Network Design Principles: Design Process

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Network design is an exercise in decision making. The design process takes client requirements and constraints as input and produces a set of maps, plans, quantities, and policies. The process is influenced also by sets of business and environment contexts. A common approach to designing networks is to follow a… Read more »

Network Design Principles: Design by Committee

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Significant engineering designs are rarely the result of one person’s effort. Network design performed by a single person may be acceptable if user requirements are simple and the possibility of getting things wrong is low or easily fixable. Otherwise, the design effort should involve a group of experts and relevant… Read more »

Network Design Principles: Cost-benefit

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A design can be evaluated using the cost-benefit principle, and it will be considered good if the benefits outweigh the cost. From a designer perspective, a cost-benefit analysis can assess the financial returns associated with adding a design feature. The designer should also evaluate benefits and costs from the user’s… Read more »

Network Design Principles: Consistency

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The consistency principle states that systems are more usable and learnable when similar parts are expressed in similar ways [Lidwell 2010]. Consistency in network design can be applied to appearance (e.g. network documentation) or to functionality (e.g. device configuration). Internal consistency refers to consistency with other components in the system… Read more »

Network Design Principles: 80/20 Rule

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The 80/20 is also known as the Pareto Principle. It refers to the work of Vilferdo Pareto that describes the relationship between the elements that make up a whole and the influence that each element exert on the whole. The 80/20 rule is observed in all large systems, including data… Read more »

Network Design Principles

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Design principles are widely applicable laws, guidelines, biases and considerations that designers use to guide their decision-making process. Engineers use some of these principles to design products that meet the users’ requirements. In a series of posts, I describe briefly one design principle that is applicable to the design of… Read more »

Short Tutorial on Z-Wave

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Z-Wave is a wireless communications protocol that uses low-energy radio signals operating in the ISM band and support mesh networking topology. Z-Wave is used primarily for home automation for wireless control of home appliances e.g. lighting, security systems, thermostats, garage door openers etc. Z-wave protocol is developed by Sigma Designs,… Read more »

Building an OpenFlow Switch with Integrated Controller and IDS/IPS

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This post describes steps to build an OpenFlow switch using Open vSwitch on a server running Ubuntu 18.0.4. The server runs a Ryu controller and Snort intrusion prevention system, both are open source software. Such a system could be used a security appliance in a network of low-to-medium bandwidth requirements.

Building an OpenFlow Lab

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Like many people, I have started learning about Software-Defined Networking and OpenFlow using Mininet, which is a great virtual environment to use. However, Mininet has some limitations, and I found myself looking for hardware alternatives. This article describes how to build an OpenFlow lab environment that can be used for… Read more »