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IP Subnetting Step #1: Requirements Analysis
(Page 1 of 2)
When you are building or upgrading
a network as a whole, the first step isn't buying hardware, or figuring
out protocols, or even design. It's requirements analysis, the
process of determining what it is the network needs to do. Without this
foundation, you risk implementing a network that may perfectly match
your designbut not meet the needs of your organization. The exact
same rule applies to subnetting as well. Before we look at the gory
details of host addresses and subnet masks, we must decide how to subnet
the network. To do that, we must understand the requirements of the
Key Subnetting Requirements
Analyzing the requirements of the
network for subnetting isn't difficult, because there are only a few
issues that we need to consider. Since requirements analysis is usually
done by asking questions, here's a list of the most important questions
in analyzing subnetting requirements:
- What class is our IP address block?
- How many physical subnets are on the network
today? (A physical subnet generally refers to a broadcast
domain on a LAN; a set of hosts on a physical network bounded by routers.)
- Do we anticipate adding any more physical networks
in the near future, and if so, how many?
- How many hosts do we have in the largest of our
- How many hosts do we anticipate having in the
largest subnet in the near future?
The first question is important because
everything in subnetting is based around dividing up a Class
A, Class B or Class C network, so we need
to know which we are dealing with. If we are in the process of designing
a network from scratch and don't have a Class A, B or C block yet, then
we will determine which we need based on the approximate size of the
organization. After that, we need to determine two key numbers: how
many physical subnets we have, and the maximum number of hosts per subnet.
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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