“Failure to plan is a plan for failure.” -Alan Lakein
Lately I have been battling against individuals who seem to have a fear of the unknown. Who fear that, in using real-world metrics, they somehow missed something so they should over-compensate. Right sizing solutions is an art and over sizing solutions out of fear is a fools game in my opinion. Voice, IP telephony, IP cameras, video content delivery and the great unknown Leprechaun application!
Isn’t that what scaleability is all about? Rather than paying today for what I am not going to use tomorrow, I should not pay today what I am not going to use tomorrow. I mean, if we always purchase today what we ‘think’ we may need tomorrow, when the rules changes, as they often do in technology, we are going to be stuck in the mud without the funding or agility necessary to adapt to the changing landscape. In short, right size solutions today based on real world metrics and realistic, well-know, future requirements that have well defined metrics. No need to get caught up in hypothesizing about theoretical future advancements. Design a scaleable and flexible infrastructure today and when they Leprechaun application comes around tomorrow, get solid metrics and scale up based on the real needs.
The other topic of discussion is a restricted view, networking with blinders. It is easy to develop unrealistic view of requirements and metrics if you do not have a complete end-to-end understanding. It is always very dangerous to assume that we know anything. Assumptions and lack of understanding are a major cause of bad network designs. More and more often I am seeing individuals either over or under provision infrastructure because of a gross lack of understanding of the big picture. The biggest danger is in expending all of your resources in the wrong areas. With a greenfield design it is imperative to understand where the bottlenecks will occur are and use your resources wisely to address those concerns first.
In doing my research I found a very nice white paper from Aruba on right sizing LAN environments that I would like to share a quote from.
“Network rightsizing is grounded on four key principles:
- The first principle is the importance of providing a network connection that meets current and future needs, at the lowest cost to the company.
- The second principle is the importance of eliminating unnecessary equipment that costs money to run and maintain.
- The third principle is the value of minimizing complexity by reducing the time and cost of managing the network.
- The fourth principle is driving employee productivity improvement through mobility. In the following sections these four basic principles will be discussed separately and then in tandem to demonstrate how to build a more streamlined, economical, and extensible network.”
More good resources:
Cisco community college campus LAN deployment guide:
A different approach to campus LAN design:
Cisco High Availability Campus Network Design—Routed Access Layer using EIGRP or OSPF:
-Brandon Mangold | CCIE 31104