unit 25: Routing concepts

Unit 25:Routing Concepts

Unit code:Y/601/1423

QCF Level 4:BTEC Higher National

Credit value:15


To provide learners with an understanding of the complexities of routing and routed networks, which includes the management of reliable communication across a distributed LAN or WAN infrastructure.

Unit abstract

Networks such as the internet have become a part of everyday life with many commercial, educational and governmental organisations having ownership or access to a routed network infrastructure. Where any system has to endure segmentation, for security, traffic management or distance communication, a routed infrastructure ensures the persistence of communication and the management of data transfer.

The impact of a routed network across an organisation requires the up-skilling of staff, changes to the physical environment and changes to commercial procedures. For example connectivity between departments may take a new routed pathway, and access, security and ownership of data may change as a result of the addition of routed subnets to the network. Learners will understand that consideration must be given to not only the physical network but the organisational culture as well.

Learners will also understand how routing affects network communication and how routers utilise protocols to ‘learn’ about the changing topology in a network infrastructure in order to offer reliable data transfer.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

1     Understand the impact of routing technologies

2     Be able to design complex routed environments

3     Be able to implement complex routed environments

4     Be able to troubleshoot and monitor routed environments.

Unit content

1     Understand the impact of routing technologies

Routing hardware: hardware eg access routers, distribution routers, core switches, layer 3 switches

Routing protocols: protocol eg interior routing protocols, exterior routing, static routing

Protocol management: management eg redistribution between protocols, route maps, route filters

Device management: management eg password control, access levels, configuration storage, remote access

Network management: types eg address allocation, interface configuration, load balancing, mirroring, costing routes, changing metrics, hop-count

Security: requirements eg MD5 hash (Message Digest), update control, access control lists, directed updates, tunnelling

2     Be able to design complex routed environments

Devices: types eg expected average number of routing devices on system

Bandwidth: types eg expected average load; anticipated peak load; cost constraint

Users: types eg quality expectations, concept of system growth

Applications: types eg allowing, denying ingress/egress

Communications: types eg suited to devices, suited to users, suited to environment

Scalable: types eg able to support network growth, able to support addition of communication devices, able to cope with bandwidth use and trend change

Security: network access, protocol management

Technology: network design, routing table reduction, protocol management, convergence time, protocol specific, number of hops, routing table size

3     Be able to implement complex routed environments

Devices: types eg access routers, distribution routers, core switches, layer 3 switches; installation of routing devices; allocation of networks; routing device configuration

Specialised configuration: eg routing protocol, redistribution, interfaces, network address allocation, security features

Security: types eg ACLs (Access Control Lists), MD5 authentication, routing device

Connectivity: types eg suitable bandwidth, communication infrastructure, throughput

Testing: systems eg local communication, end-to-end communication; security; bandwidth; routing table validity

4     Be able to troubleshoot and monitor routed environments

Infrastructure performance: network monitoring tools, user access, traffic analysis, bandwidth monitoring, checking configuration, checking rules, show commands, traceroute

Resolve issues: use troubleshooting methodology; make change to resolve issue; prove resolution

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

Assessment criteria for pass

The learner can:


Understand the impact of routing technologies

1.1 evaluate current routing hardware and routing protocols

1.2 evaluate device and network management

1.3 evaluate current security requirements


Be able to design complex routed environments

2.1 design a routed environment to meet a given specification.

2.2 evaluate design and analyse user feedback


Be able to implement complex routed environments

3.1 implement a routed environment from a design specification

3.2 test the routed environment

3.3 document and analyse test results


Be able to troubleshoot and monitor routed environments

4.1 monitor and evaluate infrastructure performance against a given specification

4.2 resolve issues to improve performance.


Links to National Occupational Standards, other BTEC units, other BTEC qualifications and other relevant units and qualifications

The learning outcomes associated with this unit are closely linked with:

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Unit 5: Managing Networks

Unit 2: Computer Systems

Unit 36: Internet Server Management

Unit 9: Computer Networks

Unit 24: Networking Technologies

Unit 43: Networking Infrastructure

Unit 10: Communication Technologies

Unit 26: Design a Small or Home Office Network

Unit 44: Local Area Networking Technologies

Unit 32: Networked Systems Security

Unit 27: Network Operating Systems

Unit 45: Wide Area Networking Technologies

Unit 28: IT Support for End Users

Unit 46: Network Security

This unit has links to the Level 4 and Level 5 National Occupational Standards for IT and Telecoms Professionals, particularly the areas of competence of:

•     IT/Technology Infrastructure Design and Planning •      Systems Development
•     IT/ Technology Service Operations and Event Management •     IT/Technology Management and Support
•     Change and Release Management.

Essential requirements

Learners must have access to a live or ‘detached’ network environment to create the network infrastructure and develop their skills; this may be successfully accomplished using virtual machines.

Learners must have access to facilities, which allow them the opportunity to fully evidence all the criteria of the unit. If this cannot be guaranteed then centres should not attempt to deliver this unit.

Evaluation of current systems and solutions, commercial practices, social conditions and the culture surrounding the system in use is of as much importance as delivering work supporting potential understanding of the technological systems and the services they offer.

Learners must have access to a range of suitable routing hardware as it is important to undertake as many practical activities as possible to reinforce theoretical learning. There are many virtual, emulated and simulated systems that now support delivery.



Macfarlane J Network Routing Basics: Understanding IP Routing in Cisco Systems (Wiley, 2006) ISBN-10: 0471772739

Medhi D, Ramasamy K Network Routing: Algorithms, Protocols, and Architectures (Morgan Kaufmann, 2007) ISBN-10: 0120885883

Xiao Y, Li J, Pan Y Security and Routing in Wireless Networks: Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing v. 3 (Nova Science, 2005) ISBN-10: 159454316X





Employer engagement and vocational contexts

Working with a live system will present many risks, that the centre, employer and learner must be aware of. Using a current vocational context to deploy an additional or alternate solution will enhance the learners experience and enable understanding of wider technical application.