We've now covered the components that make up an internetwork. In this chapter, we'll put this knowledge to work by examining the network design process and configuring networks to fit various design scenarios. As you've seen, there is no shortage of technologies and products to choose from-even in Cisco's product line alone. You've also seen how there is no free lunch in networking: every design move brings a trade-off of one kind or another. Trade-offs can come in the form of reduced bandwidth to carry payload traffic, increased complexity, additional expense, or other disadvantages. When designing a network, you need to know not only what the options are, but also how to juggle them to strike the best possible balance.
Each year brings so many new products and advances in technology that just keeping the acronyms straight is difficult. In this chapter, we'll sort things out a bit by applying Cisco's array of products to real-world problems. Looking at internetwork configuration problems will help put things into perspective and bring those critical trade-offs into sharper focus.