Static routing tips
When your network goes beyond basic static routing, here are some tips to help you plan and manage your static routing.
Always configure a default route
The first thing configured on a router on your network should be the default route. And where possible the default routes should point to either one or very few gateways. This makes it easier to locate and correct problems in the network. By comparison, if one router uses a second router as its gateway which uses a fourth for its gateway and so on, one failure in that chain will appear as an outage for all the devices downstream. By using one or very few addresses as gateways, if there is an outage on the network it will either be very localized or network-wide — either is easy to troubleshoot.
Have an updated network plan
A network plan lists different subnets, user groups, and different servers. Essentially is puts all your resources on the network, and shows how the parts of your network are connected. Keeping your plan updated will also help you troubleshoot problems more quickly when they arise.
A network plan helps your static routing by eliminating potential bottlenecks, and helping troubleshoot any routing problems that come up. Also you can use it to plan for the future and act on any changes to your needs or resources more quickly.
Plan for expansion
No network remains the same size. At some time, all networks grow. If you take future growth into account, there will be less disruption to your existing network when that growth happens. For example allocating a block of addresses for servers can easily prevent having to re-assign IP addresses to multiple servers due to a new server.
With static routing, if you group parts of your network properly you can easily use network masks to address each part of your network separately. This will reduce the amount of administration required both to maintain the routing, and to troubleshoot any problems.
Configure as much security as possible
Securing your network through static routing methods is a good low level method to defend both your important information and your network bandwidth.
- Implement NAT to obscure your IP address is an excellent first step.
- Implement black hole routing to hide which IP addresses are in use or not on your local network.
- Configure and use access control list (ACL) to help ensure you know only valid users are using the network.
All three features limit access to the people who should be using your network, and obscure your network information from the outside world and potential hackers.
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