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What Is Collapsed Core Architecture and How It’s Useful

When performing enterprise campus network design, the typical designs used are two and three-tier layered models. The two-tier layered model is often better for small campus networks and is also referred to as collapsed core architecture. Learning about how it works and understanding the difference between the models is the best way to choose a network for your business.

What Is Collapsed Core Architecture?

A three-tier model is the standard model when creating an enterprise campus network. It is aptly named because it comprises three layers of functional distribution layer blocks, namely the core layer, the access layer, and the distribution layer.

The core layer is responsible for the transportation between sites and the network’s routing needs. It will also cater for internet and internet connections on the network. Resiliency during recovery is the main characteristic of this layer and should be designed with that in mind.

Network failures at this point can be devastating hence the need for quick recovery. The access layer in collapsed core architecture is responsible for offering end-user network access, including connections from all devices. The distribution layer will manage the connection between the core and access layers. It will do so according to the procedures and limitations built into the network.

Therefore, collapsed core architecture is the amalgamation of the core and distribution layers, which significantly simplifies the network’s design. If you require a network that can withstand requests from multiple devices, collapsed core architecture will make it much simpler and more accessible for users to do so.

The usefulness of Collapsed Core Architecture

As computer networks continue to grow and evolve, so must the architecture that supports them. The collapsed core architecture is a new approach that offers many benefits for modern networks. They including:

Ideal For Small Enterprises

The collapsed core model is a reduced version of the three-tier model. The deduction was made to create a network for small and medium-sized campuses. Therefore, smaller institutions can get the advantage of using a collapsed core network while still gaining the same benefits they would if they were using a three-tier model. Small organizations often cannot afford the hardware and human resources to run the network can benefit greatly with less oversight necessary.

Cheaper and Easier to Deploy

In a traditional three-tier campus network, the core layer is typically a complex and expensive piece of hardware. This layer is eliminated with collapsed core architecture, reducing both cost and complexity.

Faster Convergence

When a network failure occurs, the traditional three-tier network can take a long time to converge. It eliminates the core layer, reducing the amount of time it takes for the network to recover.

Fewer and Simpler Protocols


What Is Collapsed Core Architecture and How It's Useful

It reduces the number of network protocols necessary to run the network instead of a three-tier model. Since only two layers need to communicate, network protocol problems become rare.

A collapsed architecture network is beneficial, especially to small and medium campuses. It is cheaper and has fewer network protocols. Organizations need to understand the model better to take full advantage of it.