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CNNA Exploration 4.0 Semester 3 - LAN Switching and Wireless - Summary

CNNA Exploration 4.0 Semester 3 - LAN Switching and Wireless - Summary

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Published by Joop Mikroob
CNNA Exploration 4.0 semester 3 - LAN Switching and Wireless - summary
CNNA Exploration 4.0 semester 3 - LAN Switching and Wireless - summary

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Published by: Joop Mikroob on May 24, 2011
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Wednesday, 20/10/2010 
Summary CCNA Exploration 4.0
semester 3
LAN Switching and Wireless
1. Switched LAN Infrastructure
When building a LAN that satisfies the needs of a small- or medium-sized business, your plan is more likely to besuccessful if a hierarchical design model is used. Compared to other network designs, a hierarchical network iseasier to manage and expand, and problems are solved more quickly.Hierarchical network design involves dividing the network into discrete layers. Each layer provides specificfunctions that define its role within the overall network. By separating the various functions that exist on a network,the network design becomes modular, which facilitates scalability and performance. The typical hierarchical designmodel is broken up in to three layers: access, distribution, and core. An example of a three-layer hierarchicalnetwork design is displayed in the figure.
Access Layer
The access layer interfaces with end devices, such as PCs, printers, and IP phones, to provide access to the restof the network. The access layer can include routers, switches, bridges, hubs, and wireless access points (AP).The main purpose of the access layer is to provide a means of connecting devices to the network and controllingwhich devices are allowed to communicate on the network.
Distribution Layer
The distribution layer aggregates the data received from the access layer switches before it is transmitted to thecore layer for routing to its final destination. The distribution layer controls the flow of network traffic using policiesand delineates broadcast domains by performing routing functions between virtual LANs (VLANs) defined at theaccess layer. VLANs allow you to segment the traffic on a switch into separate subnetworks. For example, in auniversity you might separate traffic according to faculty, students, and guests. Distribution layer switches aretypically high-performance devices that have high availability and redundancy to ensure reliability. You will learnmore about VLANs, broadcast domains, and inter-VLAN routing later in this course.
Core Layer
The core layer of the hierarchical design is the high-speed backbone of the internetwork. The core layer is criticalfor interconnectivity between distribution layer devices, so it is important for the core to be highly available andredundant. The core area can also connect to Internet resources. The core aggregates the traffic from all thedistribution layer devices, so it must be capable of forwarding large amounts of data quickly.Note: In smaller networks, it is not unusual to implement a collapsed core model, where the distribution layer andcore layer are combined into one layer.
Hierarchical Network Design Principles
Just because a network seems to have a hierarchical design does not mean that the network is well designed.These simple guidelines will help you differentiate between well-designed and poorly designed hierarchicalnetworks. This section is not intended to provide you with all the skills and knowledge you need to design ahierarchical network, but it offers you an opportunity to begin to practice your skills by transforming a flat networktopology into a hierarchical network topology.
Network Diameter
When designing a hierarchical network topology, the first thing to consider is
network diameter
. Diameter isusually a measure of distance, but in this case, we are using the term to measure the number of devices.
Networkdiameter is the number of devices that a packet has to cross before it reaches its destination
. Keeping thenetwork diameter low ensures low and predictable latency between devices.In the figure, PC1 communicates with PC3. There could be up to six interconnected switches between PC1 andPC3. In this case, the network diameter is 6. Each switch in the path introduces some degree of latency. Networkdevice latency is the time spent by a device as it processes a packet or frame. Each switch has to determine thedestination MAC address of the frame, check its MAC address table, and forward the frame out the appropriateport. Even though that entire process happens in a fraction of a second, the time adds up when the frame has tocross many switches.In the three-layer hierarchical model, Layer 2 segmentation at the distribution layer practically eliminates networkdiameter as an issue. In a hierarchical network, network diameter is always going to be a predictable number ofhops between the source and destination devices.
Bandwidth Aggregation
Each layer in the hierarchical network model is a possible candidate for
bandwidth aggregation
Bandwidthaggregation is the practice of considering the specific bandwidth requirements of each part of thehierarchy
. After bandwidth requirements of the network are known, links between specific switches can beaggregated, which is called link aggregation. Link aggregation allows multiple switch port links to be combined soas to achieve higher throughput between switches. Cisco has a proprietary link aggregation technology calledEtherChannel, which allows multiple Ethernet links to be consolidated. A discussion of EtherChannel is beyond thescope of this course. To learn more, visit:http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk389/tk213/tsd_technology_support_protocol_home.html.

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