Network Architecture & Engineering

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While these terms are often used interchangeably...

They are quite different.  Architecture refers to the overall design and layout of the network and engineering is the configurations and settings that make the network work properly.  In other words, architecture is the plan and engineering is making it all work.

Like a building must have a good foundation in order to be safe, a network must be designed and architected properly in order to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data on that network.  From the basics of where to place screening routers, firewalls, DMZ (service net), internal routers, switches, VPNs, and IDS/IPS devices in your network to more advanced topics such as the identification and authentication solution (PKI), host-based IDS/IPS, patches/update plan, backups, HVAC, power, communications links, and policies, procedures, and guidelines for the network.  All of these things and many more must be addressed in order to have a secure and reliable network. 

Once the plan has been drafted and approved it must be properly implemented.  This is where engineering comes in.  Being able to take the plans and requirements and make them work in the real world can be very challenging.  It requires years of experience, training, and the ability to understand the concepts of the architecture and implement them in the various network devices.  High quality network engineers are key to ensuring that everything works without interfering with other devices while providing security as well as reliability.

RPI Group engineers have more than 40 years’ experience with network architecture/design and engineering to include very large data centers in DOD and commercial environments.