How do you account for network growth while improving its performance and security? Simple. Subnetting is your answer to these problems. Without this practice, you would have a torrid time trying to eliminate network congestion. These days, congestion may not be much of a problem like it once was. Why? In the past, networks relied on hubs instead of switches, which are more commonly used today. That said, it’s great to understand and implement subnetting best practices, which can make you more effective.
What are subnetting best practices?
Reducing Network Traffic
The main goal of subnetting is to reduce congestion. Essentially, this means reducing network traffic. To break it down further, subnetting seeks to restrict traffic to their designated subnet. None of this would happen if a strategic placing of all the subnets fails to take place. What is more, there are more benefits in reducing network traffic. What do you need for this? A router is mandatory in ensuring that you achieve this goal. Reduced traffic within the network has ripple effect. First, it increases each subnet’s speed. Two, it eases network congestion.
Boosting the Network’s Security
Where networks are concerned, you always have to worry about security. Today, the ever-evolving technology has made it possible to compromise any network. One of subnetting’s best practices involves enhancing network security. Any technician or IT professional who fails to boost the network’s security would be doing a terrible job. For this to happen though, you have to be ready to split the network and use route-maps, QoS, and ACLs to control traffic. This way, you would be able to:
What is more, it’s also possible to configure ACLs thus limiting devices within each subnet from accessing the entire network. As long as you protect the entire network – or small sections along the route too – you will be making it harder for any third party who wishes to compromise its security from doing just that. Nevertheless, whatever you do, remember to make sure that valuable, sensitive information remains inaccessible to unauthorized persons. Therefore, make it your goal to restrict access to all wireless clients’ resources.
Controlling network growth
It’s also important to keep an eye on network growth. The best practice is to maintain a high level of awareness at the planning and designing stage. Do not move further before contemplating the impact size could have on the network moving forward. Subnetting offers you a chance to do just that. It allows you to not only monitor but also control the size – and eventual growth – of the network. Yes, the network will grow as it embraces new users with time.
How do you determine the growth of the network? Simple, you only need to look at the size of the building where the organization or business operates. The physical space will tell you whether more users will be brought on board. Additionally, it would be good to speak with the management to learn its strategies regarding growth. Do they plan to double their operations? If so, then you would need to factor in size to everything you do. Remember to use the host formula to calculate growth.
The host formula is quite simple.
It is 2n-2, where the ‘n’ stands for the number of zeroes found within the subnet mask.
Easing administration is yet one more best practice of subnetting. Network admins are notoriously busy. They have a multitude of issues, which all fight for their attention, to tackle. For the administrators, one of the most annoying challenges has to do with the limits put in place by the host. Subnetting allows the administrators to navigate through this potentially massive problem. In fact, subnetting offers a way of operating with logical host limits rather than putting more emphasis on the limitations brought about by IP address classes.
What is more, subnetting allows system administrators to monitor machines that are in use within their networks. This has several benefits. Arguably, the biggest benefit is the ability it confers upon you to identity machines within the network that need attention fast. Furthermore, you can then recommend the appropriate service thus ensuring that the system enjoys prolonged uptime. In essence, subnetting ensures that system administrators have a much easier time managing and troubleshooting their networks.
In summary, subnetting best practices are varied. Some administrators come up with their own unique practices. The goal is to make sure that you identity, apply and restrict yourself to an effective solution. Nevertheless, it’s also important to restrict your actions to what is universally acknowledged within the industry as best practices. Remember to take charge of network growth, ease your task as an administrator, enhance security, and configure the routers while boosting speed and performance.