Technology / Physical Vs. Logical Network Design
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Autor: anton 04 November 2010
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Physical vs. Logical Network Design
April 11, 2006
How is your network designed? This is a simple question. But, like many things in the information technology field, not a question with a simple answer. The definition of network design to a customer or user can be completely different than to an information technology professional. Even inside of the information technology field, there are several definitions of network design. We use the words Logical Network Design and Physical Network Design to help clear up some of this confusion. In the course of this paper we will define Logical and Physical Network Design, explain some of the differences, and provide examples of each to help illustrate the point.
Logical Network Design (sometimes called Virtual Network Design) defines the logical parts of a network. In this case logical means the relationship between elements and between an element and the whole in a set of objects, individuals, principles, or events. (Dictionary,2006) Logical design concentrates on the links between network systems, how they relate to each other and the users. Some things that would be included in a Logical Network Design are:
â€¢ IP Addresses: In computer networking, an IP address (internet protocol address) is a unique number that devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard (IP). Any participating network device including routers, computers, time-servers, printers, internet fax machines, and some telephones â€” must have its own unique address. (Wikipedia, 2006)
â€¢ Subnets: In the Internet Protocol (IP), a subnetwork (or subnet) is a division of a classful network. Subnetting an IP network allows you to break down what appears (logically) to be a single large network into smaller ones. (Wikipedia, 2006)
â€¢ Domains: A Windows Server domain, a centrally-managed group of computers using the Windows operating-system. (Wikipedia, 2006)
â€œA logical network layout clearly shows the IP Addresses associated with each part of the network. In most cases, the logical network is a simple Class C network such as 192.168.0.0 with the default subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. This network allows up to 254 hosts to be connected directly to it without the need of any routing.â€
One thing that Logical Network Design does not do is concern itself with connection types or equipment; this is the realm of the Physical Network Design
Physical Network Design is heavily dependent
on the layout of the building and or enterprise system that will house the network. When creating a Physical Network Design, the designer must consider physical issues such as distance between equipment and building layout. Some things that may be represented on a Physical Network Design are:
â€¢ Equipment: Specific equipment will be show, such as switches, hubs, and routers.
â€¢ Systems: Systems that will be placed in the network will be show, these include PCs, servers, workstations and even fax machines, printers and storage devices.
â€¢ Cabling: The type quantity and length of connections and the media used to make these connections. Typical cabling connections include cat 5 or 6, fiber optic and coaxial.
Physical Network Design also is the most likely place to find the topology of any given network. A network topology is the pattern of links connecting pairs of nodes of a network. A given node has one or more links to others, and the links can appear in a variety of different shapes. (Wikipedia, 2006)
Looking at the following, it is easy to see the Physical Design usually flows from the set up of the Logical Design.
Logical Network Design Example
Physical Network Design Example
(Portion of Logical Design Labeled as Building Network)
In network design it is imperative that IT professionals have a roadmap to help them along. But like a cross country road trip, one cannot complete it with just a city map. The informed traveler must have a map of the entire country to plan the major route they will take before they look at the city map for individual places. The Logical Network Design is that large country map, it describes how a network connects, and performs together. However the Physical Network Design describes the connections themselves and the items to be connected. Logical is more conceptual and physical is more tangible and the later usually flows from the former.
Dictionary.com. (2006). Logical. Retrieved from www.dictionary.com on April 11, 2006.
Chris Partsenidis. 2006. Why is it useful to use both a physical and a logical network design?. Retrieved from www. http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com on April 11, 2006.
Wikipedia. (2006). Domain. Retrieved from www.wikipedia.com on April 11, 2006.
Wikipedia. (2006). IP Adress. Retrieved from www.wikipedia.com on April 11, 2006.
Wikipedia. (2006). Subnet. Retrieved from www.wikipedia.com on April 11, 2006.
Wikipedia. (2006). Topology. Retrieved from www.wikipedia.com on April 11, 2006.
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