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Lesson 3 Evaluating Requirements
Objective Describe the documents and tools for evaluating network and Internet-related needs.

Evaluating Network Internet Related Requirements

Does the current network work?

Ensuring the success of a Web site development project requires evaluating the current state of a client's network. The results of this evaluation will determine whether or not the existing network infrastructure supports current and anticipated needs.

Documents and tools

At this point in the process, the team already has a wonderful tool for planning the network needs: The Requirements Definition. The Requirements Definition lists the current and anticipated performance criteria for the Web site. The performance criteria are based on the client's or organization's information on existing traffic and their best estimates of anticipated traffic as the business objectives of the site are realized. It is important to pay attention to this data. Having some real figures to work with will prove invaluable when making decisions about the current network's capabilities and future needs. If you have not already done so, you can download the Requirements Definition from the Resource page.

Server logs

To assess the ability of a network to support current and anticipated performance expectations, a variety of administrative and system programs and reports, such as server logs and network management software, can be used.
Server logs help analyze how visitors to the site are using the site, for example what time of the day they visit, what file or files they hit, and how much time they spend in it.

Software tools

Network management software helps administrators evaluate the overall "health" and loading capabilities of the network and its servers, databases, connectivity devices, and other components of the network infrastructure.
As part of the ongoing evaluation of a network, network management applications help administrators troubleshoot problems, detect potential problems, and improve network performance Tools for running simulations and other applications are also available to help determine improvements in network design and to conduct capacity planning.
There are a number of network management applications and platforms. These include: Cabletron's Spectrum, Hewlett-Packard's Open View, Microsoft's Systems Management Server, Sun Microsystems' Solstice Management products, and Novell's ManageWise.
In the next lesson, you will learn how a network architecture is represented so that different team members can refer to it.