Source: Sams Teach Yourself Networking in 24 Hours, 4th Edition by Uyless Black (2009)


If you and your design team are associated with a medium to large enterprise, it's likely you’ll need to become familiar with subnetting. This term refers to the partitioning of a network into smaller parts. One reason for subnetting is to divide the traffic such that Ethernet packet collisions don't create throughput and bottleneck problems.

Not sure what that part really means. What exactly does the author mean by a medium to large enterprise?

  • You should be able to figure out what a medium enterprise is and what a large enterprise is. A medium to large enterprise is any enterprise in that range.
    – John Feltz
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:00
  • An enterprise is simply an organisation, usually (but not necessarily) a business.
    – Mick
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:02
  • The author is not being exact, just the opposite. Any organization large enough to benefit from having its network broken out into subnets. In the US at least, in the computer and software business, "single workgroup" and "enterprise" (multiple workgroups) have been common organizational pricing schemes. Enterprises typically have more than one physical location, but not necessarily. These are not precise terms. Enterprise simply means "business having a large number of employees".
    – TimR
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:11
  • It depends on the country, really. See this Wikipedia entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_and_medium-sized_enterprises Usually, in business texts, enterprises does in fact refer to companies.
    – Lambie
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:13
  • 2
    "Proper grammar" knows nothing about dashes. That's merely a typographical convention. The phrase "medium to large" is a collocation, like "moderate to severe" and "small to medium".
    – TimR
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


As others have stated "enterprise" is synonymous with "business". However, in this context, that's only half the story.

In the world of networking "enterprise" has special meaning as a kind of jargon. See for example this page. A medium or large enterprise will have a much larger, more diverse, and more extensive network than a small business. It will use different, more robust technology, requires much more extensive monitoring, more people to maintain, etc.

In addition, it must remain working all the time, without fail. See related terms "uptime" and "uptime guarantee", and also "SLA" (Service-Level Agreement) which sometimes has financial penalties for services that go down.

Again, in this context it just means "business" -- but if you are interested in a career in IT (Information Technology), you should be aware when "enterprise" means more.

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