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Universidad Politcnica de Baja California

LAN Design
Jess Manuel Ros Olivas
Information Technologies 8th Level

August 10, 2011

On business that are just growing up or those ones that can be considered as medium-sized, one very important thing to survive between all the other companies, is to communicate digitally through video, voice and data. Nowadays a Local Area Network (LAN) with a great design is what they need to stay into the business world. When you are designing a LAN you have to know how a good LAN looks like and which devices are required to do what the company wants. It is known when people have a good network design if the additions dont affect the entire network, when the network can be double or triple in size without changing the design and when the troubleshooting is easy. Through the last decade there have been a lot of changes in networking. Thats the reason Cisco developed The hierarchical network design, to support those changes. On this project, people will learn about the switched LAN architecture and things that are needed to know how to design a hierarchical network. Using a hierarchical design gives more possibilities to satisfy the requirements of the company where people are working at. On this kind of design you can expand and manage the network with very easy and less problems. This can be very useful for new people on the company, because is easier to find the problems in the network. One important advantage is that it can minimize costs and get a better performance because people can choose the appropriate kind of device for each layer. If it just need a device with one function on the access layer, people are not going to put an expensive device with a lot of functions, instead of that, they are going to put a cheap device with the specific function that is needed for that layer. And finally, one essential thing is that is very easy to understand because it has a simply design of just three sections. The hierarchical design consists of 3 layers, which are access, distribution and core. Each layer has a different work on the network; there is when we get a better performance of our network because you split all the work into 3 different sections.

Layers of the hierarchical model

The access layer connects with end devices like computers, printers and IP phones to provide them an access to the rest of the network. Some of the devices that can be on this layer are switches, routers, hubs, and wireless access points. Basically, the purpose of this layer is to control which devices are allowed to communicate on the network. The distribution layer takes the information that comes from the access layer and sends it to the core layer. It also controls the flow of information that runs over the layer suing policies and it delineates the route of the sub-networks (VLANs) that were defined on the access layer. The core layer is the high-speed principal route to the internet of the network. This layer is very important and it needs to be highly available. The core transmits the information from the distribution layer so it has to be capable of sending large amounts of information quickly.

Benefits of a hierarchical model

Here are some of the benefits you can get when you use this model: Scalability: These kinds of networks can be expanded easily. The design allows us to reproduce the network adding new devices. If our model consists of 2 switches on the distribution layer for every 10 switches in the access layer, we can add switches to the access layer until we reach the 10 before you need to add another switch to the distribution layer. This works also on the core layer. Redundancy: Availability is very important when the network is growing. Every switch on the access layer is connected to two switches of the distribution layer, this gives a highly availability to the network because if one of the distribution switches doesnt work the information can still pass through the other switch of the distribution layer. Also, every switch on the distribution layer connects with two or more different switches in the core layer. This doesnt work for the core layer. The end devices like PCs, printers and IP Phones cant connect to more than one switch of the access layer, so if a switch from that layer fails it will only affect those devices that are connected to it. Performance: A good performance is reached when people avoid transmitting the information through switches with a low performance. Due to the high performance of the switches used on the distribution and core layer, a high speed of transmission can be reached between the devices of our network. Security: It is very easy to secure our network. It can be added security options on the ports of the access layer switches to control the devices that can communicate with the network. There are also some policies on the distribution layer where it can configure access control policies. Manageability: Every layer has its own functions so if its wanted to modify something you can go directly to the layer that has the devices that wants to be modified. When

adding new devices it can be very simple because the configuration can be copied from another device of the same type just doing some little changes.

Maintainability: They are very easy to main because it has an easy scalability;
maintainability in other designs would be complicated as the network grows. The selection of the devices is very simple because people already know the functions of every layer. It allow saving a lot of money by doing the correct selection of a switch for every layer.

Principles of a hierarchical model

Giving a hierarchical design to the network is not the only thing take care when creating a network; also by following some principles people can create a well-designed network. Network Diameter: The network diameter is the number of devices that the information has to cross to get to its destiny. This is something very important people have to consider, by keeping a low network diameter the network will be faster. Bandwidth Aggregation: People can use bandwidth aggregation on any layer of the hierarchical model. First, we need to consider the bandwidth requirements of every part of the network, once the requirements are gather, links can be implemented between specific switches, this is called link aggregation. Link aggregation allows more than one switch port link and combine them into one logical link. Redundancy: This is very important on the process of making a network highly available. There are two ways to do it, doubling the connections between the devices or doubling the devices themselves. Redundancy can be very expensive, because every connection of every device on the layer is being doubled, so people can only implement this on the distribution and core layers.

Basically, doing a network with a hierarchical design gives great results, and is very simple because people just need to know which and how many devices are going to be connected on the access layer, knowing this, the quantity of switches in the distribution layer can be determined. After the distribution layer is done, people can know how many devices on the core layer are needed to give a better performance to the network. Following the principles there wont be any problem on the process of creating a local area network using The Hierarchical Model Design.

References Cisco. (n.d.). Cisco Systems. Retrieved June 15, 2011, from Cisco Networking Academy: (n.d.). MC MCSE. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from MC MCSE Certification Resources: