Network designs vary depending on the size and requirements of the business.
For example, the networking infrastructure needs of a small organisation with fewer devices will obviously be less complex than the infrastructure of a large organisation with a significant number of devices and connections. Regardless of network size or requirements, a critical factor for the successful implementation of any network design is to follow good structured engineering principles.
These principles include:
A hierarchical network model is a useful high-level tool for designing a reliable network infrastructure. It breaks the complex problem of network design into smaller and more manageable areas.
By separating the various functions that exist on a network into modules, the network is easier to design. Best practises identify several modules, including the enterprise campus, services block, data center, and Internet edge.
The network must remain available for use under both normal and abnormal conditions. Normal conditions include normal or expected traffic flows and traffic patterns, as well as scheduled events such as maintenance windows. Abnormal conditions include hardware or software failures, extreme traffic loads, unusual traffic patterns, denial-of-service (DoS) events – whether intentional or unintentional – and other unplanned events.
The ability to modify portions of the network, add new services, or increase capacity without going through a major forklift upgrade (i.e. replacing major hardware devices).
To meet these fundamental design goals, a network must be built on a hierarchical network architecture that allows for both flexibility and growth.
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