Cisco networking is all about designing efficient networks that offer the best compromise between security of each local network and the amount of data that is required between each of the sub networks so that they operate with no problems or at the very least, minimal impact to the users who operate these equipment.
Ever since the basic structure of the local area network was established, there has been an exponential rise in the complexity of the basic local area network. With the improvements in bandwidth utilization, the type and amount of data being passed from network to network and the type of use that the Internet sees in the corporate world, designing a network is not what it used to be.
If you were design the perfect network for a modern house, it only used to need a router, some cables and the optional wireless routers and switches to complete it. Now, you have the option to even print straight from your laptop to your printer without connecting to it and at the same time letting other computer print to the same printer; Or how about a centralized security system that use the home network as data repository, for example.
This is simple compared to designing a network for, a top 500 fortune company, for example; or designing an Internet network for all the buildings of a university. All these thing take time and proper design to allow for the least degradation of network performance from each of the individual networks within that campus network as stated by Cisco themselves.
Cisco in fact offers certification for this type of undertaking and Cisco calls it CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Administrator training. There are different levels for CCNA and each has its own qualification exams to be certified for that level. With Cisco networking, you get the best training from the most widely known and trusted networking provider.
The basic local area network is made up by the router, or the device that provides IP addresses to the entire network and the switch, or the device that allows all users to connect to the same network and access the Internet via shared resources. Before the router is the interface that allows the Internet to be distributed. In the case of a campus, we have the wide area network, or WAN and this allows the different buildings to have their own access to the Internet. The WAN itself can be labeled as its own network as it distributes data from a central source to the intended destination or from one building to another. It acts like a big traffic signaling station, directing where each bit of data should be going.
Designing the hardware to make all of these possible is quite arduous to say the least. You have to buy equipment that fulfills the required criteria for this network and at the same time, be compatible with the network of the other buildings and to the central server as well.
It is not an easy job, but as a certified Cisco networking designer, it makes the job easier to do with the least worry.