In the modern world of computer networks, there are many moving parts that must be carefully controlled in order to get the most out of them. One of the methods that can be used to provide this is by following a network lifecycle; these lifecycles define an approach that can be followed for each stage of the network’s life. Cisco’s version of this is the PPDIOO lifecycle, which stands for “Prepare, Plan, Design, Implement, Operate and Optimize.” We will look at what happens at each stage of the lifecycle and the potential deliverables expected at each stage.
The first thing to cover is why a company would want to incur the potential training costs to follow a network lifecycle. There are a number of different moving parts in a modern computer network; yet the goal of any company is to make money and service their stakeholders. The four primary areas that can be addressed to help meet this goal with the network are:
- Reducing the networks Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
- Improving the agility of the company
- Increasing access speed to applications and services
- Increasing the availability to required applications and services
The implementation of a lifecycle allows the network to be managed in a way that best meets all of these goals. If each of the different steps is taken, designs will be more complete, operations will be easier to manage, and troubleshooting will not be as complicated.
It must be clear, however, that no set of steps is going to eliminate the different issues that can come up when operating a network; but if the information obtained from each stage is used to better the next stage, the network will operate at its most efficient, and make the lives of the network administrators/engineers easier. This will make the cost of the network as low as possible, which makes management’s life easier (win/win).
The PPDIOO can also be used by networking consulting firms to better design and deploy the network; when used in combination with proper training of the consulting client in the lifecycle methodology, this leads to not only a better consultant/client relationship but also a better customer experience.