Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I seem to recall running across a "formal" criteria or a standardized method for helping to define and talk about a network's size or complexity - A set of generalized standards that people use when talking about networks (e.g., "I'm currently working for a company with a 'Stage II NETWORK'"). In fact, I'm pretty sure it was in a SF user's profile, but my google-fu has failed me here.

I'm aware of the different network topologies and the LAN, MAN, and WAN scale distinctions but I'm looking for something more specific.

  • Is there a "formalized" set of criteria for specifying the complexity and size of a network?
  • In the absence of such "formalized" criteria, what criteria do you use to classify networks with respect to size?


Ah hah! Google comes through! I was thinking specifically of USENIX SAGE's Job Descriptions and Definitions -- although it turns out they are more specific to job description and less about network description so I'm still interested in hearing about what SF folks use for network description and classification criteria.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In internet terms it is common to use "Tiers":

Personally when talking to other peers the interesting metrics are used to describe networks. Things like:

  • Average Throughput (Gbps)
  • # of nodes/data centers
  • # of routers
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.