Network Design Step 1: Determining Technical Goals

Although the implementation of technologies is generally driven by business needs to begin with, companies ultimately come to rely upon these same technologies in order to function over the longer term. In line with this concept, an organization will general have technical goals as part of any planned network design project.

Examples of common technical goals include improving the security, performance, availability, and scalability of a network, as well as streamlining network management functions. Each of these areas is looked at in the bullet points below in more detail.

  • Improve network security. Improving or redesigning the security of an organization’s network is an example of a technical goal. For example, a company may want to implement firewalls or intrusion detection systems to better protect internal systems from external users.
  • Improve network performance. Improving performance through the implementation of a new network or the upgrade of an existing network is another common example of a technical goal. For example, a company might still be using 10 Mbps Ethernet hubs for connectivity on some LANs, and might want to increase performance at the access layer by implementing Fast Ethernet and dedicated switch ports for all systems.
  • Increase network availability. Increasing network availability is a technical goal usually achieved through the implementation of network redundancy features. For example, a company might specify that any new network must implement redundant trunk links between switches, such that the failure of any link would not impact the entire network.
  • Streamline network management. The redesign of network management processes in another example of a technical goal. For example, an organization’s current network management strategy might be largely reactive, trying to deal with problems when they arise. Deciding to implement a network management system such as HP OpenView for the purpose of proactive management would be considered a technical goal.
  • Increase network scalability. Over time, the network requirements for an organization will change. For example, a company might be planning to merge with another organization in the near future, and wants to ensure that the new network will be able to scale in a manner suitable to supporting new users, connections, and more.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.