LLD vs HLD for Network Engineers

In networking, LLD stands for Low-Level Design. It is a detailed technical plan that provides specific instructions and configurations for implementing a network based on the High-Level Design (HLD) or architectural plan. The Low-Level Design bridges the gap between the high-level conceptual view of the network and the actual implementation details.

The Low-Level Design delves into the specifics of each network component, such as routers, switches, firewalls, and other devices, as well as the configurations and protocols needed to realize the desired network architecture and functionality. It includes detailed information on IP addressing, routing protocols, security policies, Quality of Service (QoS) settings, VLAN configurations, and more.

Key components of a Low-Level Design in networking include:

  1. Device Configurations: Specific configurations for each network device, including routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, and access points.

  2. IP Addressing: Detailed IP addressing schemes for all network segments and subnets.

  3. Routing Protocols: Configuration details for routing protocols like OSPF, BGP, EIGRP, or RIP, including route summarization and redistribution settings.

  4. VLANs and Network Segmentation: Detailed configurations for Virtual LANs (VLANs) and network segmentation, along with access control lists (ACLs) for traffic control.

  5. Security Policies: Firewall rules, intrusion detection/prevention settings, VPN configurations, and other security measures.

  6. QoS Settings: Configuration of Quality of Service policies to prioritize certain types of traffic over others.

  7. Redundancy and High Availability: Implementation of redundancy and failover mechanisms for critical network components.

  8. Network Management: Details on network management platforms, SNMP settings, and monitoring tools.

  9. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: Procedures and configurations for data replication, backup links, and disaster recovery mechanisms.

  10. Network Documentation: Comprehensive documentation of the Low-Level Design to aid in implementation and troubleshooting.

The Low-Level Design provides network administrators and engineers with a step-by-step guide to configure and deploy the network according to the high-level requirements and objectives defined in the High-Level Design. It ensures consistency, accuracy, and proper implementation of the network, leading to a reliable, efficient, and secure network infrastructure.

HLD-High-Level Design

In networking, HLD stands for High-Level Design. It is a strategic and abstract representation of the overall network architecture and design that outlines the key components, major connectivity requirements, and high-level interactions between different elements of the network. The High-Level Design serves as a blueprint or roadmap for building the network, providing a broad overview of the network's structure and functionality.

The High-Level Design typically includes the following key elements:

  1. Network Topology: An overview of the network's physical and logical layout, including the distribution of network devices, data centers, branch offices, and their interconnections.

  2. Network Layers: Identification of the different layers in the network architecture, such as the core, distribution, and access layers, and their roles in facilitating traffic flow and connectivity.

  3. Connectivity Requirements: An outline of the connectivity requirements between various network components, data centers, branch offices, and the internet. This includes WAN connectivity options and internet edge connections.

  4. Routing and Switching: A high-level view of the routing protocols and switching technologies to be used within and between network segments.

  5. Security Architecture: An overview of the network's security measures, including firewall placement, VPN requirements, access control policies, and intrusion prevention systems.

  6. Scalability and Redundancy: Consideration of the network's scalability to handle future growth and expansion, as well as the implementation of redundancy to ensure high availability and fault tolerance.

  7. Quality of Service (QoS): High-level decisions on prioritizing and managing network traffic to meet specific performance requirements for critical applications.

  8. Network Management: A brief overview of the network management strategy, including monitoring tools and centralized management platforms.

  9. Data Center and Cloud Integration: High-level considerations for integrating data centers and cloud services into the network architecture.

  10. Budget and Timeframe: A rough estimate of the project budget, resources required, and a general timeline for network implementation.

The High-Level Design is not as detailed as the Low-Level Design (LLD), which provides specific configurations and implementation instructions. Instead, the HLD focuses on the big picture, capturing the network's requirements, objectives, and major components without getting into the technical specifics.

Once the High-Level Design is completed and approved, it serves as a foundation for the Low-Level Design, where engineers and administrators create detailed configurations and implement specific network technologies to realize the network's objectives as outlined in the HLD.

AspectLow-Level Design (LLD)High-Level Design (HLD)
FocusDetailed technical plan and configurationsStrategic and abstract overview
Level of DetailSpecific implementation instructionsBroad architectural representation
ComponentsDevice configurations, IP addressing, routing protocols, etc.Network topology, layers, connectivity requirements, etc.
ScopeSpecific to each network componentOverall network structure and functionality
ConfigurationsPrecise configurations and settings for each deviceHigh-level decisions on technology and protocols to be used
InteractionsDetailed interactions between devicesHigh-level interactions between major components
PurposeGuides network implementation and deploymentServes as a blueprint or roadmap for network architects
AudienceNetwork engineers and administratorsStakeholders, project managers, and network architects
Timeframe and BudgetTaken into account during implementationRough estimate for project planning and resource allocation
Level of AbstractionLow-level view of specific detailsHigh-level view of network architecture
DeliverablesDetailed documentation and configurationsHigh-level network design documents
Connection to HLDDerives from and elaborates on the HLDLays the foundation for the LLD

In summary, the Low-Level Design provides specific instructions and configurations for the implementation of each network component, while the High-Level Design focuses on the overall network architecture and its major components without diving into specific configurations. The HLD serves as a blueprint for the LLD, allowing network architects to plan the network structure and functionality before moving into detailed technical planning during the LLD phase.