The network is the most important IT infrastructure in an enterprise. Considering the complexity of today’s IT infrastructure, it is highly important that due consideration is given to the design of the network, functionality of devices and features supported by the network. Before designing the network, it is important to understand the requirements of the business and decide the scope of the project. Once the requirements have been understood the network architect can design the addressing scheme and VLAN design for the network. A suitable network design is one that proposes hierarchical network design which is easy to maintain, manage, and scale. Depending on the required switch characteristics, devices are chosen and the design is implemented. Various protocols are implemented during the design and implementation phase. These protocols ensure that the network is fault tolerant, reliable, available and secure for the users to access. This is how a successful LAN design is implemented. Every enterprise today requires an internal network to connect its branch offices with the headquarters and to provide data access services to its employees internally in a safe and reliable manner. As the size of the enterprise increases so does its network making it more difficult to manage. This requires network designers to adapt and come up with a design suitable for the modern enterprises. An efficient and effective design for the network increases productivity and makes the network more manageable which is better suited to the requirements of the enterprise.
Before recommending a network design for the enterprise it is important for the designers to understand the current and future requirements and strategic direction of the enterprise. This helps in deciding the types of services that the network should cater for. The design of the network depends on the goals, objectives and resources provided by the business. It is driven by the requirements of the business in terms of cost, compliance, security, availability, etc. A good network design optimized for improved performance can provide a business with a competitive edge over its competitors.
Determining the scope of the project can help in establishing the time it will take to implement the network and the information required to implement it. The information required for a new network differs from that of an already existing network that just needs to be expanded, optimized or integrated with the supplier, distributor or branch network. Identifying users and their specific needs helps in determining the applications that the network needs to support, the quality of service and the access rights of those users. This helps in determining the extent to which a user can penetrate the network and the access policy.