Logical and Physical Network Design
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Logical and Physical Network Designs
Logical and Physical Network Designs
Network planning and design is an extremely important process which must be performed before the establishment of a new telecommunications network. The purpose of network planning and design is to ensure that the new network meets the necessary requirements of the system. The network planning process includes forecasting how the network will operate, the economic information concerning costs, and the technical details of the network capabilities (Wikipedia, 2005).

When designing a telecommunications network, there are two separate design techniques that must be considered. There is the logical design as well as the physical design. These designs can also be presented in a visual manner. The logical design is that which has been rationally conceived by the designer. The physical design of this application is the material layout of the logical plan. The physical design or topology of a network refers to the configuration of cables, computers, and other peripherals. The logical topology is the method used to pass information between workstations. A logical topology describes how devices appear connected to the user. A physical topology is how they are actually interconnected with wires and cables. Logical versus physical can also be described as high-level versus low-level. Logical implies a higher view than the physical (Wikipedia, 2005).

First, a logical design must be created. A conceptual design of the network is expressed in the connections desired between network locations. It is also important at this stage to consider future growth and expansion. The logical design of a network includes the IP addresses associated with the network (Appendix A). This is an important consideration when there is a possibility of running out of IP addresses (TechTarget, 2004).

There is now the physical design to be considered. The physical network design refers to the actual layout of the physical part of the network. This includes cables, switches, workstations, etc. This physical map usually involves a diagram of the actual floor the way it would be seen if looking toward the floor from the ceiling (TechTarget, 2004). The physical design also defines the types of cable used to connect all devices and the distances the devices will have from the switch (Appendix B).

There are also additional considerations when comparing a logical design to a physical design. It is possible to have a different logical topology than physical topology when describing the same network. Consider that a logical network describes how the network operates. A physical network describes how the network has been cabled. It