In today's world business connectivity is crucial. In an organization where computers, and hence user, connect through networking has much better productivity and is able to make decisions much more quickly and reliable. These benefits are achieved through connectivity and sharing of information and resource. By connecting to network, users are able to communicate with each other through the use of instant messengers as well as email while also sharing files. Also, through networking, it is possible to share hardware resources such as Hard Drives and Printer which makes the use of resource much more efficient. In many organizations, computers connected through network also share a single connection, which otherwise would only be available on one computer. Furthermore, networking in a business environment allows for organization of data and restricting it to certain resource (such as Server PC) which would allow for implementation of much better data security as well as ease of maintenance (Ouellet et al., 2002).
A local area network is a network which connects computers in a small geographical area. This area could be within a given organization. Wide area networks span many geographical locations than LANs, there are various technologies that are used with WAN. One commonality is Ethernet. Ethernet and token ring protocols are the common wan technologies in use today. Ethernet employs Bus technology where all machines are connected to a backbone. Any data sent from any machine can be transmitted through the network with the condition that the network is free of any other traffic. If the destination of the send packet is not found it is eliminated otherwise it is received at the destined node (Stallings, 2007). Token Ring protocol though has a different approach. Computer systems are interconnected in a loop. There is a monitoring node that controls the movement of data in the loop. Data can only enter into the transmission network when allowed to (Stallings, 2007). Wireless communication is the situation where the computers and the peripheral devices in the network are able to communicate with each other without any communication cables (Dean, 2009). This communication has been common in most settings where it is the preferred method of networking. Although there are some disadvantages that come with the wireless networking, it is gaining popularity in the marketplace as many people see the intrigues of having a connection without networking cables (Dean, 2009).
One hardware that needs to be integrated with the system is that of the firewall. By placing Firewalls in front of the external network, we have tried to secure the internal network from external attacks such as viruses, worms or exploitation attempts. The routers placed in the network serve two purposes. They allow for segregation of networks for each department while offering ease for network troubleshooting. They also hide the implementation details of the internal network (the company's Intranet) from external networks, though they can be made accessible for other offices through proper configuration of Routers and Firewalls as well as Domain Servers. The replacement of Hubs with switches is also advantageous as a Switch provides a separate channel for each connected device to communicate with. Also in this network design much of the existing equipment has been reused, therefore this design offer an added advantage of being cost effective as well.
Network routers are common when designing a network. They need to be designed such that the routers are safe. There are various ways of managing the safety of the routers. One of these ways is the management of the virtual LANs which ensures that traffic from the management subnet does not traverse the network that is used by production. The ports in the management should be configured with access lists to make sure illegitimate connections are kept at bay. Another way of ensuring management traffic are always secure is by use of Out Of Bound (OOB) communication through the terminal server. We will use strong authentication which is provided by the password servers (these servers are one-time) such as RSA Security’s ACE server. If there is in band communication is necessary, encryption communication protocols such as ssh should be used.
There are software systems that are used to secure the network. There are other advanced ways of building a secure network using the advanced technologies line Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NDIS) and how they are used to detect activities are not desirable in the network. This technology can give alerts to system administrators every time there is a suspected activity which is happening on the network. These alerts are made possible by the IDS which are placed strategically on the network. NDIS make use of the sensors within the network that are used to make the necessary alerts. Because our infrastructure is a switched one, we will then require that the NIDS sensors are configured in a special way so that they act as the monitoring port where all the traffic from the NIDS sensors is mirrored (Stallings, 2007).
Today’s networks are built by many building locks. There are many hardware that is put together to bring a network. One building block is that of switches and routers. They are important components in a network. Switches connect many hosts together so that they can be configured at once. Routers connect subnetworks. It is more intelligent than a switch. Networking cables are the channels through which computers send and receive information.
Dean, T. (2009). Network+ Guide to Networks. Cengage Learning.
Ouellet, E., Padjen, R., Fuller, R., & Pfund, A. (2002). Building a Cisco wireless LAN. London: Elsevier.
Stallings, W. (2007). Data and computer communications. New York: Prentice hall.