What Is Design

Before delving into the details of network design, consider what design is and, in particular, what you expect from a good design.

Dictionaries generally define design as planning how to create something, or the actual plans themselves. However, when you think of designing something, whether it is a product, an addition to a house, or a network, you likely contemplate a broader use of the word design.

For example, if you hire an architect to design an addition to your house, you expect her to produce detailed plans and engineering drawings that can be used to create the space that you want. What is the process that an architect uses to get to this final product, plans that can be used to create what you want and need? Crucial inputs are the dimensions, the state, and the use of the existing house, and your requirements for the addition (including your budget), as illustrated in Figure 1-1. The former are much easier to solidify than the latter. For the existing house, the architect must measure all the rooms and spaces, and take notes of the existing use and functionfor example, the layout of the existing kitchen, where the family usually eats, and so forth.

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