LAN design

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Networking
There are many factors to take into account when designing a LAN. Ten such factors are 1. End (user) device 2.Protocols 3. Application 4. Bandwidth 5.Throughput 6. LAN topology 7.Cabling 8. Segmentation 9. WAN connection 10. Flexibility For each item what are the essential points that need to be considered?
ASKED: June 3, 2007  6:10 PM
UPDATED: March 5, 2012  5:48 PM

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  • MartyM
    Ditto Bob. You could have had this done yourself by the time you waited for us to answer it for you. Suggestion, look in the glossaryindex of your textbook and I'll bet you find all the answers there you're looking for.
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  • DrillO
    I couldn't agree more......some of us have been at this a long time and attended the School of Hard Knocks.....reading and studying are the only ways to get through this....learning, especially in this field, doesn't end after Grad. I would suggest you develope good learning habits now so you don't end up not knowing anything in two years. Paul
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  • Marcola
    It's either a school assignment, part of a job assessment/performance review or a question on an employment application. I see these people all the time on here ... I've been grinding and studying and doing since 1979! I'm not giving anything up for the "Read-a-Book - Pass-a-Test Certification Freak!" Peace guys!
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  • Quitemute
    Hi guys Yes to be honest it is a question that I have to complete for part of a CCNA course that I am doing. It?s a open uni course that I study part time from home. I run my own retail business and online e-commerce shop. I always wanted to get into networking and thought home studying was the best solution. My business keeps me really busy and this networking is all new to me and finding it difficult. Sorry if I have upset anyone with this question. As I am studying from home I am detached from the real world and no guide if I am answering the question right. All I wanted was a guide on the main points that I should be looking out for on each of the items. I don?t want to miss anything out or be way of the mark as it is a new to me. Below is some of the things I think that should fit into each section. Please don?t laugh; I know I could be way of the mark. 1. End (user) device Equipment that connects directly to a network segment is referred to as a device. These devices are broken up into two classifications. The first classification is the end user devices. End user devices include, computer, printers, scanners, and other devices that provide services directly to the user. As a network engineer the types and the amounts of end user devices there is will have a major affect on the design of the LAN. Such as, the topology of the network, the types of cable that will connect the various devices together. 2. Protocols In order for data packets to travel from a source to a destination on a network, it is important that all the devices on the network speck the same language or protocol. So when designing a LAN is important to select the best protocol for the needs of the network that you are trying to achieve. Ethernet, token ring, FDDI, TCP/IP, UDP 3. Application (bit lost on what to include here) Going to write about FTP, HTTP, SMTP, DNS, TFTP, SNMP, Telnet 4. Bandwidth Bandwidth decisions are among the most important considerations when a network is designed. A network manager needs to make the right decisions about the kind of equipment and services to buy. A lot of money can be saved by selecting the right bandwidth and how demand will change over time. 5. Throughput For a network designer it is important to consider the factors that affect actual throughput. E.g. time of day, power etc. By measuring throughput on a regular basis, a network administrator will be aware of changes in network performance and changes in the needs of needs of network users. The network can then be adjusted accordingly. 6. Lan topology When designing a LAN there are number of topologies that can be used such as, bus, ring, star, extended star, hierarchical, mesh. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. 7. Cabling Copper cable is used in almost every LAN. Many different types are available. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Proper selection of cabling is key to efficient network operation. Factors to consider include, cost, size of the cable (thicknet, thinnet), bandwidth, length. 8. Segmentation ( will write about collusions here and splitting up the network to speed it up) 9. WAN Connection Does the LAN need to be connect to the outside world for VPN, Intranet, Extrants. 10. Flexibility The LAN network most be designed in a way that it can harness new technology and can be integrated into the network very easily. Also as the LAN grows it should be flexible that it has good scalability.
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  • Bobkberg
    Well, I'm not sure, but I think that makes it worse in some respects, than just a homework assignment. As one other poster pointed out, much of networking is learned through hard practical experience. Having a CCNA implies that you have some practical knowledge about the subject - which you admit that you don't. I personally do not have any Cisco certs, but I've been working with their products regularly for the last 10 years or so, and not found that to be much of a barrier to working. Some employers are impressed by certs, others are impressed by practical ability - as demonstrated through a good interview with lots of "what-if" type of questions. And some prefer both. The problem with having a CCNA, and not understanding the down-to-earth practical situations and implications is worse than useless, it misrepresents you as someone who presumably knows what he or she is talking about, and then it blows up in your face at some point. I can understand your interest - networking is a fascinating field, and the challenges presented can really help you grow professionally. But, if you're intending to be a dilettante (i.e., not a serious player) don't try to get certifications based purely on book learning. It misrepresents your capabilities, and dilutes the value of the certification for others. Bob
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  • Marcola
    @Everyone in this thread ... Quitemute, I think that all of the experts in this forum would agree that if you know "nothing about networking" then you have absolutely no use for a CCNA. You are only setting yourself up for failure. I had rather see you fail now and learn than to "test out" and get your butt busted later by an employer. Sorry ... I am not going to offer any assistance. Good luck.
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  • Bobkberg
    In addition to the public postings, I've had some private messages with quitemute - key point for potential posters being that one needs to be open about the nature and/or purpose of the question. Since you've now explained further, I'll take a whack at it. 1) You mentioned the right general idea (pc, printer, scanner), but don't forget the server (data center) end as well - servers, directly attached storage, etc. Their connection requirements can vary widely from end-user type equipment. 2) You started off on the right foot for protocols, and then mixed OSI stack layers. Ethernet (in various flavors), Token Ring, & FDDI are physical protocols. TCP/IP (and family) are the Internet standard protocols, and would have other types at the networking level like AppleTalk/Local Talk, IPX, XNS, VINES, etc. Most of the non-IP protocols are for "legacy" equipment (legacy = outdated but still in use). Almost all commercial applications use the TCP/IP family these days. What you have to consider is what other protocols (layers 5, 6, and 7) might be in use. 3) Application can include the protocols you specified, but also refers to the sort of traffic passing through - examples include database queries and updates, VoIP, streaming audio/video, web browsing, etc. All have different usage patterns and requirements. 4) Bandwidth is also commonly tied to the applications in use. Two key factors are QOS (Quality of Service), and aggregate traffic. QOS is important for anything "real time" If your web page loading, or email sending is delayed for a 10th of a second or so - nobody cares - but in audio or video, this can cause major havoc. 5) Throughput - This is a tough one, in that many vendors I've queried over the years could not answer questions about effective throughput about their own products. Variables that affect this are System specific (cpu speed, memory available, network connection bandwidth - inside the computer), network port speed and duplex, backplane speed of the network switch(es), backbone speed/duplex, latency (round-trip time) from nodes - this is especially important over WAN (Wide Area Networks). 6) "Immediate" LAN topology these days is almost always star because of modern switching - even though we still use a "bus" diagram for drawings. The topology will vary above the level of the local switch depending on the network, PARTICULARLY if you are using distributed VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) 7) Cabling - The types you mentioned (thicknet, thinnet, etc.) are all legacy types for ethernet, and there are others for Token Ring - some of this is still in use in older networks, but almost no one designs for these any more. Modern cabling is typically Cat 3 (Don't yell at me folks - there's still some Cat 3 out there) through Cat 6, or Multi-mode or Single-mode optical fiber. 8)Segmentation refers breaking up of layer 2 broadcast domains, and fault isolation. Collisions are mostly a problem with older cabling and improper selection of Full or half duplex. 9) WAN connection actually refers to any Wide Area connection where you have to use other vendors and lease connectivity through them - whether your network connects to public or other private places. 10) Flexibility - close enough In addressing and commenting on your Q&A's, it occurs to me that you may be using a fairly old and out-of-date book. I haven't seen a lot of the older stuff in 5-10 years, and some of it for 15 to 20 years, although I don't doubt that it's out there. I hope that helps - and please remember (TO ALL POTENTIAL QUERIES) to be open and honest about what you're asking and what sort of help you want. If we (as a group) feel that we're being taken advantage of, your reception is likely to be chilly and hostile. Hmm - You know - I ought to contact Techtarget management and talk about updating a FAQ. I'll have to look and see if there is one, and how obvious it is to new users. Hey TechTarget - are you watching this? Bob
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  • BlankReg
    Quitemute, if you want some help with the OU course, you can contact me directly, via the contact details on my company website, following the link from my profile.
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  • BlankReg
    Just realised the main thread is from 2007, but someone just popped an answer in recently, I presume just to boost your points ? Guess the OP has passed his CCNA by now ;-)
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