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The Principles of Network Design – Part 1

Network Cabling,installationsToday’s network design must be capable of providing the technical requirements of expanding and evolving IT and business demands. As a result, the task is growing in complexity and difficulty for both service providers and enterprises. The challenge is even steeper when dealing with a legacy infrastructure that must be upgraded for the adoption of newer technologies. In order to succeed, a network design may use either of the two structured approaches discussed below.

Top Down

As it simplifies the process, the top-down design approach is favored by many designers. It does so by providing more control by dividing tasks to directly aim at the scope of the design, assisting designers by letting them view solutions from the perspective of the enterprise.

Bottom Up

On the other hand, the bottom-up design approach initially chooses network technologies and design models. Unfortunately, this greatly increases the risk of design failures due to the greater possibility the network will not be able to provide the needs of the application or business.

Business Driven

An emphasis on a business-driven approach will greatly improve the prospect of attaining a strategic design that will be a success for an enterprise. This is achieved by making both business and technical objectives the central focus of network design. The following will illustrate how a Business Requirement will guide a respective IT & Network Strategy as laid out by the bullet points below:

Business Requirement                   IT & Network Strategy

  • Cost Efficiency                                       Consolidate and virtualize networks.
  • Flexibility                                                Make design responsive and adaptable.
  • Industry Compliance                            Ensure compliance with industry standards.
  • Continuity of Business                         Design resilient services and networks.
  • Access Control                                       Maintain confidentiality throughout network.


Enterprises commonly practice strict compliance with industry standards to secure advantages for their businesses. For example, compliance with ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management raises the reputation of a financial services company by reducing the number of security breaches. In addition, its operational costs from downtime are minimized.

Part 2 will cover the topics of Top-Down Logic and Scope of Design.

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