Hierarchical Network Design

As Figure 4-1 illustrates, a hierarchical network design has three layers:

• The core layer provides optimal transport between sites.

• The distribution layer provides policy-based connectivity.

• The access layer provides workgroup/user access to the network.

Figure 4-1 A Hierarchical Network Design Has Three Layers: Core, Distribution, and Access

Figure 4-1 A Hierarchical Network Design Has Three Layers: Core, Distribution, and Access

Each layer provides necessary functionality to the network. The layers do not need to be implemented as distinct physical entities. Each layer can be implemented in routers or switches, represented by a physical media, or combined in a single box. A particular layer can be omitted altogether, but for optimum performance, a hierarchy should be maintained.

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