Network Characterization and Project Delivery

Welcome! To Project Delivery and Network Characterization.

Now, you may be wondering why I decided to group these 2 sections together. Really I wanted to take you through the initial steps with planning and executing a project. And just like planning to do anything, go on a trip, or even putting on your socks, it really helps to think about what resources you’ll need in order to complete the project you’re looking to do.

Perhaps you recall that you have some meetings to go to while on your trip so you’ll need 3 dress shirts, or I’ll be buying a lot of souvenirs so I need an extra piece of luggage. Thinking about what tools or resources you’ll need will help to prepare you, at least mentally, to have them ready, and might save you some backtracking later.

Cisco gives us 6 main Project Deliverables that we should keep in mind to be able to produce. A deliverable is a document that is created during the preparation and planning of the project.

Now of course in the real world you probably won’t create each of these documents for every project. The company you work with may only require a design but no implementation plan.

The High Level Design is your general overview of the architecture you’ll use to satisfy the requirements.

Say you have a new VOIP deployment for a branch office that was using plain old telephone service previously. This would be like a document showing that you’ll have CUCM here at the main office and branch offices will use the WAN connection for voice connectivity with SRST for redundancy.

Real basic, just a high-level overview to get a sense of where things are but none of the details about how it’s all connected.

The Low Level Design is where that information goes. Here is where we have our network diagrams showing the VLAN that’ll be used for the phones and the IP addressing scheme, the model of PoE switches you’ll use and ports that’ll connect to the edge router, etc. This is the meat and potatoes of your design.

Very closely related to the low level design is the Bill of Materials. This is pretty self-explanatory right? The Bill of materials is the list of new hardware with part numbers that’s needed, and typically you’d also list any licenses that need to be purchased here as well.

The last 3 deliverables here are all really similar; they’re step by step plans. The migration plan is a bit more high-level, like big picture what sections of the design will be migrated and their timelines,
where the implementation plan is like a list of commands you’d run on each device right, to actually implement the design.

And finally you should have a plan to verify that everything was actually implemented correctly and that your design functions, well as designed. The network ready for use plan is just that; a list of steps taken to verify and validate the design.

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