operational areas to consider include:

  • System configuration
  • System monitoring
  • System upgrading

Step 5: Develop Site Requirements

When developing site requirements, it is important to identify the hardware, software, and physical and environmental needs that relate to the implementation and operation of the Networking system at each location where the solution will be deployed. To assist with this process, a review of the high-level design documents will be performed to understand the component requirements for the solution at each location. The following issues will be considered in this step:

  • Solution hardware components
  • Solution software levels
  • WAN connectivity
  • Solution equipment electrical requirements
  • Solution environmental/physical space requirements
  • Solution equipment rack and cabinet locations and layouts

Step 6: Develop a Detailed Design

After developing the site requirements, it is time to develop a detailed design for the system based on the requirements identified. The detailed design will address a wide variety of issues regarding each component that will be implemented. These issues include:

  • Interoperability requirements
  • Application software requirements
  • Customer interaction requirements
  • Corporate directory architecture and requirements
  • Messaging system architecture and requirements

Step 7: Develop Your Implementation Plan

Developing an implementation plan involves defining the processes required to carry out the implementation the system. Among the necessities considered during this step are the following key factors:

  • Accurate scheduling of any site-specific actions needed prior to implementation
  • Equipment delivery and staging
  • Resource requirements for network and site-specific implementation, including third-party support requirements
  • Project phases and deadlines
  • Acceptance criteria for each project phase
  • Training

Step 8: Stage and Configure Your Solution

Staging and configuring of the system can help make final installation more efficient. For this step, the following tasks are performed:

  • Assemble the components that will be installed at each site
  • Perform basic testing of the hardware and software
  • Pre-configure of the devices as appropriate

Step 9: Install the Solution

Installing the system involves installing and re-configuring the network infrastructure and installing and setting up the system components. After verifying the readiness of the equipment, the following general steps to install the solution are performed:

  • Catalog and inventory the system components
  • Install equipment in data racks
  • Complete cabling and other physical connectivity
  • Verify that all units power up correctly
  • Capture Installation-specific information, including:
    1. Rack layouts
    2. Server placements and configurations
    3. Key connectivity specifics in routers and switches
    4. Port-specific details
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