Enterprise Network Designs

-Tier 2 Design-

Known as collapsed core – in which the distribution layer and core layer functions are implemented in single device.  Commonly used in small enterprise networks which does not grow significantly in next few years.

Distribution/Core layer provides connectivity to:

  • WAN edge
  • Internet edge
  • Network services
  • LAN aggregation to the end- user access layer

Access layer provides connectivity to:

  • End-users or Endpoints Access

-Tier 3 Design-

Has separate core and distribution layers. Commonly implemented in large enterprise networks with multiple buildings.

Core Layer provides connectivity to:

  • WAN edge
  • Internet
  • Network service
  • Data Center
  • Distribution Layer

Distribution layer provides:

  • Policy-based connectivity and boundary control between access and core layers.

Access layer provides connectivity to:

  • End-users or Endpoints Access

WAN Edge – used to connect to remote data centers, remote branches or other campus networks.

Internet Edge – used for regular internet access, remote VPN Access or cloud connectivity which does not requires dedicated interconnections

Network services – is where the devices providing the network services located. For example, Wireless Controllers, Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE), Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM), and others.

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