Framework for Small to Medium Sized Network Design

The following CCDA objective is covered in this section:

3 Upon completion of this introduction, you will be able to describe a framework you can use to simplify the complexities associated with analyzing customer network problems and creating Cisco scalable solutions.

As you gather information from the customer, keep in mind that Cisco has proposed a framework to use when designing complex small to medium-sized networks. The framework proposes the following rules (which are summarized in Figure 1-1):

• If the problems are protocol-related, use routing. Many LAN protocols use periodic broadcasts and service advertisements and do not scale well as the network size increases. Routers can be used to further subnet your network and reduce broadcast domains. Access and security policies can be applied on routers.

• If the problem involves media contention, use LAN switching. To expand on this rule, if you have too many nodes on a shared network, you will expect to have high utilization; devices will have to compete to obtain access to the network, and application response may be slow. Introducing LAN switching will help resolve the contention on the network.

• If high bandwidth is required, consider switched Fast Ethernet. Switched Fast Ethernet offers a good cost-to-performance ratio for small to medium-sized networks. For larger networks in which high bandwidth and low latency is required, use ATM. Gigabit Ethernet now provides another option in the LAN for the backbone and for bandwidth-intensive application servers.

Figure 1-1 Small to Medium-Sized Network Design Framework

Figure 1-1 Small to Medium-Sized Network Design Framework

Media Contention?

Media Contention?

Use LAN Switching

Use LAN Switching

Transport Bandwidth?

Use Fast Ethernet Switching or ATM

Use Fast Ethernet Switching or ATM

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