Recognizing a Good Network Design

Peter Welcher
Architect, Operations Technical Advisor

I recently had an article posted on the Cisco Blog Perspectives website: Recognizing a Good Network Design. This Cisco Champions blog post describes some thoughts about what goes into a good network design, sources of information about good designs, and how to improve your network design skills.

One of the key things is to take business and technical requirements into account. I’ve been seeing a lot of designs lately where the design does not meet business needs (e.g. if you’re an investment organization, lacking Internet redundancy and having an Internet outage may convey a poor business image) or technical requirements (e.g. complexity level too high for staff to maintain).

There are also some poor designs coming from competing technical requirements, e.g. Security not working with networking and dictating extremely poor network design, rather than having a discussion about what needs to be achieved and the alternative ways to do that.

Concerning learning about good design, I think highly of the Cisco Validate Designs area. There’s good reading material there, not that I totally agree with all of it (see above: complexity). I do wish the CVDs covered more topics!

For more along these lines, please take a look at the Cisco posting.


Comments are welcome, both in agreement or constructive disagreement about the above. I enjoy hearing from readers and carrying on deeper discussion via comments. Thanks in advance!

I’d love to hear what you think via Comments, especially if you can identify other sources of good designs, learning about design, etc.

Twitter: @pjwelcher

Disclosure Statement
Cisco Certified 15 YearsCisco Champion 2014




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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.