A computer network or topology is how computers are connected to each other. This is the physical and logical connection of computers. The selection of a network is important for it determines the speed and efficiency of communication in the network. There are three types of networks which include the local area network (LAN), metropolitan area network (MAN) and wide area network (WAN). These are used in accordance to the size of the area. For instance the local area network is used in areas of radius not exceeding 30 miles. It is mostly used in offices and small institutions. Comparing LAN with the other two networks, it is simple and less costly to set up, has a higher transmission and is more secure since it has few public exposures. The choice of network is determined by the cost of installation, network flexibility, reliability, and network growth. (Halsall 1985)
The chosen network should have a high bandwidth and low latency. Bandwidth expressed in bits is the data rate in a network. This is a networks capacity and thus the higher it is the faster the network. On the other hand a network with low latency is a fast network. Latency is the time it takes for data to move between two differ point in a network. It is due to data stop (hops) its route caused by routers. The more there are routers in a network the high the latency and thus the lower the speed of communication. These two are important factors in determining the speed in a network even though they aren’t related. (Halsall, 1985)
Ocper Inc uses a Local area network for it is not a big firm. It employs peer to peer connections of its computers. Although method has some advantages like being easy to set up and use and that the breakdown of one computer doesn’t affect the other computers, It isn’t a good topology. This is especially so with a firm like Ocper which has 20 computers and plans for expansion are underway. This topology works well with a maximum of 8 computers. The best topology for such an environment is A client server network. This network is best for many computers for in enables effective resource sharing and also better security since the files are stored in the server.
The difference between co-axial cable and twisted cable is that coaxial cable has an exterior and interior part with a common axis. Twisted pair cable on the other hand comprises of a number of cables twisted together for sending one signal. The use of twisted cable at Ocper inc is recommended. This is because it has advantages over coaxial cable. It allows communication to reside in the same wire bundles since it doesn’t have a common axis like coaxial type. In addition it offers a good interference rejection compared to coaxial type. It is smaller and less expensive than dedicated coaxial cables (Halsall 1985).
The use of fiber optic in Ocper will greatly increase the communication speed and efficiency of the network. This is because it has a greater bandwidth and capacity. In addition the loss of signal is very minimal. Also it is immune to interference causing noise like radio frequency. Fiber optics can effectively transmit signal over a very wide area thus effective in communication of the firm with it customers whenever they are.
Even though the use of fiber optic is the best network infrastructure it is a very expensive method in terms of costs. This is because the fiber optic cable cost up to double the amount of coaxial or twisted pair cables. The transmitters and receivers in a fiber optic network are also very expensive. The availability of fiber optics is limited in some areas and thus it may not be effective in areas that don’t have. The overall cost of using fiber optic for a firm like Ocper is very high and thus no cost benefits will be realized.
Halsall F. (1985). Introduction to data communications and computer networks. Michigan: Addison –Wesley publishers.