Network Design Principles: KISS

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Keep it simple, stupid (KISS) is a design principle that requires a system’s design to be as simple as possible. Complex design may be expensive to build and maintain. Also, unnecessary features or components increase the potential for failures.

From a management perspective, network designs should be simple enough for the management teams to manage and repair easily if a failure occurs. If the management team cannot understand how the network works, it is likely that it will not be managed properly.

Among the reasons for creating a complex designs is the scope creep. This refers to broadening the scope of the design project beyond initial requirements due to the customer demanding more features or changes. Other reasons for a design to be complex may be the result of adding unnecessary redundancies or using complex protocols in simple topologies .

The phrase “keep it simple, stupid” is attributed to Kelly Johnson, who was the lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works. However, the principle is stated in many other famous quotes, phrases and principles:

  • Occam’s Razor principle – Expressed in several forms, but it simply stats that given a choice between functionally equivalent designs, the simplest design should be selected.
  • Albert Einstein’s – “Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler”.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci’s – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
  • Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe’s (a highly respected architect) – “Less is more”.

Read about other Network Design Principles.