In network engineering, the main factor that affects the design of the network is the type of work that the network is to be used for. In our case, apex company appears to serve different clients some of which will use wireless devices, access the network from remote or satellite points while others will be accessing the network from within the building in which the network is installed.
Looking at the number of clients that the network is supposed to serve, all network devices must be used. Since the ISP is not given in this case, we will assume that the ISP will allow Apex Company to connect to the internet through an optic cable. The main task is to design apex network so as to serve the desired number of clients at adequate speeds while maintaining highest possible speeds.
On the first issue about IP address table, I would recommend the client to use DHCP which assigns a computer an IP address upon connecting to the network. The addresses assigned to the computers are stored in a DHCP server or a network device such as a switch. This helps reduce the need to assign permanent addresses to computers and ease connection and configuration of a new device into the network. However, DNS and default gateway addresses should be left on the option of ‘acquire automatically’. By using a DHCP server, there is ease of expansion as postulated. In case of a sub network that allows localized communication and requires high security, a set of local IP addresses may be assigned to the client devices. This sub network may connect to other LAN devices through a gateway which allows the subnet clients to access network resources but can’t be accessed from outside the subnet. In case of wireless devices, a router IP address may be installed so that the wireless devices use the address to communicate with the router. This forms a security measure on the wireless network which should be reinforced with a network password for all wireless network devices
Looking at the actual network design implementation, there are four subnets in the LAN. The first subnet is the headquarter subnet. This subnet has highly confidential files which should not be accessed by anyone else apart from those in the company management. Therefore, manual IP configuration is the best form of security set up in this subnet. However, this subnet should have access to all other subnets in the LAN since it has to perform supervisory purposes. The main components of this subnet includes: client computers, gateway device, file servers, e-mail servers, web servers, VoIP and a firewall to safeguard external intrusion. The subnet should make connections with the remote access points and satellite access so as to allow supervision and easy communication.
Looking at new location subnet, this subnet is mostly charged with configuration of other subnets in the LAN thus has IP configuration tables. So as to easily accommodate new devices in the network, this subnet should have a DHCP server and several switches so store the IP addresses. Other servers may be present so as to allow their access from any access point within the LAN regardless of it being in the VPN, remote or satellite point. However, firewalls must be used to prevent unauthorized access. This subnet may incorporate other network equipment like IP phones (uses intercoms).
The third subnet deals with the network backbone. In telecommunications, this subnet is known as backbone cabling or closet. The main components are network devices that allow fast communication within the LAN and between the LAN and ISP. The cabling is mostly done with cables capable of fast data transfer mode for high speed connections. This closet runs across all the subnets and telecommunications closets. WAN routers allow communication or data transfer between the LAN and other LANs. Firewalls are also installed so as to reduce unauthorized access to the LAN in general.
The fourth subnet deals with users outside the physical location of the LAN. These users are either remote users who access the LAN resources through wireless devices like laptops or satellite users who access the LAN resources through a smaller LAN which is part of the main LAN. The latter category usually uses cabling in connecting to the LAN. This subnet consists mainly of VoIP devices, client computers, remote use end devices and portable devices like laptops and iPads. Te security level in this subnet is ensured mostly by the assigned IP addresses to the routers.
Turning to the service offered to Apex by telecommunications companies listed above, I would propose a maintenance check after every three weeks. This is mainly because these machines are much prone to bugs and the network is can suffer from some infrastructural failure. For the cables to use, I would advise apex to use leased lines to access its satellite access points so as to reduce the cost of setting up the network architecture. T4 or T5 would be the best choice though since the cables have high data transfer capacity enabling fast connection. These cables require use of repeaters thus using leased lines will save apes the cost of buying their own repeaters. Lastly on the cables, I would advise apex to choose a line which uses an optic cable which is capable of transmitting T4 and T6 signals with minimal repeaters.
In conclusion, I would urge apex to use CAT 6E UTP cables in their horizontal cabling. This would increase speed of navigation within the network (LAN). Coaxial cables may be used to connect servers to the switches since fast connection to the server is also necessary. I have also attached a sample design for the network that may best suite Apex Company.