Network Planning and Design

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Richard Van Slyke Polytechnic University
© R. Van Slyke 2000,2001 Revised 1/21/01

Network Planning and Design

Rev. January 21, 2001

p. 1

I. The Project Environment—The Big Picture Organizational Strategy and Culture Business role of applications in the organization Technology push/ demand pull Technological risk; the “bleeding edge” External Factors II. Planning System Development Methodologies III. Design Techniques 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 10 10 12 13 13 13 14 14 18 19 21 21 21 24 24 27 27 27

The Model Network Design Tools and Algorithms Problems: References: Some Capacity Planning and Network Design Tools: APPENDIX A: SOME SIMPLE DESIGN ALGORITHMS A.1 A.2 Topological design Congestion M/M/1 and M/G/1 Queues Little's Law Summary


Problems References: APPENDIX B SELLING BOOKS, ... ONLINE: A CASE STUDY Questions: Web Sites: Acknowledgement:

Network Planning and Design

Rev. January 21, 2001

p. 2

The business user of data communications most often applies the technical material in BDC41 to the planning and design of a data communications system, or to the operation and management of such a system. The latter issues are discussed in Part 6 of BDC4. In this article we deal with planning and design of data communication systems. We look first in Section I at the larger issues of how the organizational strategy, culture and policies affect planning and designing data communication systems. In Section II, we look at systematic methods for planning and design. Section III is an overview of design algorithms and tools. Appendix A gives some of the more straightforward of the quantitative design techniques. Finally, Appendix B is a case study of on-line book sales. Planning and designing of data communication networks is immensely complex. We narrow the scope considerably. First, we limit ourselves to planning and designing medium size networks. These are most frequently owned by organizations for their own use; that is, private networks. This excludes the very large networks, especially those public networks implemented by communication service vendors such as the telephone companies, and the large internet service providers. On the other end, we do not consider networks that are so small that they can be purchased “out of the box,” and for which, the planning, design, and implementation can all be carried out by a very few people, perhaps only one. We focus mainly on the network planning and design problems of user organizations with significant coordination issues; this usually means wide area networks. However, even those who work for common carriers and other communication service providers will find much of the material useful and certainly insight into the user (customer) perspective on these issues is valuable. With this reduction in scope, we are still left with much to consider. We give an overview of the most important aspects. Detailed treatments are cited in the reference section at the end of this article.


The Project Environment—The Big Picture

Before, a data communications project even gets to the formal feasibility studies which are part of the development methodology that we propose in Section II, it is useful to make a top-down, qualitative evaluation of a proposed data communications system. Such an evaluation need not take much time or resources and may result in stopping unwise ventures early. This evaluation should start from a clear understanding of the structure, policies, and culture of the organization or organizations that will be using the system. The business role of the proposed application must also be clearly understood. For example, one should be sure that the project is not implemented just because some advanced or new technology seems interesting. On the other hand, one must be careful that focussing too narrowly on the business need does not...
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