structured cabling, Data Cabling ,Cat5e, Cat6/6a Cabling
Written by Stu Kushner

Basics of Network Design for Your Business – Part 1

The following will cover the basics of network design for a business. Although aspects of an infrastructure will vary based on its size and complexity, this general framework will provide a guide for making the right decisions.


Determine Requirements


A network design project starts by gathering information and determining your business technical and technical requirements. Your objectives must be clear because they will be the basis of the network design.


Business requirements will guide your organization’s objectives. Below is a list of examples where this may be applicable.


  • Complying with regulations
  • Cutting costs
  • Ensuring business continuity
  • Improving end-user experience
  • Supporting a new office


Leaders should work closely with all stakeholders during the determination of the business requirements.


After the business requirements have been determined, the next step is identifying the technical requirements. Below is a list of examples.


  • Bandwidth
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
  • Security requirements
  • Specific protocols for implementation
  • Uptime Service Level Agreements (SLAs)


Constraints should not be overlooked when identifying requirements. Budgets will certainly constrain business requirements. Technical requirements might be constrained by the need to support legacy applications.


Assess Your Existing Network


Your team will be likely be considering how to work with an existing network. It may be an advantage having structured cabling already installed. However, if your cabling infrastructure is made up of outdated Cat5e, you may need to replace it with Cat6a or a newer cable category capable of supporting 10GBaseT.


In any case, a thorough assessment of the existing network’s condition will be needed prior to making the design recommendations. A complete understanding of the network’s applications, data flows, layout, performance, security, services, and other aspects will be required to effectively design the new network.


Part 2 will discuss Network Topology, Hierarchical Network Design, and Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Design.


Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking cost-effective solutions. Working together, Progressive teams are committed to getting your data cabling, access control, and telecom systems installed and operating while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

About Stu Kushner

Stu Kushner earned an Engineering Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. From there he worked at Boeing Commercial Aircraft, Hexcel Corporation and Case-Rixon as a computer design engineer and systems manager. He now works as the marketing director and project manager here at Progressive Office since its founding in 1986.