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.