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Old 28th November 2016
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jggimi jggimi is offline
More noise than signal
Join Date: May 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 6,727

Originally Posted by Insider View Post
If you can point me to a good source on designing a system or a solution - in general? This sounds good.
In general? A list of requirements, paper and pencil, and 10 or more years as a network engineer.

Seriously, there's a short book which I recommend to any IT person who wants to understand networking: Michael W. Lucas wrote Networking for Systems Administrators and it is readable, helpful, and ecumenical, as it covers networking and administrative tools for BSDs, Linuxes, and Windows.


Your focus in this thread had been - and may still be - on hardware, and not on specific functions needed by the network you have not yet designed.

Each function you determine to be an operational requirement will affect your design. And any design point will have multiple options.

So, instead of writing a list of nice-to-have shiny new hardware bits, why not start with what your network is required to support? That list of requirements will inform your design, and the design and budget will inform your hardware and/or OS choices. And you will have many choices.

I'd brought up one example of choice in my previous post. There are two ways to deploy an 802.11ac capable WiFi Access Point:
  1. With an 802.11ac capable NIC, using an OS that has a driver supporting that NIC in 802.11ac Host Access Point mode.
  2. In an external 802.11ac-capable WiFi Bridge, connected to a wired infrastructure.
Even with the simples of topologies -- a single LAN, and a single ISP connection -- we have many choices. Since WiFi was mentioned above, let's look at WiFi choice. We need to know whether the WiFi will be required to support 802.11ac, 802.11n, 802.11a, or 802.11g, or 802.11b. Or some of them. Or all of them.

But you may have more to consider than just the speed and bandwidth of Ethernet over Radio (WiFi). Wired Ethernet has similar (if fewer) choices. And you may discover you need multiple LANs, whether wired or WiFi.
These days, even small networks may require separation for different purposes. Commonly, there may be separate LANs for "DMZ servers," for backup, for management, for application servers to communicate with database servers .... the list can be long. My home network has more individual LANs than there are rooms.
So, consider first what your network needs to do. That will inform your design, which will have many choices. Your design will inform your hardware, and again, their will be many choices. Considering which bright new shiny toys to acquire is the very last step in your design phase.
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