The choice of networking architecture in a company is a paramount activity that needs to be undertaken with utmost care. Thewis Technical is a software developer company with more than 500 workstations spread across five adjacent three storey buildings in an office park. The work stations will support staff activities in internal and external communication.
A company’s network architecture consists of hardware, software, connectivity, communication protocols and transmission modes. A though assess of the network determines the best viable option to be adopted. The current network in use is not efficient in terms of topology, security, needs of the users and future bandwidth requirements. The current bandwidth requirements need to be factored in to determine the future needs and the design model to be used. By considering the long term strategic plan, future needs of the company will be evaluated to determine the extent of staff and resource increments. Failure to make future expansion strategies as a result of company growth and the introduction of new products and departments will render the network outdated. It is, therefore, essential and less costly to future proof a structured networking strategy.
Thewis technical is a software development company. The bandwidth margins are considerably high. In addition, the company anticipates that it will experience tremendous growth in the next years. It is, therefore, vital to design a network that will meet future expansion requirements without much trouble. The company is divided into several departments; IT, Human Resource, Production, Sales and customer service. The departments are spread across all the five buildings. Each department uses its own applications and, the connection between them will be through the use of servers and routers.
The network topology adopted in this case is the tree topology. It will enable the network to have a better way of correcting the faults that might be met in the future. This is a combination of both the linear bus and the star topologies. The star configured workstations in the various departments are connected to the backbone cable connecting all the five buildings. This network topology is significant because it incorporates the advantages of the individual topologies. It comprises two combinations resulting in point-to-point wiring of individual segments supported by some hardware and software. A tree topology has many components and can be expanded in the future. It is an important topology that is popular with many networks.
The tree topology has an extra advantage of supporting expandability of the network when desired. A linear topology has a limited number of devices due to broadcast traffic it generates while a star topology is limited by the number of hub connections. The star topology has a central hub (a router or a switch) connected to multiple computers for instance in a department. If one terminal goes down, the operation of the company will not be paralyzed since all the others are operational. The switches of every star network (in every building) are integrated together on a central bus which connects all the buildings.
The hierarchical topology is chosen because the company has a central root server and subsidiary departments including all the departments. Individual departments will be wired separately minimizing the impacts on the overall services offered to the customers. The networking will be both service and customer impacting. As a result, the process will be performed on a scheduled basis to minimize interruption of service delivery. The installation and testing processes are done on the departmental basis. While one department will be non operational, the others will not be affected.
Finally, the financial impacts of the project to the company are considered. The costs of the equipments are determined. The following equipment will be required;
The recommended cables to be used are 100 BASE TX. Considering the length of each building will reveal that wires will need to run for long distances. These cables will give this provision.
The central hubs or concentrators used have built-in redundancy. It is designed such that the faulty components such as the backplane or the power supply are isolated cushioning the other workstations from the malfunctions.
Switches will be used in all departments. The use of switches will enable computer communications via a single channel. A switch will break up the collision domain on each of its port allowing full utilization of the full bandwidth on each device. A collision usually occurs when two computers are trying to communicate at the same time affecting network performance.
The connection components between the workstation and the cables are called connectors. Registered Jack (RJ) is an example that will be used for telephone and 10BASE T network connections. These are essential connections that will be required to complete the connections.
The company will incur a substantial amount in implementing this project. There are a lot of materials that are required to have a good design. The current system is poor for the functioning of the company. As such, it is more of a liability than an investment. In that note, it is worth investing in a scalable network that will accommodate future improvement without consumption of many resources.
The network architecture adopted in this case is LAN. The buildings will be networked separately using a single LAN and will be connected to the backbone cable. A malfunction of one of the components of the LAN will not affect the operations of the others. The 10BASE-TX is a faster Ethernet technology of the twisted pair cable category able to deliver fast connections of up to 100Mbits per second. The 10 BASE categories require two pairs to operate. It will utilize pins 1 and 2 and pins 3 and 6.
Fig.2 LAN Network design
Through structured cabling, the horizontal cabling subsystem, campus backbone subsystem and building backbone subsystem are implemented. The horizontal cabling subsystem is used to distribute and connect hardware and a cross-connect batching at the floor distribution. The transmission media being utilized here is the Cat5 STP cable. The connection is used to achieve reliability, but a transition is evident. The building backbone cabling subsystem is made up of the termination hardware and cross-connect patching at the building. However, transition is restricted. The choice of the cabling system will depend on the factors on the ground.
The security of the network is crucial to the success of the organization. In fact, research shows that the greater challenge would concern the security of the logical assets of the company. Various researches have shown that security in the department contributes to the security of the company’s information assets. The first logical security measure involves the protection of the system from malicious software’s through the use of anti-malware programs such as antivirus. As such, the system will turn down any optical or storage device introduced by the employees at the workstation.
The second measure is the use of user account management utilities to manage the behavior of employees. The system through the use of some applications will track and record user activities such as deletion of protected files. DMZ and enterprise firewalls will be configured in the router that controls each department’s assets to block suspicious requests that come into the network. The firewalls will also filter outgoing request to ensure that internet resources getting into the system are trusted. A security analyst will be responsible for frequent review of the network as well as providing and reviewing authentication measures on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Apart from the mentioned features, a network analyzer will be installed to measure the network parameters and traffic. Network analyzers will be useful in the network due to the multiple arbitrary ports involved. It is important to measure the network traffic and how the network will undergo its normal operations. Network analyzers are important features that should be installed.
The project will be implemented in phases. The first phase of networking will cover one department located on a single building. The period of networking and test of the system will depend on the workforce but will not last more than a month. Thereafter, the work will comment to the next phase until it is completed.
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