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Network Design Mandate Example (by Tony Fortunato)

Here I explain how NOT understanding the main design mandate or goal, can cause support confusion.  Of course the same issue causes unrealistic performance expectations from your users and constant complaints.

I always explain that networks are typically built with ONE of the following criteria in mind; Performance, Security OR convenience.

Sure, networks can encompass several of the above criteria as a secondary component, but at the end of the day, you need to understand the primary purpose of the network.  

In some cases you may need to build a separate network for those secondary requirements. For example, you may need to build a secure VLAN, for those users who have above the normal level of security requirements or build a WIFI VLAN for those users who want WiFi access to the corportate network.  The challenge invloves connecting them back to the corporate network.

Sounds so simple, but sometimes when we inherit a network, or are not involved with its evolution, these simple principles are not obvious.

I built several wireless highspeed rural residential networks over the past 9 years and the first thing my team and I do is make sure every customer understands the nature of wireless.  For example; why we have a "Fair Access Policies", etc. We also go through the same excercise with the Help Desk.  That way we are all 'singing from the same song sheet". This simple conversation saves us unecessary service calls and reinforces the previous design principles to the customer.