Cabling, Data Cabling
Written by Stu Kushner

Basics of Network Design for Your Business – Part 2

Part 2 will discuss Network Topology, Hierarchical Network Design, and Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Design. Work with experienced cabling professionals for the best results.


Network Topology


Once business and technical requirements are determined and there is an understanding of the current condition of the existing network, the next step is network topology. This consists of designing the network’s physical and logical aspects, some of which are listed below.




  • Cooling and power requirements
  • Copper and fiber optic cabling runs
  • Number of switch ports needed
  • Rack layout
  • Wi-Fi access point locations




  • Dataflows
  • IP addressing & subnetting
  • Topology
  • VLANs


After this step, your team should be capable of creating a static map of the physical and logical network design.


Keep in mind that cloud workloads and cloud networks should not be overlooked during this process. The network design must account for both on-premises and cloud data flows.


Hierarchical Network Design


This is based on the concept of three layers with each layer handling a separate portion of the network dataflow as summarized below.


  • Core Layer – The network backbone routing traffic between several geographical sites.


  • Distribution Layer – Layer between the core and access layers, acting as a boundary and implementing network policies that control dataflows.


  • Access Layer – Layer for endpoint devices, such as user computers, printers, and VoIP telephones.


Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Design


These are two network design approaches based on the OSI model. Top-down design starts at the application layer and works its way down to the physical layer. In contrast, the bottom-up design process is the opposite.


Considered better in general, top-down begins with determined business requirements and works its way down. However, the process will take much more time and effort.


Bottom-up network design begins with a network’s physical aspects and works its way up. Although faster than top-down, it can result in missing requirements and making comprises prior to reaching the application layer, where users may be negatively affected.




Disciplined project management and communication with stakeholders are the keys to successfully designing and implementing your network. Deployment will consist of many moving parts, and a project’s plan should include milestones, team member responsibilities, and deliverables.


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.