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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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IP Subnetting Step 2: Partitioning Network Address Host Bits

After you complete the brief requirements analysis, you should know the two critical parameters that you must have in order to subnet the network: the number of subnets required for the network and the maximum number of hosts per subnetwork. In using these figures to design the subnetted network, you will be faced with the key design decision in subnetting: how to divide the 8, 16, or 24 bits in the classful host ID into the subnet ID and host ID.

Put another way, you need to decide how many bits to steal from the host ID to use for the subnet ID. As I explained in the section on custom subnet masks in the previous chapter, the fundamental trade-off in choosing this number is as follows: ...

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