What are the best practices to design an ISP network?

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Nov 30th, 2009
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It will be very helpful, if somebody could provide me some docs or links with respect to the Best practices to consider for an Internet Service Provider(ISP) network.

I feel there are many things to keep in mind while designing an ISP network they are like, Data plane, control plane, security, routing, convergence, QOS, traffic types (Voice, Video & Data), etc.

What the experts of forum say?

Thanks and Regards

Ashish Nagpal

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marikakis Tue, 12/01/2009 - 06:00
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Here are some links:







Some of them might be old, others are older, but generally many principles still apply. Regarding the newest ISP Essentials book, I am not sure if it is legally available for free download. I used to have 2 copies of it, but you are unlucky, since after a lot of struggle I have managed to find someone interested enough to take it for free! :-) Still, there might be someone else with 2 copies out there, since cisco was thoughtful enough to distribute free hard copies to NSPs/ISPs in a security seminar 5 or so years ago!

Also, check out cisco NSP mailing list: http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/cisco/nsp/

ashish-nagpal Tue, 12/01/2009 - 09:48
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Hi marikakis,

Thanks for the links, they are quite informative. Just wanted to inform that I already have ISP essential book with me and I am reading that too. Basically I have to audit an ISP network and optimize it.

If you find something to related to audit with respect to services and features like routing, security, QOS,etc or a sample audit report, please share that with me. I will be thankful to you.



marikakis Tue, 12/01/2009 - 10:59
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Hi Ashish,

I am not sure what you mean by "audit". Will you be observing the equipment configuration and network design (physical/logical) and suggest improvements for example? A collection of typical things to look at is contained in the ISP Essentials book for security and routing, although it is not in the form of a short list. It doesn't cover QoS and QoS is quite a wide term. I am not aware of a specific source/book for QoS specifically for ISPs. Cisco Press does have general books on QoS. This topic can be complicated because the QoS features each type of hardware (and/or software) offers varies.

Anyway, I am sorry but I do not think I have any source about auditing, whatever this might mean. In our network we used to follow the well-known rules for ISPs, read documentation/books, carefully monitor logs/alerts, monitor network performance via NMS system, and that was it. Changes were incremental, so we never had a big list with things to watch out for. Configuration templates based on router role can help very much to not forget things, to the point you do not remember the syntax of commands anymore, although eye recognizes them when it sees them!

Kind Regards,


Gabriel Garcia Tue, 08/23/2016 - 19:57
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Hi, Ashish, how are you???

Well, I know you posted this 7 years ago, and I hope you have found the books and information you needed.

Ok, I'm about to be involved with a new job; related with optimization of an ISP NETWORK; and I wonder if you could share some information, that you had found in that time.

Title of books or Guides, I don't know, whatever you could share.

I would thank you so much


Lungelo Ngqumetyana Wed, 10/05/2016 - 03:03
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Reading material for ISP network is not easily available and I guess maybe ISPs don't like to share their information. I mean things like MPLS QoS for ISPs is not something that well covered out there and internet peering.



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