What is Network Design? - Know everything
Network design is the planning phase of implementing computer network infrastructure. It involves analyzing and identifying how effectively all the elements of an IT network can be linked together (from switches, routers, and servers to laptops, scanners and desktop pcs) to optimize operational efficiency. Network designing is usually performed by IT administrators, network designers, and other talent from the relevant field.
Network design should be drawn out as a network diagram, which then becomes a guide for the engineers when they come to install it. A number of aspects are needed to be covered by your network infrastructure design.
There are various details, which your network infrastructure design should incorporate, these include:
- Logical map about the network to be designed
- The Cabling structure and location of all devices on the network
- IP addressing structure
- Network security architecture and complete network security processes
The Adoption of Best Practice while designing a Network
Whether you design a network for one person or a thousand, it is important to understand the requirements of those who will be using the network. Let’s see some factors which should be taken into consideration:
- Embedding the security in your design in such a way that ease of access to information is not compromised
- Integrating redundancy into your network to mitigate the risk of breakdown
- Keeping the maintenance costs in check by standardizing software and hardware.
You are not just finished here. You should be prepared for the best and the worst after the initial design is up and running. In case something go wrong, a backup recovery plan should be there. If things go as you wished for the organization then your network should be flexible enough to quickly adapt to the useful new tools to enhance efficiency.
Embedding Security in your Network:
Network security should not be an afterthought, rather something that needs to be at the very heart of your network plan. In today’s world people are more connected with mobile. They want to have access to their data while they are out of their workplace. Balancing this connectivity with security is a challenging task that needs to be there in your network design. The most important part is to understand how your network is segmented. This facet includes where data is stored, information that needs to be made accessible, who should be allowed to access it and finally what devices to be included. Network design should ensure that access servers and firewalls are secured without creating any lapses in the operations.
Standardizing Hardware and Software:
Network designing is not only about planning the hardware. It is important to understand that every new software you deploy will affect the performance of the network. So, while considering any software it’s vital to analyze how it is likely to impact the network. Standardizing of Hardware and Software reduces maintenance costs linked with updates and repairs. Carrying out an audit of computer software, hardware and peripherals will help to identify which area needs more attention and action in terms of standardization.
A rule of thumb while designing a network is to have redundant components in place for any part of a network to prepare if any component goes down. For example, having an extra wireless router on site is a good practice to ensure that lag time is kept to a minimum.
Disaster Recovery Plan:
A good disaster recovery plan includes, but is not limited to, back-up power and procedures to be followed if the network crashes. A network plan should devise a strategy for when data is to be backed up, how it is backed up and where back-up data is to be stored. In most organizations an important set of data is backed up daily. Backup data is stored in a secure location off-site.
As technology evolves, what might have been initially designed as a great network may be less appealing in the future. As mentioned before, a network design should be flexible to adapt useful new tools.
Network Concepts required to Design a Network
A few network concepts which can aid in network design are as follows.
A LAN (Local Area Network) is a network located on one site, where all the computers are geographically close to each other.
A WAN (Wide Area Network) is spread across multiple sites, sometimes geographically remote to one another. A WAN consists of several LANs connected, often using third party equipment & cables.
- Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
- Storage Area Networks (SANs)
Router: A router is required to associate a LAN to a WAN (or to the Internet).
Switch: A switch is more efficient than a hub as it can have a greater number of devices connected.
Hub: A network component used to connect several devices for star topology.
Star Topology: Where all computers and other devices are connected to a central node: either a hub or a switch.
Switch-Star Topology: To form a larger network, it is likely to combine multiple star networks using a central switch. This builds a “switch-star” topology.
Peer-to-peer networks: In this network, all computers share files & other resources between each other without the use of a central server.
Client-Server networks: In this network, end-users access the network by logging on to a client computer/workstation. Other computers called servers are also connected to the network and provide a centralized service to all the workstations.
Hierarchical Network Design: A hierarchical design is used to group devices into multiple networks. The networks are structured in a layered approach. Three basic layers for hierarchical design model are:
- Core layer: Connects distribution layer devices
- Distribution layer: Interconnects the smaller local networks
- Access layer: Offers connectivity for network hosts & end devices
Hierarchical networks have advantages over flat network designs. Devices in a flat network provide little opportunity to filter undesirable traffic. As more devices are added to a flat network, response times degrade until the network becomes unusable.
Network Design Course Offering:
The network design can be of interest to the audience like Network Administrators & Specialists, Cisco Channel Partners or Network Support Engineers. QuickStart is offering training courses for the professionals who are into networking i.e. CISCO ICND 1 or interconnecting cisco networking devices part 2.
The core objective of ICND1 certification is to help professionals develop a better understanding and sound knowledge of the following key concepts:
- Fundamentals of IPv6
- Internet Connectivity Establishment
- Networking System Fundamentals & Essentials
- Development of Basic Local Area Networks
- Security Management of Networking Devices
- Expansion of Small to Intermediate Networks Using WAN Connectivity
The course objectives for icnd2 certification are as follow:
- Install, operate, & troubleshoot a medium-sized network, i.e. connecting to a WAN and implementing network security.
- Describe the effects of new technologies i.e. IoE, IoT, IWAN, and SDN on network evolution.