- Alan Kay, "Computer Software", Scientific American, September 1984
Building an Adaptable Infrastructure
Proper architecture design is difficult; you won't get the right design on the first try. That's why, when designing a network, you first select a prototype, look at it on paper, and consider all the implications apparent there. For example, "How will we get our network connection across the street? Is there conduit running beneath our two buildings? Is the closet where we want to put the hubs made completely secure? Or is it also used to house the copy machine?"
Another place to spot design flaws early is in other people's networks. Your vendors should be able to provide you with a list of other clients who have installed their equipment or services. Take a day to visit them, and ask, "What were your main problems and successes with this equipment or service? What do you wish you had done in its implementation that you didn't do?"
Incremental design changes will develop through each iteration of your design phase. Embrace the challenge because it will give you a chance to show off all the wonderful things you learned in this article. If everything is designed properly and implemented well, people will start calling you guru. Your confidence will improve and your stocks will split. Design or implement poorly, and your management and userbase will hunt you down like torch-bearing peasants marching on Frankenstein's castle.