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Network Design Process - Effective Network Planning and Design

Overview

The network planning and design methodology describes a process with nine specific steps and a sequence for those activities. As mentioned it is an engineering life cycle that supports technical initiatives such as Windows migration, IP telephony and wireless design to name a few examples. The methodology begins with examining company business requirements. It is absolutely essential that you understand the company business model, business drivers and how they are growing from a business perspective. That will build the foundation for a design proposal that serves the business, technical and operational requirements of the company.

Step 1: Business Requirements

Any design project starts with an understanding of what the company does and what they need to accomplish from a business perspective. This begins with an understanding of their business model, which really describes how their company works from an operational and business perspective to generate revenues and reduce costs. Many vendors today have conducted their own return on investment (ROI) studies for new implementations such as Unified Communications and Telephony. It is an effective sales tool that illustrates the cost benefits compared with investment over a specified period of time.

This is a list of some typical business drivers:

Reduce Operating Costs
Generate Revenue
Client Satisfaction
Employee Productivity

This is a list of some typical project business requirements:

Budget Constraints
Office Consolidations
Company Mergers and Acquisitions
Business Partner Connectivity
Telecommuter Remote Access
Implement New Offices and Employees
New Data Center Applications
Reduce Network Outage Costs
Cost Effective Network Management
Vendor Contracts

Step 2: Design Requirements

Now that you understand the basic business requirements of the company, you can determine the standard and specific design requirements. The design requirements process is focused on defining requirements from a technical perspective. Those requirements along with the business requirements will build the framework that is used to define infrastructure, security and management. Design requirements are defined as standard and miscellaneous. The standard design requirements are generic and represent those considered with many design projects. Miscellaneous requirements are those that aren't defined with any of the standard requirements.

Standard Design Requirements

Performance
Availability
Scalability
Standards Compatibility
Rapid Deployment

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