Geographic-based network design
Another approach to a network architecture is the geographic-based network design approach to network design. In this approach the operation of the network is divided into between the network types and the boundary devices that interconnect the technologies. The smallest scope of the network technologies is the personal area network, or possibly the desk area network. These are interconnected to local area networks, that are interconnected in a campus environment.
Campuses are interconnected via metropolitan area networks and wide area networks that can span the globe. The scope of the network determines the actual number of layers in use and the operation of the layers.
Layers of the geographic model
- Personal area networks
- Local area networks
- Campus area networks
- Metropolitan area networks
- Wide area networks
Advantages of the Geographic Model
The primary advantage of the geographic model is its comfort level. Most IT personnel are familiar with these networking concepts and the underlying technologies. Today, the use of a single technology can and will span multiple layers. Ethernet operates from the PAN to the WAN. This allows a commonality of services and ease of management not present in other approaches.
Another advantage of the model is its applicability to all network sizes. Useless layers are except from the architecture without a loss of functions, only reach. The model can be applied to very small businesses as well as multinational businesses.
Disadvantages of the Geographic Model
The disadvantage for the geographic model is that it is a simplistic view of an enterprise network. No networks are as clean as the layers indicate. Technologies are being used for all types of communications. What was introduced as a LAN might become a CAN technology. And where does voice fit into this environment?
When applied to a large enterprise network, the geographic model opens more questions than it solves.