Foundations of Networking

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Reacting to Accelerated Network Growth

In recent years, the growth of networks everywhere has accelerated as many organizations move into the international business arena and join the Internet. This expansion has continued to drive the development, refinement, and complexity of network equipment and software, consequently resulting in some unique issues and exciting advances.

Can you imagine modern business or life these days without computers, fax machines and services, e-mail, Internet commerce and access, automatic teller machines, remote banking, check cards, or video conferencing? Even more importantly, today s children will think that these tools are commonplace and that business cannot be done without them.

Nevertheless, many of these tools are used to track, process, and perform the day-to-day business of today s organizations in a variety of different ways. The need for the newest and best technology appears to be the solution to growing organizational requirements. As this newer technology becomes available, it must be implemented, immediately.

Perhaps the most frustrating issue in dealing with unrestrained network growth is the reactive management required as opposed to the more effective proactive style. This issue is further exasperated by the melding of many different technologies.

Managing Accelerated Network Growth

To properly manage the current and future needs of a rapidly growing network, you must have the necessary tools and techniques at your disposal.

Part IV, Network Security & Future Expansion, discusses some of the emerging tools and technology in further detail. Some of the things you need to consider doing now in order to effectively manage your network s growth, include the following:

  Reliability. This can have a major impact on how expensive it is, in both time and money, to maintain your network. An unreliable network will consume vast amounts of technically skilled labor made up of people who must constantly configure and react to network problems. Chapter 10, Securing Your OSPF Network, discusses the actual ways you go about increasing the reliability of your OSPF network.
  Base Line Measurement. This is an essential part of planning the expansion of and troubleshooting of your network. How can you accurately understand the impact of growth, changes, modifications, or possible future network changes? You can easily do so if you understand the utilization, error rates, and characteristics of your network from a point in time. Chapter 12, Future Network Considerations, discusses some of the more useful tools and techniques used to address these types of issues.
  Capacity Planning. An integral part of determining when you should expand network capacity. Chapter 11, The Continuing Evolution of OSPF, discusses the overhead OSPF demands of a network, enabling you to plan your network s needs accordingly.
  Network Monitoring. This is a fundamental toolset that should be used for managing the network s growth. Tracking and monitoring expansion and changes within the network is important to ensure that these changes are fulfilling their purpose. Of course, this also works in reverse; you can monitor your existing network to ensure legacy equipment is also performing. Chapter 9, Managing Your OSPF Network, discusses managing your OSPF network in much greater detail.

Scaling Performance

Network growth can impose heavy new loads on your infrastructure. Financial data or inventory reports, for example, can be extremely popular when initially released, resulting in an increased network load. Within a week, network performance is back to normal. It is during these surges that your planning is extremely important. Chapter 6, Advanced OSPF Design Concepts, discusses methods to partition and load balance your network.

Extending Network Reach

Extending network reach seems like an issue that is never ending in intranets the world over. There are always new sites to add or another feature that needs to be implemented. Many networks have kept pace with the growth on their backbone but have sites located away from the backbone that must also be considered. Intranets require that users at one site have transparent access to resources located at any other site. In the yet to be discovered perfect network, local and remote connectivity and performance must be considered equally.

You can strive for equality in the network s performance, response time, and reliability, between local and remote users by following a few steps:

  Optimize your WAN bandwidth and its use throughout your network to keep bandwidth costs at a minimum. Chapter 5, The Fundamentals of OSPF Routing & Design, covers the methods OSPF provides to assist you in optimizing network bandwidth.
  Properly secure the network in such a way that it does not exact performance penalties or place unneeded barriers. Chapter 10 covers the security features of OSPF in detail.
  Make your Enterprise network accessible throughout to provide yourself with a dynamic end-to-end infrastructure. Making the Enterprise network accessible provides you with several advantages, such as low bandwidth usage, scalability, and a widely supported underlying protocol. OSPF is an obvious choice for implementing an Enterprise network because OSPF is a supported protocol found in many Enterprise networks.
  An intranet can intensify the bandwidth crunch that rules most planning and strategy due to its distributed architecture and unpredictable traffic flows; however, effective allocation of bandwidth, security, and proper routing protocol implementation can provide the performance, security, and flexibility needed to extend intranet reach.

Controlling Your Intranet

It is essential that you keep control of your intranet. Without control, the dangers and issues can result in a loss of connectivity to a full network crash. This book covers some of the more common problems and issues relating to accelerated growth. The proposed solutions have been tested in network after network, and through the use of OSPF, you will be able to address the many different problems. First, you build the structure of a network.

To monitor and evaluate reliability, baseline measurements, capacity planning, and network monitoring ensure controlled network growth. This is much more desirable than allowing uncontrolled network growth to be the norm for your intranet.

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OSPF Network Design Solutions
OSPF Network Design Solutions
ISBN: 1578700469
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 1998
Pages: 200
Authors: Tom Thomas

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