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How do you design networks to allow for future growth?

Use these steps to allow for enough future growth in your network design.

Can you explain how to allow enough room for future growth in network design?

When designing a network we always must take in consideration the following:

  1. Current requirements in terms of address space: How many hosts do we have on the network?
  2. Reservation of a particular range for critical servers and services.
  3. Network growth: How much do you expect the network to grow? Are there any plans to add more hosts or extend the network to include WAN offices or other remote locations?
  4. Security: Will you need to separate some machines from the rest of the network by placing them in a network segment of their own?

Generally, when selecting your network address, be sure that you make use of one of the available private network ranges. This will help increase your network security level since these addresses are non-routable towards the Internet.

In closing, special care must be given when selecting the subnet mask of your previously mentioned network address. The subnet mask essentially defines how large or small your logical network is. The gold rule is always to allow plenty of room for future growth!

For more information:

  • View this information on Network administration: Help for designing, managing and troubleshooting your network.
  • Use this IP network design: Step-by-step guide.
  • Visit Firewall.cx, one of the few websites recommended by the Cisco Academy program.


This was last published in November 2007

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