Logical and Physical Network Design

Essay by tjnorthrupUniversity, Master'sA+, July 2004

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Network design is a detailed, labor-intensive activity. During the design process, all key aspects of the network are examined in terms of how they meet current needs and how they must be adapted or enlarged as network usage grows. This includes the hardware which constitutes the physical network, the software used to give that network its structure and organization, and the firmware which gives your network interface controllers and hubs their functionality.

The goal is to design a network that is cost-effective, easy to manage, and has the flexibility to adapt as your company's business and technical requirements grow and change. The logical design represents how the network operates. The physical design represents the actual locations of networking equipment, servers, and clients.

Logical and Physical Network Design

The physical design of a computer network is easier to understand. To a computer user, a network is simply a group of computers and all of the devices associated with computers, from routers to printers to external hard drives, that are connected to each other by a number of different forms of communications capabilities.

Some networks involve permanent connections, which are almost always in the form of cables. Other networks rely on temporary connections that are established, maintained for a specific period of time and then broken through telephone or other forms of communication devices.

In general, the more permanent connections that exist within a network the more smoothly that network will run. A network run entirely on temporary connections is subject to unwanted fragmentation: This tends to be the case especially with telephone-line connections because they are constantly being called upon to be used for other functions at precisely that moment that a computer user wishes to employ them to carry data. The fewer temporary connections that exist within a...