Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Network Design Approaches

Although a top-down approach is preferred to the bottom-up method, both have associated advantages and disadvantages. The lists below take a look at some of the relative advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Top-down Network Design:

Advantages: Begins with a focus on an organization’s specific goals and requirements for network applications and services, while allowing potential future needs to be considered and accounted for.

Disadvantages: Requires thorough initial needs analysis in order to determine specific requirements, and ensure that all possible applications and services have been considered.

Bottom-up Network Design:

Advantages: Generally a faster approach based on past projects and implementations that works within an existing environment.

Disadvantages: The approach may not take all necessary applications and services into consideration, leading to a design that ultimately may not meet the needs of an organization, and may need to be redesigned in the future.

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.