Small Network Topologies

The small networks topologies and technique is too impotent for network professionals because the majority of businesses are required small networks. The small network’s design is generally very simple. Generally, the network topologies contain a single router and one or more switches. The small networks may possibly have access points (possibly built into the router) and also IP phones. As for the requirement of the internet, the small networks usually use only a single WAN connection provided by internet service providers. The internet connection may be in the shape of DSL, cable, or an Ethernet. The figure below display the typical small network.

small network topology

The small network also requires the same skills which required for managing a larger network. The main work in the small network is maintenance and troubleshooting after one-time installation of equipment. The securing devices and information on the network are important for the network administrator.

Device Selection for a Small Network

The small networks also required planning and design according to the user requirement. Network planning ensures the requirements of the user, cost of the network, and implementation options. For a small network implementation, the type of intermediate devices is very important for the design. For the selection of intermediate devices, there are some important factors that required to be measured.

Type of Intermediate Devices

For the implementation of a small network, the first design considerations are the type of intermediate devices have to use in the network. While selecting intermediate devices, there are some factors that need to be measured


The cost of intermediate devices is determined by its capacity and features. The capacity of the intermediate device based on the number and types of ports available. The network management capabilities, embedded security technologies, and advanced switching technologies also affect the cost of the devices.

The cable cost also is considered which required to connect all device on the network. The redundancy is another factor which affects the cost of the network.

Ports/Interfaces Speed and Types

The interface and port selection on intermediate devices router or switch) is an important decision. Some computers have built-in 1 Gb/s NICs. 10 Gb/s ports also available on newer computers, workstations, and servers. It is too much expensive; to accommodate increased speed on Layer 2 devices that allow the network to evolve without replacing central devices.


Both fixed and modular type of network devices is available. Fixed devices have a fixed number and type of ports or interfaces available which cannot be changed, while modular devices have expansion slots that give the flexibility to add new modules as per requirements. Switches are also available with extra ports for high-speed links.

Operating System Features and Services

The operating system feature usually depends on the version of the operating system, a network device usually support features and services, such as:

  • Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Security
  • Voice over IP (VoIP)
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
  • Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • Layer 3 switching
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