Physical vs. Logical Network Design
April 11, 2006
How is your network designed? This is a simple question. But, like many things in the information technology field, not a question with a simple answer. The definition of network design to a customer or user can be completely different than to an information technology professional. Even inside of the information technology field, there are several definitions of network design. We use the words Logical Network Design and Physical Network Design to help clear up some of this confusion. In the course of this paper we will define Logical and Physical Network Design, explain some of the differences, and provide examples of each to help illustrate the point. Logical Network Design (sometimes called Virtual Network Design) defines the logical parts of a network. In this case logical means the relationship between elements and between an element and the whole in a set of objects, individuals, principles, or events. (Dictionary,2006) Logical design concentrates on the links between network systems, how they relate to each other and the users. Some things that would be included in a Logical Network Design are:
IP Addresses: In computer networking, an IP address (internet protocol address) is a unique number that devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard (IP). Any participating network device including routers, computers, time-servers, printers, internet fax machines, and some telephones must have its own unique address. (Wikipedia, 2006)
Subnets: In the Internet Protocol (IP), a subnetwork (or subnet) is a division of a classful network. Subnetting an IP network allows you to break down what appears (logically) to be a single large network into smaller ones. (Wikipedia, 2006)
Domains: A Windows Server domain, a centrally-managed group of computers using the Windows operating-system....
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