Cisco Enterprise Architecture

1. Hierarchical Model

Cisco Enterprise Architecture is based on a hierarchical model that consists of:

  • Access Layer:
    • provides connectivity without compromising network integrity
  • Distribution Layer
    • controls access to resources that are available in the core
    • efficient Bandwidth usage
    • implementation of QoS policies (policy-based traffic control)
  • Core Layer (aka Backbone)
    • optimize communication transport withint the network
    • maximize availability
    • minimize packet processing

2. Enterprise Network Architectures


Enterprise Network Architectures

Cisco developed 3 overlapping Enterprise Network Architectures:

  • Borderless Networks = deliver a consistent user experience to all users regardless of the way they connect to the network (at the office, wired, wireless, remote)
  • Collaboration = aims to build a network that integrates different means of communication (messaging, video conferencing, IP telephony)
  • Data Center Virtualization = focuses on provisioning the applications and services available to the user


3. Medianet

Medianet is an intelligent network optimized for rich media.

Network Services provided by Medianet

  • Network Management
  • High Availability
  • QoS
  • IP Multicast
  • Transcoding
  • Authentication and Encryption

Network Applications supported by Medianet:

  • Cisco Unified Communications
  • Cisco Digital Media Systems
  • Cisco IP Video Surveillance
  • Cisco TelePresence

4. Modules of the Cisco Network Architecture for the Enterprise

  • Campus
  • Data Center
  • WAN and MAN
  • Branch
  • TeleWorker

Modular Network Design

5. PPDIOO Network Lifecycle Approach


    Prepare: establishes organizational requirements, develops network strategies, identifies technologies, financial justification

  • Plan: identifies network requirements, assess existing networks, perform gap analysis, create project plan
  • Design: initial requirements will drive the design phase and the outcome will be the design specs. They will incorporate specifications for availability, reliability, security, scalability, performance.
  • Implement: implements and tests network components based on the design specs
  • Operate: daily operations of the implemented network
  • Optimize: proactive management of the network


This document was inspired and includes information from the book Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *