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Planning Of Network Infrastructure Information Technology Essay

Present a small network for a small village school which has received government funding. The hardware should include 8 desktop computers with Internet connection, two interactive whiteboards for classroom use. Moreover, a network enabled laser printer and an "off-the-shelf" database for school administration. The pupils are within the age range 5 to 11 years.

Teaching staff will:

Keep records of student attendance at classes and marks for tests, exams and assignments

Access the Internet for teaching materials that can be used on the interactive whiteboards

At the school it is envisaged students will:

Access the Internet for research purposes, and for learning materials

Prepare written assignments and print them out.

The system installation and configuration must be completed and go production within half year.

Because I have the relevant project management skills, I will guide the school staffs through this project. I have full confidence that to undertake the management of this project and make it success within the schedule.

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Computer Technology

Nowadays, environmentally responsible for use of computers and related resources in IT is called Green computing.

These practices are including the implementation of energy-efficient servers, computers, printer and peripherals to reduced resource consumption and proper disposal of electronic waste.

Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products. It was first created as a United States government program by the Clinton Administration in 1992. The voluntary labeling program known as Energy Star is one of the earliest initiatives toward green computing in the United States. Devices carrying the Energy Star logo, such as computer products and peripherals, kitchen appliances, buildings and other products, generally use 20%-30% less energy than required by federal standards.

EPEAT GOLD (Electronic Product environmental Assessment Tool) evaluates electronic products in relation to 51 total environmental criteria, 23 required criteria and 28 optional criteria. To qualify for registration as an EPEAT product, the product must conform to all the required criteria.

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is an industry independent, non-profit organization that certifies that various products chemical & particle emissions meet acceptable pollutant guidelines and standards ensuring that indoor air pollutant guidelines and standards ensuring that indoor air quality is not affected.

The CLIMATE SAVERS Computing Initiative is a nonprofit group of consumers, businesses and conservation organizations dedicated to promoting smart technologies that can improve the power efficiency and reduce the energy consumption of computers.

Computer users can minimize the impact of the global environment. They can take some action as below:

Switch off their computer while not in use. Turn off those peripherals when not using a period of time.

Use computer continuous on related tasks in a period of time, contiguous and turn it off at other times.

Use energy star notebook rather than desktop computers if possible.

Switch on and switch off for those energy-intensive peripherals, for example, laser printers when not in use.

Use energy star liquid-crystal-display (LCD) monitors instead of traditional cathode-ray-tube (CRT) monitors.

Turn on the built-in power-management features to automatically switch off the displays and hard disk power after several minutes of inactivity.

Use recycles paper or waste paper instead of new paper. Reduce the consumption of new paper.

Select those Green IT equipments for computing workstations, servers, and networks.

The use of IT, particularly among the white collar staff, can greatly enhance an enterprise's green credentials. Common green initiatives include the use of e-documents, reducing travel and teleworking. IT can also provide the analytic tools that others in the enterprise may use to reduce energy consumption in the transportation of goods or other carbon management activities.

Planning of Network Infrastructure

The trend of modern industrial and many commercial systems has been involved computing, communication and control into different levels of daily operations and information processes

An integrated manufacturing system could be including computer-numerically controlled machines, computer-aided design tools, supervisory controllers, and intelligent monitoring devices. The introduction of control network "bus" architectures can improve the efficiency, flexibility, and reliability of these applications, reducing installation, reconfiguration, and maintenance time and costs.

The change of communication technology from point-to-point to common-bus, however, introduces different forms of time delay uncertainty between sensors, actuators, and controllers.

The time delays come from the time sharing of communication medium as well as additional functionality required for physical signal coding and communication processing. The characteristics of time delays could be constant, bounded, or even random, depending on the network protocols adopted and the chosen hardware. This type of time delay could degrade the system's performance and affect system stability.

Computer Network

A collection of computers and devices which linked each other together and allows share resources with other users. They linked together with network cables and wireless.


Different types of networks:

Wide Area Network (WAN)

Local Area Network (LAN)

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)

Wide Area Network (WAN)

Wide Area Networks (WAN) connect larger geographic areas, such as Hong Kong to the Main Land China. Using private lease line, internet network or satellite uplinks can be used to connect this type of network.

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Local Area Network (LAN)

A Local Area Network is that defend to a relatively area within a local area. It such is a class room, office, or building. One computer is assigned to be a file server it keep all of the files and software that controls the network. Workstations mean that other computers connected to the file server. The workstations may have additional software on their hard disks. Network interface cards are used to connect cables in each computer some LANs may be wireless.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)

A Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) links two or more devices using some wireless distribution method (typically spread-spectrum or radio), and usually providing a connection through an access point to the internet. This gives users the mobility to move around within a coverage area and keep the network connection.

Network Topology

The network topology of a network refers to the different configuration of cables, computers, and other peripherals.

There are five basic network topologies

Star topology

Bus topology

Ring topology

Tree topology

Mesh topology


Each machine has a unique address that is used for identification purposes. This configuration is common with coaxial cable.

Figure 1. Ring network topology

Advantages of a Ring Topology

Each machine or computer has a unique address

The signal passes through each machine or computer connected to the ring in one direction..

Disadvantages of a Ring Topology

The primary disadvantage of ring topology is the failure of one machine will cause the entire network to fail.


Have a main run of cable called a "BUS" with a terminator at each end (See figure 2). All nodes are connected to the linear cable.

Figure 2. Bus Topology

Advantages of a Bus Topology

Easy to implement and extend.

Well-suited for temporary or small networks not requiring high speeds (quick setup).

Cost effective; only a single cable is used

Disadvantages of a Bus Topology

Performance degrades as additional computers are added or on heavy traffic (shared bandwidth).

Significant Capacitive Load (each bus transaction must be able to stretch to most distant link).

Slower data transfer rate than other topologies.

Considerations when choosing a topology

Cost. A bus network was cheaper than other topologies and easy to install. You do not have to purchase hub or switch.

Use less length of cable. The bus network use less lengths of cable.

Easy for future expansion. Easy to extend the network by purchase extra hubs or switch of Ring Topology.

Type of cable. The most common cable in schools is CAT5.

Network Protocol

The communications between computers on a network is a protocol had a set of rules governed. In order to communicate between two computers to talk with each other, they must be use the same protocol. To ensure computer can communicate with each other computer it is required to use different types of network protocols and standards located on the next table. The seven layer of networking protocols defined by The Open Systems Interconnection (See figure 3).












Sockets. Session establishment in TCP, SIP, RTP








Data Link





Figure 3. Related common network protocols OSI model

There are seven layers of main protocols in order to talk via the Internet.

Layer 1/2, Physical and Data Link Layers (Ethernet)

Layer 3, IP / IPX (Network Layer)

Layer 4, TCP / SPX (Transport Layer)

Layer 5-7, DNS, FTP, HTTP, and SMTP (Session / Presentation / Application Layers)

Ethernet (Physical / Data Link Layers)

A standard RJ45 connector used cat5 cable, a type of cabling used primarily in Ethernet networks.

The physical layer of the network focuses on hardware, such as cables and network interface cards. For example, an Ethernet network a different type of cables can be use, to optimal the topology (bus vs. star), the maximum length of cables.

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The data packets sent form a node to another is called the data link layer.

Ethernet uses an access method called Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection. Where each computer had sending data through the network after listens to the cable. A collision occurs when two nodes attempt to transmit data at the same instant. Attempting to retransmit after each computer backs off and waits a lot of random time.

Ethernet and Fast Ethernet

Ethernet was developed at Xerox PARC between 1973 and 1975. In 1983 the Ethernet standard was developed and the maximum speed of 10 Mbps. The Ethernet protocol allows for tree, linear or star topologies.

Transmission up to 100 Mbps is called the Fast Ethernet. Fast Ethernet used of more expensive network hubs and switch. Below are Fast Ethernet standards :

100 Base T - 100 Mbps over CAT5e.

100 Base FX - 100 Mbps over fiber cable.

100 Base BX - 100 Mbps over single mode fiber cable.

100 Base SX -100 Mbps over multimode fiber cable.

Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet has a transmission speed up to 1 Gbps. CAT6 or fiber optic cable will be used.

1000 Base T - 1000 Mbps over CAT6.

1000 Base TX - 1000 Mbps over CAT6.

1000 Base BX - 1000 Mbps over single mode fiber cable.

1000 Base FX - 1000 Mbps over fiber cable.

1000 Base SX - 1000 Mbps over multimode fiber cable.

Project requirements

The hardware should include 8 desktop computers with Internet connection, two interactive whiteboards for classroom use, a network enabled laser printer and an "off-the-shelf" database for school administration. The pupils are within the age range 5 to 11 years. Teaching staff will keep records of student attendance at classes and marks for tests, exams and assignments. They will access the internet for teaching materials that can be used on the interactive whiteboards.

At the school, students will access the Internet for research purposes, and for learning materials. They will prepare written assignments and print them out.

The system installation and configuration must be completed and go production within half year.

Computer Technology


Intel has offer the best choice for smart, safe, and reliable computing at home and in the office. It was delivery intelligent performance and energy efficiency processors.

Reduce costs and increase productivity with the new Intel® Core™ processor family.

Technology highlights:

Intel® Turbo Boost Technology

Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology

These two kinds of technology make Intel even greater productivity and performance to end users unique needs.

It had different level desktop processors from low end to high end as below:

Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition

Intel Core i7 processor

Intel Core i5 processor

Intel Core i3 processor

Intel Core 2 Quad processor

Intel Core 2 Duo processor


DDR2 memory technology matured, and the computer industry selected DDR3 to be the next-generation memory technology. DDR3 memory technology is based upon DDR2 memory technology, with enhancements to enable improved performance in key areas to support a new generation of quad-core processors.

Hard Disk

It is so many hard disk in the market, when we considering purchasing a hard disk, we need t consider the hard drive performance, quality and reliability. All the data is saved in hard disk, so the reliability are very critical issue.

Display Card

The function of the graphics card is to generate and output images to a display. Many video cards offer additional functions, such as 2D and 3D scenes accelerate rendering. Some graphics card can support multiple monitors. Other high performance graphics cards are used for more graphically demanding purposes.

Modern low-end to mid-range computer motherboards often integrated with video hardware. This is usually called integrated graphics or on-board graphics card and it is low-performance and undesirable for those wishing to run 3D applications. But it is good for word processing and Internet browsing.


Online Data Backup

Solid Capacitors

Fingerprint Technology

Ability to enable/disable USB ports at BIOS level

PC Secure

Web Filtering



Application Software

Firefox 3.x and Internet Explorer 7 are the best browser for daily internet access. Microsoft Office 2007 is the best software in the market for general spreadsheet and word processing, reading email on Outlook 2007.

Although, Office 2007 is not the latest version for MS Office, it will be more stable and mature than the latest version MS Office 2010 which just launch early this year.

Maintenance Service

Although we may have installed the latest equipments, there are still having the possibilities of failure which cannot be ignored.

All hardware and software will have at least three years on site maintenance service. It will reduce the hardware downtime and extra cost for support.

Maintenance of Local Area Network

LAN (nodes) with Firewall ,router and Switch

Firm to provide LAN administration Service

To provide remedial steps for the upkeep of the entire Network

To achieve the network performance at the optimum level by the fine tuning various parameters of different software and hardware.

To maintain the networking equipments i.e. Router, Switches, Hubs, and Firewall etc.

Estimated cost

The budget for this project will be around HK$235,000. Internet connection fee will be around HK$600 per month. The break down as below:






Computer workstations




Interactive whiteboards




Internet connection (per month basic)




Network laser printer




Firewall and Switch




Software Word processing, Anti-Virus




Software School administration




Cabling and Computer Rack




Hardware Installation and Configuration




Software Installation and Configuration




Testing and Commissioning




User Training for School Administration Software (5 day class)



Recommendation Option


Technical factor: For teaching staff and students print out

Economic factor: No need to buy the expensive computer model, just buy the reasonable price range model will be fulfilling their requirements.

Operational factor: 8 desktop computer, networked laser printer, interactive whiteboards.

Operating System

Technical factor: Use Windows7 or Windows XP

Economic factor: Operation system came with the computer, no extra cost to buy it.

Operational factor: Pupils in the age range 5 to 11 years


Technical factor: Only 8 desktops, printer, etc connect to the internet

Economic factor: No need to use 1000Mb network, it will be more expensive.

Operational factor: Use 100Mb network connect all devices together is fast enough.

Benefit of School Network

Tangible benefit

Reduce Cost. Compared to buying individually licensed copies, many network versions of popular software programs are cheaper.

Intangible benefits

Advance Security. Directories or folders access can be added a password to restrict unauthorized users access.

Fast Speed. A fast speed network providing for transferring files and sharing. If no network has installed, it only can be copying files to memory stick or CD/DVD.

Centralized software management. Software can be installed on the file server. To centralize the installation.

Flexibility of access. Students can login any computers within the school network in order to access their files.

Sharing of resources. Laser printers, scanners, and DVD players for each computer can be shared through the network.

Cost /Benefit Analysis


Project : Small School System Date : 26 - July - 2010





























Running costs






Total Costs











Cost for the proposed system (figures in HKD Thousands)

Risk Assessment

Risk 1: Unauthorized user

Because the school network is connected on a network and also have internet connectivity, there may have chance of unauthorized user access to the school system


Install firewall to prevent unauthorized user access from the internet.

Risk 2: Software failure

Students may install unauthorized application on the computers and make software crushed and system hang.


Apply security policy on the computer to restrict students install software. Only school system administrator allowed installing additional software.

Risk 3: Hardware failure

Printers, scanners and computers will have hardware failure issue after few years.


Join hardware maintenance for all equipments which provide high level of service like 4 hours response time to check the hardware and on loan service/replacement service in case of print/scanner/computer hardware failure.

Project Process Model

Waterfall model is selected for this project

Stage 1: Feasibility Study

Define the problem or opportunity;

Enable the Steering Committee to select from a range of business and technical options, and to identify the project necessary to implement the chosen option;

Stage 2: Requirements Definition

An analysis of the current system;

A set of new system user requirements

An index to all related material

Stage 3: System Specification

Define an IS system that will fully meet user requirements.

Begun the system test plan

Stage 4: System Design

A management summary of the proposed system

A detailed system description

System controls

Stage 5: Program Design and Development

Detailed design

Design diagrams

User guide

Operator guide

System test plan

Stage 6: System Test

Designed to fully test the system against its original specification, both unit and integration testing should have been carried out.

Stage 7: Implementation

The implementation may well be short and relatively painless. Some training of the users and operators is required.

To roll out the system over a period of time

Network Analysis

Dependency List



Dependent on


Design network structure




Order materials for network structure




Delivery materials for network structure




Internet line installation




Build of network structure




Computers Installation




Software Installation




Test and Commissioning




Staff Training




See Activity diagram (Figure 5)

Figure 5. Activity diagram

Design network structure

In this stage, it will design a network diagram for the school network, design network addressing, design user acceptance testing, cabling planning/drawing, floor plan and planning the location for all project equipment. Select an Internet service provider for provide internet access service. Write a tender for equipment purchases including hardware software, installation & maintenance.

Order materials for network structure

In this stage, review all tender and select the best Internet, hardware, software, services and maintenance provider. Place all the related order. If something is missing or wrong, it can correct it in this stage.

Delivery materials for network structure

In this stage, waiting for all the goods have been delivered and make sure that nothing is missing. If something cannot delivery on time, we can change it at this stage.

Internet line installation

In this stage, scheduling for Internet line installation and do the test the connection between school and Internet after an Internet line has been installed.

Build of network structure

In this stage, start the cabling job in the classroom. Mounting all network equipment in the rack cabinet and testing all cable outlets. Install and configure of firewall. Install networked printer and Interactive whiteboard.

Computers Installation

In this stage, setup and install computers on the table, connect the CAT5e cable to network outlet and do the hardware diagnostic to make sure that all the computers are working properly.

Software Installation

In this stage, install all the related software and device drivers in the computer.

Test and Commissioning

In this stage, complete the user acceptance testing.

Staff Training

In this stage, schedule for a staff training of network support and using school administration software.

Supplier Specification Criteria



CPU: Intel E5500 or higher

Memory: 4G RAM

Graphic Card: G41

Hard Drive: 320G


Ethernet: Giga Ethernet

OS: Windows 7 Pro

Monitor: 22" LCD Monitor

Warranty: 3 years on site


Multiple full-featured

Application-aware firewall

SSL and IP sec VPN

IPS, antivirus, anti spam, anti phishing, and web filtering services


24 port Gigabit Ethernet

19 inch rack mount

IP based / Port based ACL management

SNMP v1/v2/v3 management

Console / Web management and statistics

History, Alarms and Event management

802.11p (QOS) and port priority

IEEE 802.1x and radius support

IEEE 802.1D /s/w Spanning tree with BPDU filter

IEEE 802.1Q Tag VLAN, GARP and GVRP support

IEEE 802.1ad and LACP support

IGMP Snooping v1/v2 support

Interactive Whiteboards

Pen Tray: Optical sensors in the pen tray detect when you lift a pen or the eraser from the tray. LEDS show the active tool.

Pens and Eraser: Black, blue, red and green pens and a rectangular eraser

Resolution: Touch resolution is approximately 4000 x 4000

Screen Surface: The hard-coated polyester surface is tear proof, optimized for projection, compatible with dry-ease markers and easily cleaned with whiteboard cleaner.

Digitizing Technology: Resistive

Frame Finish: Two-tone gray

Networked Laser Printer

Print speed Black: Up to 30 ppm

Monthly duty cycle: Up to 25,000 pages

Paper trays: 2 (1 plus 50-sheet multipurpose input tray)

Memory, Standard: 16 MB

Print resolution black: Up to 600 x 600 dpi

Print technology: Laser

Connectivity, standard: Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port, built-in Fast Ethernet print server

Service and Maintenance

Hot-line support

4 hour response, next business day 9 to 5 on site warranty


Word Processing

Word Processing

Spread Sheet



Blocks Viruses, Trojan horses and spyware

Faster, Fewer, Shorter scans with Intelligence-driven technology

School Administration

School Management - processing school information including classes and subjects of all class levels

Student - processing personal particulars and schooling information of students, including admission, promotion / repetition and departure

Attendance - students attendance records

Student activities - extra-curricular activities and students application and performance

Punishment and Award - generation of compliment letters and warning letters, processing students punishment and award records and detention class information

Time Tabling - Set up various criteria then generating timetables

Financial Planning and Monitoring - financial, book keeping and budgeting reporting, etc

Report Management - User defined templates upload and download report templates.

Supplier Specification for hardware and software

Desktop Computer

Option 1:


Intel(R)Core(TM) i5 Quad Core Processor i5-750 (2.66GHz, 8MB, 4C, 4 threads, Turbo up to 3.2GHz)

Operating System

Genuine Windows 7(R) Professional 32 bit (TCHI)


2GB (1X1GB) NECC Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM Memory

Hard Drive

250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive with Native Command Queuing

Graphic Card

512MB NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) G310 (DVI, VGA, HDMI)

Option 2:


Intel(R)Core(TM) Dual Core E5400 2.7GHz

Operating System

Genuine Windows 7(R) Professional 32 bit (TCHI)


2GB (2X1GB) DDR2 Memory

Hard Drive

160GB SATA Hard Drive

Graphic Card

Intel GMA X4500 HD built-in display card

Recommendation: Option 2, because it is cheaper and have reasonable price. Performance is good enough for students and teacher.

Network Printer

Option 1: 600x2400dpi Mono Laser printer with USB 2.0 and Ethernet

Option 2: 1440 x 5760 dpi Color Ink Jet printer with USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and PictBridge.

Recommendation: Both Option 1 and 2, Color Ink Jet is more suitable for assignments and mono laser for daily print out.

Interactive Whiteboard

Option 1: 88"(16:9) Resolution: 400ppi, Single-touch, Dual-touch, Multi-touch, Available in Various Sizes

Option 2: 77"(4:3), E-class Room model, Pen or finger, USB/Wireless port, Clearly see Contents Displayed Automatically

Recommendation: Option 2 is large enough for daily classroom use. Also have USB port for file sharing.

Network Switch

Option 1: 48 ports Fast Ethernet Desktop Switch, Backplane 3.2Gbps,

Option 2: 24 ports Fast Ethernet Switch, auto-negotiation and auto-crossover (auto-MDI-X), Two fixed 1000Base-T copper RJ-45 ports for backbone connection or server farm application

Recommendation: Option 1, 48 ports model is good for future expansion.

Check list of criteria for supplier selection


Time in market place, market presence, financial strength, number of employees, Research & Development investment, future plans.


Values, openness, risk sharing, responsiveness, commitment, strategy, and ethos.


Number of staff and skills, location, size, track record, size of customer base, availability of staff.


Processes for quality, standards, change control, risk management, control, planning.

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