A computer network architect designs all kinds of data communication networks – from small ones (e.g., LANs) to extensive networks connecting whole areas (e.g., WANs). Network architects are greatly sought out and the job position is among the highest paid ones. The professionals must have extensive knowledge not only of engineering-related matters, but also of their company’s business plan (e.g., one company might need an intranet; another one a LAN, etc.).
What is Network Architecture?
Network architecture is the layout of the network. A network consists of transmission equipment, communication protocols, software, and infrastructure. Network architects make sure that connectivity between the components is uninterrupted.
The duties of a network architect cannot be dissected to the tiniest detail for one simple reason: the market changes at all times. I.e., developments in cloud computing now inevitably push the market towards a completely new approach in network architecture.
Moreover, network architects spend considerable time predicting networking trends of the future. This is done in various ways, e.g., by analyzing current data traffic and estimating its growth. To be able to meet all future needs, network architects must keep up to date with latest developments in the field, including hardware and software technologies. Last but not least, it is the job of a network architect to maintain network security.
At a glance, these are some of the most common network architects’ duties:
Creating layouts for data communication networks;
Keeping security in mind when designing networks;
Upgrading hardware (routers) and software (drivers) to attain best network performance;
Presenting designs to management.
Sometimes, network architects may be required to work closely with computer hardware engineers. The engineers help build the networks designed by the architect.