Distributed systems are pervasive nowadays, being found in different areas, from smart toys to smart factories. As the usage of such systems increases, so does their complexity and design. Therefore, this work aims to overview the methods for designing networks that accommodate time-constrained distributed applications. The work starts with a history of time-aware Ethernet-based protocols. Then, it continues with an overview of the design strategies from the literature. For each research paper, there are presented the model, addressed problem, exploration strategy, and results. Furthermore, for each type of problem are identified the constructive and optimization design strategies. Regarding the results, this work investigates the improvements of reliability, timeliness, and network cost.