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Ideal Design?

Posted on 2001-06-18
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Design Issue:
I have 200 sites at various locations throughout the US and these are connected to a data center thriugh a hub and spoke model. But these 200 sites are broken down into different regions and those go to a central hub for that location, for eg. North East region will have 10-15 sites connected to a router which then gos to a frame relay and an ATM network and then to the data center.
So now I have 200 sites, 10 hub sites and 1 data center.
What should my ideal Network Design look like?
Should I not use central hub regions and connect each site individually to the data center? Then would it be a problem to have 200 virual circuits and any PVC issues?

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Question by:ecomm_guru
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lrmoore earned 50 total points
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You are currently using a classic 3-tier network that is the model for every network design class.

Some of the benifits of the existing model:
1. Cost. Assuming frame-relay, you can get cost control by selecting an intermediate hub within a LATA, or geographic area where no InterExchange Carrer cross-lata tarrifs are imposed for the "local" connections.
2. Failover. If you lose your main circuit, you can still maintain connectivity between the intermediate hub and the remotes it serves.
3. You can use a smaller pipe at your core site.

My opinion of an ideal design would take what you have, and create a "partial mesh" between all the intermediate hub sites so that every one will have a minimum of two paths back to the core site. One primary PVC from hub1 to core and a secondary PVC from hub1 to hub2. Hub2 could have PVC to Hub1, core, and hub3, etc. Another option would be to have two independent circuits at the core comming into two separate routers (HSRP between the routers), and have two PVC's from each hub site. This gives you automatic failover and load-balancing.

Depending on the criticality of your remotes, you can do the same thing, have one "shadow" PVC from each remote point to a different hub.

Would bringing all 200 PVC's back to the core site cause any problems? Depends on the horespower and IOS version of your router, and your routing protocol, but it can be done. Having to establish EIGRP or OSPF neighbor relationships with 200 routers creates quite a drain on the CPU of the router, especially if any one of the 200 circuits tends to "flap".
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ecomm_guru,
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