A Local Area Network (LAN) is a type of network that covers a small geographic area, like a home, office, or building. A LAN can be as small as two computers or as large as several hundred computers. They are usually connected together using Ethernet cables, hubs, or switches. A network architecture is a blueprint that defines the structure, behavior, and protocols of a computer network.
The network architecture of a LAN defines its size, topology, and performance. The three most common types of LAN architectures in CCNA course are 2-Tier, 3-Tier, and Spine-Leaf. Depending on the size and complexity of your network, you will need to choose the right type of network architecture. This blog will help you understand the different types of LAN architectures and you can learn how to choose the right one for specific needs.
In the previous blog of our CCNA 200-301 series , we talked about the TFTP Protocol. I recommend you go through it before you jump to this blog.
In order for a local area network to function properly, it must have an appropriate architecture.
Here are some of the most important features of LAN architecture:
- This architecture will determine how the LAN is designed and structured, as well as its performance.
- A good LAN architecture will ensure that the LAN is secure, reliable, and efficient.
- It will also help prevent network congestion and avoid the need for expensive upgrades or repairs.
- Good network architecture can also help reduce the cost of ownership by allowing for easy expansion and scalability.
- The architecture of a LAN also affects the cost of ownership, as it will determine how much hardware needs to be purchased and how much maintenance needs to be done.
- Additionally, the architecture of a LAN can affect the types of applications and services supported by the network.
- A well-designed architecture will enable the network to support the applications and services desired by the users.
How LAN Architecture Works?
The LAN architecture is what determines how the network is connected and how its components communicate with each other. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the LAN functions properly and efficiently. This can be done by organizing the components of the LAN in a logical way.
The LAN architecture is based on a logical topology, which is the physical layout of the components of the LAN. There are several different types of topologies used in LAN architecture, including star, mesh, and ring. Each of these topologies come with their own benefits and disadvantages.
Once the topology of the LAN has been established, the components of the network can be connected. This is usually done by connecting the components to one another using cables, hubs, or switches.
Once the components are connected, they can then be configured to communicate with each other. This is done by assigning each component of the network its own IP address, which allows them to recognize each other.
Different Types Of LAN Architectures
There are several different types of LAN architectures, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The following are the most used types of LAN architectures:
- 2-Tier LAN Architecture
- 3-Tier LAN Architecture
- Spine-Leaf Architecture
- SOHO (Small Office/Home Office)
2-Tier LAN Architecture:
2-Tier LANs are the simplest and most common type of LAN architecture. It consists of two parts: a client part, consisting of computers and other end-user devices, and a server part, consisting of servers and other networking equipment.
In a 2-Tier LAN, the servers provide network services such as file storage, printing, and remote access, while the clients access these services.
3-Tier LAN Architecture:
3-Tier LANs are similar to 2-Tier LANs, but they contain three parts: a client part, a server part, and a backbone part.
The backbone part consists of a high-speed Ethernet backbone that connects the other two parts together. This backbone allows for more reliable and faster communication than a 2-Tier LAN.
Spine-Leaf LANs are the most complex and scalable type of LAN architecture. These architectures consist of two parts: a spine and leaves. The spine is a high-speed backbone that connects all the leaves together.
The leaves are lower-speed switches that connect the clients and servers to the spine. This type of architecture is ideal for larger networks or networks with a lot of traffic.
SOHO (Small Office/Home Office):
SOHO refers to the office of a small company or a small home office with a few devices. If your home has a network connected to the Internet, it is considered a SOHO network.
SOHO networks don’t have complex needs, so all the networking functions are typically provided by a single device called a ‘home router’ or a ‘wireless router’. This one device can serve as a router, switch, firewall, wireless access point, or modem.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of LAN Architecture
The following are the advantages of LAN architecture:
- The advantages of LAN architecture include scalability, cost savings, and improved performance.
- LANs are relatively inexpensive to set up and maintain, and they can be easily expanded to accommodate more users, devices, and applications. This scalability makes them ideal for growing businesses.
- Additionally, LANs offer improved performance due to their higher bandwidth and lower latency, compared to their wide-area counterparts.
The following are the disadvantages of LAN architecture:
- The disadvantages of LAN architecture include congestion, security concerns, and a lack of mobility.
- Congestion can occur in heavily used LANs, which can lead to decreased performance and latency.
- Additionally, LANs can be vulnerable to security threats, such as viruses, malware, and hackers.
- Finally, LANs are limited to the geographic area that they cover, so users cannot access their resources from outside the network.
How To Select The Appropriate LAN Architecture?
When selecting a LAN architecture, the most important factor to consider is the size and scope of the network.
Networks that will be serving fewer than fifty users or devices can typically use 2-Tier or 3-Tier LAN architectures or SOHO. But networks that will be hosting a large number of users or devices will likely benefit from a Spine-Leaf architecture.
Other factors to consider when selecting a LAN architecture include the types of applications and services that the network will support, the scaling requirements, and the budget.
The network should be able to support the types of applications and services desired by the users, and it should be able to scale to meet the needs of the future.
Additionally, the budget should be considered when selecting a LAN architecture, as different architectures can vary greatly in terms of cost.
The architecture of a local area network plays an important role in determining its performance, security, and cost of ownership. There are several different types of LAN architectures, including 2-Tier, 3-Tier, and Spine-Leaf. Each type of architecture has its own advantages and disadvantages, and businesses should select the one that best meets their needs.
When selecting a LAN architecture, one should take into account the size and scope of their network, the types of applications and services supported, and the budget. In doing so, he can ensure that their LAN is secure, reliable, and affordable.
This marks the end of our LAN architectures and its most popular types.
Stay tuned for more blogs for the CCNA 200-301 series!