1.LAN design1.1.1Chapter introduction
For the small- and medium-sized business, communicating digitally using data,voice, and video is critical to business survival. Consequently, a properlydesigned LAN is a fundamental requirement for doing business today. You mustbe able to recognize a well-designed LAN and select the appropriate devices tosupport the network specifications of a small- or medium-sized business.In this chapter, you will begin exploring the switched LAN architecture and someof the principles that are used to design a hierarchical network. You will learnabout converged networks. You will also learn how to select the correct switch fora hierarchal network and which Cisco switches are best suited for each networklayer. The activities and labs confirm and reinforce your learning.
1.1.1 The hierachical network model
When building a LAN that satisfies the needs of a small- or medium-sizedbusiness, your plan is more likely to be successful if a hierarchical design modelis used. Compared to other network designs, a hierarchical network is easier tomanage and expand, and problems are solved more quickly.Hierarchical network design involves dividing the network into discrete layers.Each layer provides specific functions that define its role within the overallnetwork. By separating the various functions that exist on a network, the networkdesign becomes modular, which facilitates scalability and performance. Thetypical hierarchical design model is broken up in to three layers: access,distribution, and core. An example of a three-layer hierarchical network design isdisplayed in the figure.
The access layer interfaces with end devices, such as PCs, printers, and IPphones, to provide access to the rest of the network. The access layer caninclude routers, switches, bridges, hubs, and wireless access points (AP). Themain purpose of the access layer is to provide a means of connecting devices tothe network and controlling which devices are allowed to communicate on thenetwork.