Top SMB networking tips for resellers and service providers

Learn how to choose and implement networking technologies for your small and midsized customers. These tips cover firewall architecture, VPNs, hybrid PBXs and more.

Small and midsized business networks require much of the same network hardware needed by enterprise networks, but SMB routers, firewalls and other network appliances should be tailored for smaller networks. These tips show value-added resellers (VARs) and service providers how to choose and implement network hardware and software for their SMB customers.

TIP #1----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Firewall architectures for SMB networks

Basic firewall architectures -- dual firewalls and bastion host firewalls -- are a vital part of any company's network perimeter defense. VARs and service providers are in a good position to help their SMB customers carefully plan the set up and administration of a firewall and IDS in order to keep the project manageable and within budget. This tip describes how to do so.

TIP #2----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Choosing the right VPN for your customer: VPN options

Your SMB customer probably knows they need a virtual private network -- but not necessarily which one. This tip describes the IPsec VPN, SSL VPN and OpenVPN, and which one is the best fit for a small or medium business.

TIP #3----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VoIP migration made simple with hybrid PBXs

Despite the clear advantages offered by voice over IP (VoIP), SMBs may be hesitant to rip out an existing phone system and replace it with an IP PBX. VARs and systems integrators can meet customers half way with a hybrid PBX, as described in this tip.

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How to choose the best router for your customer

This tip describes why you may need to recommend a new router to your customer and how to choose a router to recommend. The author outlines specific SMB offerings from Cisco, Nortel and 3Com, to enable VARs and service providers to choose a router that is backed up by strong vendor support.

TIP #5----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SMB network appliances

As the supply and demand for network and security tools increases for SMBs, so do the options for SMB network appliances that combine network security services, multiport switching and a broadband link. This tip offers a sampling of products available to VARs and networking consultants specializing in SMB networks.

Next Steps

Get more tips on selling and implementing SMB networking technologies in our project guide

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