Local area network design

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In this assignment I have been asked to design a network for a computer distribution firm called yellow computer distribution. While carrying out this task I must include the resources that yellow computer distribution have given me which there network must include. Yellow computer distribution have stated that they need to have a email service, access to the internet, a intranet for products, stock control, home folders , payroll database, accounts database, web conferencing, VoIP and groupware applications. When creating the plan for this network there are some key issues that I must address such as the functionality of the website so the staff are able to carry out the tasks they require, the scalability of the network and making sure that the network can be expanded over the forthcoming years another issue is the adaptability of the network and being able to apply new technologies should some arise into the company. And finally the security of the network and the data it stores making sure that only people entitled to see that information are able to access that information. With these in mind I will write my assignment in three parts. The first part of the assignment being the current issues with the current network the problems both physical and technological, the second part will include my plan of the network and what I propose to do this will be a A4 diagram showing all the part I will include labelled and even the type of wiring I will use then finally in the third part it will include the reasons for using these parts and how they impact the network. And at the end I will conclude my plans and describe how my network plan meets the entire requirement that the company had set out and also the possibility of expansion and will review, functionality, scalability, adaptability and security to make sure that I have covered every area that the company requires.

Part 1

From looking at the case study I have found that there are a number of issues with the current network these are that, each building is wired with cat-5 cabling the problem with this is that a cat-5 cable is only capable of 100 mbps and can only be used of up to lengths of 300 feet. Another issue is that the internet is to slow to meet the company's needs as it is only 4 mbps this also means that if in the Nottingham location if all users were using the internet connection it would mean that each user would have 0.03 mbps per user share of the internet connection and in the derby location each user if they were using the internet at the same time would have a share of the connection would have 0.02 mbps, this would result in pages not loading due to the router timing out and very slow file transfer if that was required and extremely low amount of bandwidth. Another issue is that the pc's all contain 100 mbps Network Cards which would mean that if this was to be updated then each of these network cards must be updated and replaced. There is also another issues as that neither of the warehouses are connected to either networks, which means that none of the warehouse management or warehouse staff can access the internet or any data files should they need to from their location therefore creating a barrier to connectivity. Another issue is that both systems use different database systems which are incompatible with each other and also are old systems which are mainly not compatible or used any more this will cause complications when they try using both systems together and trying to find a way of merging the information together as they are different format. This could also be part responsibility with the windows 2000 OS used on both the networks as it is now out of date and new versions have become available and the compatibility for older systems are now dying out meaning that in some forth coming years this system will become incompatible with many other systems and the file types that it produces may only be viewable on their own personal systems. And eventually will cost the company large amounts of money to replace the equipment and to replace any broken or damaged parts should they not want to upgrade the parts.

Part 2

Part 3

In my proposed network plan I decided to use cat-5e cable as it allows 1 gigabit per second of data to be transferred at one time this would then help increase communication speed and also transfer speed due to more packets being able to be send down the line at any one time. It will also mean that it will be able to support faster internet speeds for all the users as the internet speed would have been increased and the ADSL modem replaced by the router this would also mean a large bandwidth for the staff. By improving the cat-5 cable to cat-5e it means that the network cards in each of the machines will have to be upgraded and replaced to be able to handle the greater speed. I decided to use patch panels within the network plan so that should the network would need to be expanded and new Pc's added at a future date for if staff numbers increase then the company has the opportunity to expand and add new Pc's to the network or they could be used for any other network devices which become available and developed in the future. I have added switches to the network plan so that packets of data can be encapsulated by the switch at the transport layer of the OSI model by doing this it makes sure that the data is received and in the correct order and it allows multiple applications to transmit over the network at the same time, the transport layer also performs error handling, also by having a switch it will allow a share of the bandwidth and make sure that there are no collisions with any packets along the line and also allow all the Pc's to run in full duplex. DHCP server is included in my network design as it is a network protocol that allows the server to assign and IP address to a computer from a selected range of figures configured from a network. By doing this other than assigning Pc's with static addresses is that it reduces the loss of service from IP Conflicts. The DNS server assigns the group of pc's or a network device a unique domain name and it will associate different information with the domain names, by mapping the devices IP address with its domain name. the user then logs onto the domain name and then and then the domain which the user is logged into will allow certain rights and privileges to the user, such as Read and write privileges on files, Internet for example the sales staff need the rights to view and edit the sales information where as the software department would not need the rights to view this information. In this network design there is also a Email and Web server this is placed in the network to allow the creation of email accounts for internal use within the company it is also available to allows the creation of a intranet and allow the company to run there own internal site from off the server to meet there needs. A file system server is required for rapid storage and is not required to carry out any logical work. Within the environment the servers memory can be partitioned and each member of staff be allocated a percentage of the memory, this could be set as a minimum to start with as to save on storage and then at a later date if more memory is required for if staff start carrying out different more larger activities then these members of staff allocated slots could be increased, therefore saving on unnecessary storage usage. The software department would be allocated more memory than others such as warehouse was software department has to handle the development of large software and also the sales of the software itself where as warehouse staff are just responsible for packing and shipping goods and would typically only need to view a shared work file with orders in it. Within my network diagram I have included routers these are in place to provide quicker access to the internet as each subnet will have their own direct connection to the internet and they also are placed there to connect more than one subnet together. The router works at the layer 2 of the OSI model the data link layer as the data link protocols govern how to format a frame for use with or to a different media, this works by the router de-encapsulating the frame then working out the correct header for the transfer then re-encapsulating with that correct header and transferred along with the correct frame header. The servers will also be stored in their allocated rooms on the top floor of the buildings where there will be sufficient air conditioning to keep the server stacks cool, also the routers could also be placed in the room as it will save large amounts of money on air conditioning and also would save on any building modifications that may have had to take place to fit the air conditioning.


From the original layout of the network I feel that my network design is more beneficial as, the staff will be able to carry out all the specific task they would require and still be able to expand their network capabilities if needed, also the network is scalable enough to withstand and technological development that would be required to be added to the network meaning that this network design should last for many years. This also means that the network is adaptable to new technology and also expandable. And also the network would be very secure due to physical firewalls on all routers and also software based anti-virus and firewalls onto the pc, each user account would have a password and a user name due to the DNS server which host a domain for the user. Overall I feel that my network plan will meet the needs of the required business and will last the company for may years to come and would not need upgrading but has the ability for expansion so will be very cost effective in the long run.