Building a Prototype or Pilot Network

It is often desirable to verify a design before implementation. A design can be tested in an existing, or live, network—this is called a pilot—or, preferably, in a prototype network that does not affect the existing network. A successful design implementation in either a pilot or prototype network can be used as a proof of concept in preparation for full implementation and can be used as input to the implementation steps.

KEY POINT

A pilot network tests and verifies the design before the network is launched, or is a subset of the existing network in which the design is tested.

A pilot network is normally used when the design is for a completely new network; pilots can also be used for designs that add to an existing network.

A prototype network tests and verifies a redesign in an isolated network, before it is applied to the existing network. A prototype network is usually used to verify designs that must be implemented on an existing network infrastructure.

It is important that the pilot or prototype test the design, including the customer's most important stated requirements. For example, if a key requirement is minimal response time for remote users, ensure that the prototype or pilot verifies that the maximum acceptable response time is not exceeded.

A prototype or pilot implementation can have one of two results:

■ Success: This result is usually enough to prove the design concept.

■ Failure: This result is normally used to correct the design; the prototype or pilot phase is then repeated. In the case of small deviations, the design can be corrected and tested in the prototype or pilot network immediately.

Figure 2-25 is a sample topology subset of a planned network. The highlighted areas indicate the parts of the network involved in a redesign. This part of the topology is implemented first in a prototype to verify the design.

Figure 2-25 A Prototype Network

Management

Workstations Server Farm External Servers

Figure 2-25 A Prototype Network

Management

Workstations Server Farm External Servers

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