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AIX Version 4.3 System Management Guide: Communications and Networks

Planning Your TCP/IP Network

Because TCP/IP is such a flexible networking tool, there are many ways you can customize TCP/IP to fit the specific needs of your organization. Listed below are the major issues you need to consider when planning your network. (The details of these issues are discussed at length later. This list is intended only to introduce you to the issues.)

  1. Decide which type of network hardware you want to use: token-ring, Ethernet Version 2, IEEE 802.3, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), Serial Optical Channel, or Serial Line Interface Protocol (SLIP).

  2. Plan the physical layout of the network.

    Consider which functions each host machine will serve. For example, you need to decide which machine or machines will serve as gateways before you cable the network.

  3. Decide whether a flat network or a hierarchical network organization best fits your needs.

    If your network is fairly small, at a single site, and consists of one physical network, then a flat network will probably suit your needs. If your network is very large or complex with multiple sites or multiple physical networks, a hierarchical network may be a more efficient network organization for you.

  4. If your network will be connected to other networks, plan how your gateways need to be set up and configured. You need to:
    1. Decide which machine or machines will serve as gateways.
    2. Decide whether you need to use static or dynamic routing, or a combination of the two. If you choose dynamic routing, decide which routing daemons each gateway will use in light of the types of communications protocols you need to support.

  5. Decide on an addressing scheme.

    If your network will not be part of a larger internetwork, choose the addressing scheme that best fits your needs. If you want your network to be connected to a larger internetwork such as the Internet, you will need to obtain an official set of addresses.

  6. Decide whether your system needs to be divided into subnets. If so, decide how you will assign subnet masks.

  7. Decide on a naming scheme. Each machine on the network needs its own unique host name.

  8. Decide whether your network needs a name server for name resolution or if using the /etc/hosts file will be sufficient.

    If you choose to use name servers, consider the type of name servers you need and how many you need to serve your network efficiently.

  9. Decide the types of services your network will provide to remote users; for example, mail, remote login, remote command execution, file sharing, and other services.

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