Analyzing technical goals and tradeoffs
The next step to be addressed when following a Top-Down approach is to analyze the technical goals and tradeoffs.
The scalability of the existing network must be determined in order to calculate the required steps that must be followed to perform the additional design work. It is important that any design being put together have some level of scalability and be able to expand to the future requirements of the company. Along with scalability is the importance of a design’s modularity. When the network is put together using a modular approach, implementation, operations, and troubleshooting can be considerably easier. Cisco offers its modular solution inside their SAFE offering.
The availability requirements of the proposed network must also be addressed. For example, is it important for the network to have a near perfect up time? Along with figuring in the availability requirements of the proposed network is designing a disaster recovery plan; it is during those unexpected times when a plan can make or break a company. Another part that goes hand in hand with the availability requirements is the calculation of the performance requirements of the proposed network.
There are a number of performance calculations that must be completed in order to correctly propose the best solution, these include:
- Bandwidth requirements
- Delay/Response time requirements
- Jitter requirements
- Packet Loss requirements (goes with availability)
In the modern technical world, the security requirements of the proposed network are also of the utmost importance. The breach of security of any company can be catastrophic for a number of different reasons; it is best that all the security requirements of a new network be addressed early in order to account for the different potential security scenarios. As the steps required for the security of a new design can be complex, a thorough review will not be completed in this article.
The manageability requirements of the proposed network can also be easily overlooked. While it may be obvious that the elements within a network be manageable, it is also important to consider how the management of these devices will work. For example, what would happen if a failure occurred within the network? Another aspect to consider is how the manageability options of the current and future equipment could be used to improve other aspects of the network including performance, troubleshooting responsiveness, and day-to-day operations.