Network Design Project Initial Questions

I have been always thinking of creating a set of questions-to-be-asked for Network design projects. Though, it’s really hard to have the same template for every project, but usually there some general questions applying to all.

Skimming through the web, I came to an interesting article on Cisco Learning Network : Unleashing CCDE. I am pasting the questions list here, but with my own text marking:

Listed are some of the initial questions to ask your customers at the onset of a new network design project:

1. Business objectives, pain points and perceived constraints
  • Who are the key stakeholders, sponsors, end users?
  • Why is there a project in the first place? What are the drivers for the redesign of your existing network?
  • What are the current pain points?
  • Which business outcomes the customer expects to achieve?
  • What is the business growth plan 3-5 years, capacity planning, scaling requirements?
  • Are there any regulatory constraints such as HIPAA, PCI, Fed, and Local Government that affect the organization and industry? Other known constraints?
  • Is there specific equipment, vendors, or protocols preferred or are absolutely out of the question?
  • What are the implementation timelines and milestones?
  • What are the key success factors? Are there known barriers to success?
  • What is the customer tolerance to risk? Conservative or bleeding edge?
2. Desired characteristics and capabilities
  • What is the current state of the network (baseline), to compare after the implementation of the new design?
  • Are there any documentation available, features in use, versions, is standardization consistent?
  • What is the financial investment (cost/budget, cost-benefit analysis) x desired business, operational, and innovation outcomes, followed by a technical translation of these needs/goals to a technology environment?
  • What are the desired characteristics of the new network: redundancy/resiliency/convergence, speed, security, cost, application performance, simplicity, manageability, capabilities? Load balancing, load sharing?
  • Public, private or hybrid cloud?
3. Footprint, policies, method of access and traffic patterns
  • What is the geographical distribution, connectivity options/capabilities on the branches?
  • Where do the servers reside in the network, their known vulnerabilities and how the services align with the security policies?
  • What are the current and future traffic patterns, north-south, east-west, or both?
  • What are the current and future applications’ requirements and tolerance to delay, packet drop, and jitter?
  • What is the company security, infrastructure policies? Do you have specific design/architecture principles to adhere to? Any project management methodology or tools? Network management?
  • What are the established SLA’s if any, and the level of success achieved for these SLA’s?
  • Does the network support the business, the network is the business, or both?
  • Are there best practices?
  • Will there be a test lab or group, a prototype, a development area?
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DRBD with Cluster File System on Debian Jessie

Hi,

I’m Sina Moghaddas, and this my first post as a co-author to my brother 🙂

In this post, I am going to show you how to setup DRBD with OCFS2.

DRBD® refers to block devices designed as a building block to form highly available (HA) clusters. This is done by mirroring a whole block device via an assigned network. DRBD can be understood as a network based raid-1.

OCFS2 is a general-purpose, shared-disk, clustered filesystem for Linux, which is capable of providing both high performance and high availability.

ok, here we go 😉

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Seriously, what is Big Data?

Big Data Defined

The easiest answer: Big Data is your data, structured and unstructured.

There’s nothing new about the notion of big data, which has been around since at least 2001. It’s the information owned by your company, obtained and processed through new techniques to produce value in the best way possible. Big data may be as important to business – and society – as the Internet has become. Why? More data may lead to more accurate analyses.

Ask any Big Data expert to define the subject and they’ll quite likely start talking about “The three V‘s”. As far back as 2001, industry analyst Doug Laney (currently with Gartner) articulated the now mainstream definition of big data as below:

  • Volume. Many factors contribute to the increase in data volume. Transaction-based data stored through the years. Unstructured data streaming in from social media. Increasing amounts of sensor and machine-to-machine data being collected. In the past, excessive data volume was a storage issue. But with decreasing storage costs, other issues emerge, including how to determine relevance within large data volumes and how to use analytics to create value from relevant data.
  • Velocity. Data is streaming in at unprecedented speed and must be dealt with in a timely manner. RFID tags, sensors and smart metering are driving the need to deal with torrents of data in near-real time. Reacting quickly enough to deal with data velocity is a challenge for most organizations.
  • Variety. Data today comes in all types of formats. Structured, numeric data in traditional databases. Information created from line-of-business applications. Unstructured text documents, email, video, audio, stock ticker data and financial transactions. Managing, merging and governing different varieties of data is something many organizations still grapple with.

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