Characterizing network traffic
When designing a network that is replacing or building upon an existing network, it is important to characterize the current network traffic. This information can then be used to better customize the design of the new network.
A piece of information that is nice to have when designing a network is a network flows analysis. This includes a report that includes the current major network traffic sources and how their traffic typically flows across the network. A report and/or map of the existing traffic flows is also nice to have, as it provides a way to visually analyze the parts of the network with the highest load.
On modern networks that have or plan to have deployed voice and/or video solutions, it is nice to obtain a report of the current QoS parameters or future QoS requirements across the network. With this there would also be an analysis of the traffic types that are most commonly used on the network. As QoS is a vital part of any voice or video deployment, the assessment of these parameters is crucial in a new network design.