Learning Guide

IP network design: A learning guide

A competent network design is the basis for a successful network implementation, but the heterogeneous nature of modern applications has made the design of IP networks more challenging than ever before. Along with traditional data applications, customers rely on their IP networks for real-time applications such as voice, video and multimedia. This Learning Guide delves into the various aspects of network design to help value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators build predictable and consistent IP networks for their customers.

  • Tip:

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  • The importance of a network design plan
    There are the networks that have clearly been well designed and there are those that have been pieced together over time. A network that has been well designed is characterized by predictability and consistency, as demonstrated in this tip.

  • Tip: Achieving network design objectives
    The network design process should be driven by a set of objectives. This tip will help you identify and achieve appropriate objectives when designing your customers' IP-based networks.

  • Tip: Network design principles
    Adhering to key principles that contribute to a successful network design can save you from making easily avoidable mistakes. This tip outlines best practices for designing IP-based networks.

  • Tip: Formulating a scalable IP addressing plan
    A scalable IP addressing plan will support your customer's network as it grows. This tip explains how to use variable-length subnet masking (VLSM) and route summarization to create a scalable IP addressing plan.

  • Tip: IP address planning: Choosing a routing protocol
    Choosing the appropriate routing protocol is critical to an IP addressing plan. This tip explores the parameters used to evaluate the suitability of a routing protocol. The different characteristics of IP routing protocols are described along with the operation of industry standard protocols such as RIP and OSPF.

  • Tip: Designing a WAN infrastructure
    The WAN is the single biggest contributor to a corporate network's cost of ownership. Therefore, this is the area where the cost-versus-performance tradeoff is most pronounced and most critical. This tip explores the various alternatives that must be evaluated when choosing and designing your customer's WAN infrastructure.

  • Tip: Designing a campus LAN
    This tip explores the issues encountered with campus LAN design, including the techniques for ensuring a scalable and resilient campus network design.

This was first published in August 2007

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