Access layer is the one of the layer of Cisco hierarchical model. Whenever you are in the process of designing the building access layer you need to ask yourself several important questions and at the end by answering these questions you have a very clear view and design for your access layer.
- What are the current and futures needs for users or node ports in the wiring closet? Sort out all exiting cabling infrastructure and add the future requirement in plan and find out how much extra thing that you are needed.
- Check out your existing hardware and try to add or replace your hardware with Cisco catalyst 3550 modular series if your company has a budget for this type of hardware. This will improve your network performance and growth.
- Find out the best cabling by analyzing the network requirement, it may be UTP or STP. Nowadays you can also use the fiber optic in building as well, we have the NIC that supports fiber optical cable. Using these NIC we can design the building network with fiber optic, but remember this is costly and only suitable for high data rates.
- Design and plan your network for best performance and find out the bandwidth requirement for your network.
- Normally you may not need the redundancy like redundant switches but you can consider this if you need the high availability.
- You can tune your switch network perform by implementing VLAN, VTP and STP at access network.
- Sort out layer-2 traffic patterns if you have multicasting and other multimedia traffic then need QoS and proper Network Traffic Management.