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The purpose of this report is to develop a data network design for Optichrome Limited based on the data transfer requirements and the office space layout (See figure1 below). The company has a total workforce of 43 staff including the CEO and two divisional managers. The company is made up of three managerial divisions namely:
Marketing, Sales and Administration which has 10 staff,
Animation and Modelling which has 20 staff,
Rendering and Production which has 10 staff.
Computer and Data requirements for each division are as follows:
Marketing, Sales and Administration has one computer per staff with data rates of 10Mbps,
Animation and Modelling has one computer per staff with data rates of about 50Mbps,
Rendering and Production has two computers per staff with data rates of 300Mbps.
The CEO and Divisional Managers have one computer each with data rates of 10Mbps.
An IP address range has been obtained around the 188.8.131.52/24 NetID and it is required that the divisions be represented using IP subnets and VLANs for administrative purposes and there is also a plan for expansion of the current workforce by 50% while the company is still located in the current floor of this building.
Figure - office layout optichrome limited
DATA NETWORK DESIGN FOR OPTICHROME LIMITED
In this section, information provided regarding the data requirements for each division within the company and the office layout plan is analysed and used to develop a data network design which includes a topological design diagram of the network and a physical design diagram based on the office layout provided. Given there is a plan to expand the current workforce by 50%, the new specifications will be:
Table - ANALYSIS OF OPTICHROME LIMITED DATA REQUIREMENTS
Number of Computers per Staff
Data Rate Requirement (Mbps)
Current Number of Staff
Number of Staff after expansion
Total Number of Computers
(Number of PC Ã- Number of Staff
Marketing, Sales & Administration
Animation & Modelling
Rendering & Production
Rendering &Production Manager
Animation and Modelling Manager
From the data available in table 1, there are certain types of cable technologies that can provide the data rates required by each division. These cable technologies are 100BASE-TX Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) of the IEEE 802.3u Fast Ethernet standard and 1000BASE-T Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) of the IEEE 802.3ab Gigabit Ethernet standard. The 100BASE-TX uses two of the twisted pair cables, one for transmission and one for reception to deliver data rates of 100Mbps using a category 5 (CAT5) cable type. The 1000BASE-T uses all four twisted pair cables to transmit and receive in both directions simultaneously delivering data rates of 1Gbps using a category 5e (CAT5e) cable type. Table 2 below shows the technical specifications of 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T standards:
Table - technical specifications of 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T standards
Signal Frequency (MHz)
Maximum Segment Length (m)
Maximum Network Length (m)
Unshielded Twisted Pair
Unshielded Twisted Pair
For Unshielded Twisted Pair cable type, the Standard Connector type is the RJ-45 connector.
The 100BASE-TX CAT 5 Unshielded Twisted Pair cable type is recommended for providing connection to the CEO, Rendering & Production Manager, Animation & Modelling Manager and the Sales, Marketing and Administration division computers requiring data rates of 10Mbps as the existing CAT3 based Twisted pair cable network will not be adequate to serve the future data transfer requirements in case telephony is integrated into the network. A 10Mbps connection is just adequate for only telephony and cannot support telephony and data transfer of 10Mbps. Also, in case there is a need for higher data rates in future, maybe as a result of new applications utilised by this division that requires higher data rates, there would be no need to rewire this new network as the 100Mbps provided by the CAT5 based Unshielded Twisted Pair cable will be sufficient for this purpose helping to save cost and time spent to rewire new cables for an upgrade. It is also important to note that the CAT5 cable wiring is more resistant to interference from outside noise sources than the CAT3 wiring, hence it provides a better performance compared to the CAT3 cable type.
The 100BASE-TX Unshielded Twisted Pair CAT5 cable is also recommended for providing connection to the Animation and Modelling division computers requiring data rates of 50Mbps as the 100Mbps provided by the CAT5 cable is sufficient for any form of data transfer requirement within this division and will cover for any future upgrade required.
The 1000BASE-T Unshielded Twisted Pair CAT5e cable type is recommended for connections between the internetworking equipments and for the computers in the Rendering & Production division requiring data rates of 300Mbps. This cable will provide data rates of 1Gbps to the computers in the Rendering & Production division. It provides a cost-effective solution as it provides the same data rates (1Gbps) and performance as the much higher priced CAT6 cable type and also has high signal integrity and high resistance to interference. Since the CAT5e cable type is used to connect the computers within the Rendering & Production department, it will be ideal to use the same cable type to connect the internetworking equipments as using 100Mbps connection between internetworking equipments will only slowdown the network's overall performance.
VLAN PLAN & IP ADDRESS ALLOCATION SCHEME
In the design, the network is segmented based on departmental function i.e. the nature of tasks users perform. In order to achieve this, Layer 2 switches are needed. A Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) plan is implemented using these switches to break up or segment the network into smaller networks so users that require similar resources or perform similar tasks are grouped together in these smaller networks which make up the larger network. In essence, a user that does not belong to a department (or VLAN) or does not require access to a resource that belongs to a VLAN group will not have access and cannot communicate with the users that belong to that VLAN group. A Port-based VLAN or static VLAN is be implemented on these switches where switch ports are assigned a specific VLAN association and this association can only be changed manually by the network administrator. This method of VLAN assignment is easily configured and provides great security as the movement of users within the network is effectively supervised and controlled. The switch verifies the VLAN membership of computers plugged into it against the VLAN association of switch port the computer is plugged into. If the IP address of a computer plugged into a switch port does not belong to the network ID of the VLAN configured on this switch port, the computer will be denied access to the network.
In the VLAN plan, the Rendering & Production division and Rendering & Production Manager computers are grouped into VLAN2, the Animation & Modelling division and Animation & Modelling Manager are grouped into VLAN3 and the Sales, Marketing & Administration division and the CEO are grouped into VLAN4 (see figure 2 below).
Analysing the data under the Total number of Computers column in table 1, it can be deduced that 30 IP addresses are required for the computers in Rendering & Production division and 1 IP address for the Rendering and Production Manager's computer, resulting in a total of 31 IP addresses for VLAN2 members. 30 IP addresses are required for computers in Animation & Modelling division, and 1 IP address is needed for the Animation & Modelling Manager's computer resulting to 31 IP addresses required for VLAN3. 15 IP addresses are required for the Sales, Marketing & Administration division and an IP address is needed for the CEO's computer, making it a total of 16 IP addresses for VLAN4. A total of 78 IP addresses are needed to connect all computers within the organisation taking into consideration the need for expansion of the current workforce by 50% in future.
Examining the NetID 184.108.40.206/24 obtained by the company and the CIDR notation /24, it can be deduced that there are 254 IP addresses available within this address block (see table 3 below). It is simply ideal to break this address block into smaller subnets according to the requirements of each VLAN. This will effectively enhance breaking up the network into separate broadcast domains identified by different network IDs. VLAN2 and VLAN3 have requirements of 31 IP addresses while VLAN4 needs 16 IP addresses. The following table shows a list of subnet mask and its equivalent CIDR notation and available number of hosts.
Table - list OF SUBNET masks and equivAlent cidr notation
Number of IP Addresses
16, 777, 214
8, 388, 606
4, 194, 302
2, 097, 150
1, 048, 574
With reference to table 3 above, VLAN2 AND VLAN3 requirement of 31 IP addresses can only be covered using subnet mask 255.255.255.192 with CIDR /26 and IP address allocation of 62 IP addresses each. VLAN4 requirements of 16 IP addresses can be covered adequately using subnet mask 255.255.255.224 with CIDR /27 and IP address allocation of 30 IP addresses. Using the mask 255.255.255.192 to create the first subnet for VLAN2 from network ID 220.127.116.11:
VLAN2 - RENDERING & PRODUCTION DIVISION AND MANAGER
Number of IP addresses required: 31
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.192
CIDR notation: /26
Network ID: 18.104.22.168
IP address range: 22.214.171.124 - 126.96.36.199 (62 IP addresses)
Broadcast address: 194.45. 67.63
VLAN3 - ANIMATION & MODELLING DIVISION AND MANAGER
Number of IP addresses required: 31
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.192
CIDR notation: /26
Network ID: 188.8.131.52
IP address range: 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11 (62 IP addresses)
Broadcast address: 18.104.22.168
VLAN4 - CEO, SALES, MARKETING & ADMINISTRATION DIVISION
Number of IP addresses required: 16
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.224
CIDR notation: /27
Network ID: 22.214.171.124
IP address range: 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52 (30 IP addresses)
Broadcast address: 184.108.40.206.
Computers with IP addresses in network 220.127.116.11/26 are members of VLAN2, IP addresses in network 18.104.22.168/26 are members of VLAN3, and IP addresses in network 22.214.171.124/27 are members of VLAN4 (see figure 2 below).
Figure - data network topology diagram
In figure 2 above, the red box depicts the grouping of Rendering & Production division and Manager Computers together into VLAN2, the yellow box depicts the grouping of Animation & Modelling division and Manager Computers together into VLAN3, the green box depicts the grouping of the CEO and Sales, Marketing & Administration division's Computers together into VLAN4. In the switch configuration, 31 ports on Switch RENDERING are associated with VLAN2, 31 ports on Switch ANIMATION are associated with VLAN3 and 16 ports on Switch SALES are associated with VLAN4. All ports on the switches are configured as access ports, so switch ports only forward traffic of the VLAN associated to them. This helps to enhance security, manage and control movement of users within the network as a device with an IP address that does not belong to a network ID associated with a VLAN cannot plug into a switch port associated with that VLAN. The information an about VLAN membership and VLAN association of switch ports is only known to the network administrator. All switches used allow a second VLAN to be added to all access ports on switch ports for voice traffic. This second VLAN is known as Voice VLAN. The Voice VLAN is superimposed on the data VLANs that have been defined, allowing a computer and a phone to connect to the same switch port but the devices are actually on separate VLANs. This facilitates seamless integration of Telephony into the network and the cable types used have sufficient bandwidth to support this facility (Telephony).