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Which network design tool is right for you?

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We've all seen advertisements for commercial network design tools. They usually show colorful workstation and server icons suspended like insects in a spider web of switches and routers, all neatly superimposed on a map of Northern California. But network design is more than dragging, dropping, and connecting icons to build a graphical network infrastructure. Network design is challenging, requiring designers to balance user performance expectations with network-resource costs, capacities, capabilities, and use levels. Network operators want to keep resource utilization high and costs low. But then the resulting design might produce unacceptable service levels when congested links and undersized routers cause too much delay or too many dropped packets. You need a design that will efficiently use your network resources and effectively serve your users. And you want a network design tool that can produce the design you want. Networks are a complicated mix of applications, protocols, device and link technologies, traffic flows, and routing algorithms. There may be tens of thousands of feasible configurations, each with different performance attributes and costs. Can network design tools help you find the combination that is right for your organization? Yes, but it's important to use the right one for the job

Published in:

IT Professional  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Sep/Oct 2000

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