Your Design Should Be Usable!

Whatever you design , it should be usable first. Computer network design is not an exception.You are not designing a network to support one service only such as VPN or Internet.It should give enough functionality for today and future needs.

Your design should be usable today and the future !

It was so common to use TDM and Ethernet, IP or MPLS as a transport mechanism at the Access and Aggregation network and for the mobile backhaul. TDM is for the real time , delay , loss, jitter sensitive traffic, Ethernet is for the general data applications.

Building a TDM based network is good for real time applications but expensive at the same time. Thus if you will design a converge transport network, you need to understand your business requirements first.

Which services business want to offer ? What are the trends ?

If you will change something on the network , or if you will add a certain protocol, equipment , will it make life easier ?

Reasonable life time for the networking equipment is 5 to 7 years, life time of your network design should be longer.

You may change/add or remove something from your network but infrastructure doesn’t change rapidly.

For example if you give a VPN service , you may carry it over an MPLS transport. If you will carry multicast over MPLS transport but you don’t want to have LSM ( Label switched multicast ) you may have Rosen GRE and create a separate IP backbone for multicast traffic. You don’t necessarily remove MPLS !

First design principle is always usability ! Everything is designed for the users. As a computer network engineer you design computer network and your users are the companies. Companies don’t need an OSPF , MPLS, IS-IS or BGP. They want to grow their business as fast as possible, without interruption , requiring a huge changes.


network design


See above teapot. Nice design right ? Simple and elegant. And also red color. As a Turkish guy, I love red 🙂

Unfortunately ,no. You can’t use it. If you can’t use it , even though it is simple it is useless. Computer networks are not different. Make sure that you know what you are doing.

Also if you are a careful reader , you probably realised that I said in the beginning of an article  design should give enough functionality for today and future needs.

This teapot even doesn’t offer any functionality for today ,What about your network ?

4 Replies to “Your Design Should Be Usable!”

  1. Thanks Orhan for great article. Here are my thoughts:

    – The Designer should be always open minded. He should be able to accept ideas from other people which I see as one of problem in Industry.

    – One should understand the hype cycles created by OEMs and market from their perspective is mostly about making $$$. While fundamentally that’s wrong at their part, but as a Designer one should try to be as neutral as possible.

    – More texts should be written around Inter Vendor Inter operability part

    – Before documenting the networks one should also think about documentation automation 🙂

    – No matter what SDN means to individual and what problems it claims to solve, one needs to first think if we are looking into right areas to before even thinking of solving problems. In most bad networks design you also must have seen was it technology or humans ? … Though we are little far from artificial intelligence into networks and return of Terminator 🙂

    1. Deepak, I definitely agree with most of your thoughts. 2 think probably I would be disagree.
      Vendor interoperability is not a design focus. So texts should be written but this is an operational consideration.
      Designer should listen people but should have his vision and sometimes this vision prevents to accept the others ideas.


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