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What are the benefits and drawbacks of Logical Network Design?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of Logical Network Design?
When referring to a 'Logical Network Design,' a network engineer's mind goes straight to the logical addressing and layout of the network, which in simple terms, means how the network will appear to be connected (star, ring, bus etc., this is the logical layout) and what addressing scheme will be used amongst the network devices, our logical addressing.

Designing a logical network has really no drawbacks if it's done right from the beginning. If anything else, it has many benefits.

The problem is that not everyone follows certain rules, bypassing important rules and questions that the person should ask when the design is in progress.

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A proper logical network design must be able to foresee future requirements, growth, security, capacity and efficiency. There are books and manuals that analyzes these topics in hundreds of pages, and it is impossible to include them here.

One big mistakes that usually occur, and I have seen in many companies I have consulted, is squeezing as many computers and network devices possible, in one logical network, which is a big mistake.

I always find myself telling people to break their network into smaller, easier manageable pieces that will help maintain a certain level of security, and avoid the network being flooded with unnecessary broadcasts and multicasts.

My suggestion to you, if your planning to design a network is to take a look around for documents, white papers and books that cover the above mentioned topics and read through them. You will find some pretty good ideas and tactics to conquer all of the problems and questions you might be facing.

With the proper research and time, everything is possible.

This was last published in September 2003

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