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ITECH2301-Network Architecture and Design Assignment Help

- Describe the technologies and architecture of LANs,Wireless LANs and WANs.

- Identify the principles of LAN design.

- Analyse and design LAN architecture for organisational requirements.

- Analyse data communication and networking technologies in today's Internet.

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The case study is of a company names Drop and Forge, which is a manufacturing company having only one office. They have total 200 employees working for them. The company is located in Toledo, Ohio, where it is having a multi storey building having total 5 floors. In addition to this, they also have a plant which operates in another building. In the multi storey building they have total 100 computers connected to each other whereas the plant also has 20 computers connected to the main backbone network.

The company has decided to expand their network because there is a need to install the modified network to fulfill the needs of current world. As a change they want to include, a data center, ecommerce facility and few printers.

In order to fulfill these requirements of the company a physical and logical design of the network is to be prepared. Following are the tasks which are to be completed in order to design the network.

Network architecture component:

Traditional network design process is a very complex and costly process of network design. One of the simple approaches of network design is building-block process. The main idea is to use some basic components in the network which are cheaper than the other components. The major goal of using this approach is to bring the simplicity of design. This design process is also called as narrow and deep because a very narrow range of technologies and devices is used over and over again. This process of design involves three basic steps as follows-

1. Need Analysis

2. Technology design

3. Cost assessment

In the first step, the network designer has the task of analyzing the current network in order to find the existing drawbacks in the network and suggest some key recommendations for improving the network performance.

In the next step, the technology design is analyzed. Basically it is about finding out the technologies which will be required to fulfill the user need of the network. Some key estimates are made in terms of selection of technologies.

Finally, the cost estimation is done for the selected technology and network design.

- Network Architecture Components

The seven network architecture components used in the above building block process are as follows-

1. LAN

2. Building Backbone

3. Campus Backbone

4. WAN

5. Internet Access

6. E-commerce edge

7. Data Centers

The new architecture for the Drop and Forge company can be designed using the above mentioned network architecture components. The detail explanation of all these components is discussed below-

1. LAN:

It is Local Area Network, because it is mentioned that the company does not has any other campus, then the entire computers for the company can be connected into LAN using the star topology.

2. Building Backbone:

It is basically about how the different location within the same building can be connected to each other. The backbone of any network is the cables used in the creation of network. For the given requirements for connecting the different floors of the office a CAT6 cable will become the backbone of the entire network, which will keep all the devices together. A good backbone cabling network provides the reliable interconnection between the different locations and devices within the network. In the given network both the types of network cables will be used copper and fibre. In addition, a wide range of hardware is used in the backbone for meeting the various performance parameters.

3. Campus backbone:

It will be used for connecting the network between two different buildings within the same campus. In the given scenario, the five floor building and the plant. The selection of the backbone cable will depend upon the distance between the two buildings.

4. WAN:

Wide area network is basically applied when the network of multiple cities is to be connected. In the requirement of Drop and Forge, it is mentioned that the company does not have any other branch or office situated in different city. So there is no need to design the WAN network topology for the network.

5. Internet Access:

For providing the internet access to all the devices the data connectivity has to be done through some Internet Service Provider (ISP).

6. E-commerce Edge:

This is all about supporting the web portal for e-commerce platform for the company products. The manufacturing unit of Drop and Forge if wants to sell their products to the market online, then they will have to develop a website which will hosted on the company's web server and all the data generated through this will be stored back in to the data center.

7. Data Centers:

It is one of the most important components of any network architecture. This is responsible for handling all the data generated from the different services and applications of the company. It has the capability of storing a huge amount of data and also processing it as and when required.

Application System

The network designers have to find out some key applications and services those will run in the network. It is very essential that the location and configuration of all such services should be identified before exciting them. This process of location identification is called as base lining. Also, it is important to keep scope for more applications to get added in future if required. This depends on the company's long term and short terms plans.

Network Users:

Most of the network traffic now days have increased due to the excessive use of internet. Some of the application which has increased number of users is email and web users. These applications are generating a large amount of traffic. If the same goes on increasing it goes beyond the control of the network administrator. Therefore, it is very important to understand the network traffic patterns and include the solution for the same in the network design.

Categorizing network needs:

After the geographic scope, it is also important to find out the amount of traffic generated from different part of the network. In the building block design approach, we find some raw estimate of the relative magnitude of network needs. An effective assessment of all the applications within the network is done in terms of the traffic that is encountered in the old network and traffic expected in near and far future. This is done for getting some relative understanding of the network needs, so that the design can be accurate.


The final deliverable after completing the assessment process is the logical network diagram. It consists of the applications services, cables, topology, clients and servers in the proposed network. The logical design based on the above discussion and requirements of the company is shown below.

T2: After completing the logical network design, the next phase is to convert the logical design into physical network design. It focus on the development of client and server architecture. In this phase the existing and new devices are upgraded to handle the traffic of the current day. Some of the basic steps in designing the physical network design are discussed below:

Designing Client and Servers:

Here some standard units in terms of the requirements of computers, servers and other devices is managed. All the end users are provided with the basic computer stations to run the various server applications. High end configuration servers are used for hosting and executing the applications. This request and data sharing between devices through the servers is called as client server architecture.

Designing Circuits:

In this phase, the cabling of all the devices in the network is done. All the circuit designing is purely dependent on the capacity of the network in terms of carrying the data from one device to the other device. As in network the circuits and devices are two different components but however they are interrelated to each other. The only reason for interrelation is technology offering different circuit capacities. Some of the key points covered in this section of building block approach are-

a) Estimating the size of the network

b) Identifying and deciding the different standards for technology and devices used in the planning. For example, to decide whether to form a LAN, WAN or MAN. And whether the LAN should be shared or switched etc.

c) Analysis of the amount of data that will get transmitted over the circuit, what would be the peak time for high traffic in the circuit etc.

Network Design Tool:

Designing tools provide a good hand in modeling and designing the network as per the requirements. These tools are helpful for designing and simulating the network well ahead of actually deploying it in real life. Some of the tools also provide the drag and drop facility whereas in some tools the designer has to write the code in respective scripting language to simulate the devices and circuit. Few highly used tools are NS3, ONMET++ and Packet Tracer which are used extensively for simulation purpose. For designing the network of Drop and Forge the Packet Tracer is used for designing the logical and physical design of the network.



T3: Assumption made during the designing of network.

1. The very first assumption would be to select the IP address for the company. Looking at the requirements of the company it can be concluded that for supporting a network of 120 computers, a class C network address will be sufficient enough. Also, the remaining host IP addresses can be used for the scaling the company’s network in future. Considering this, the following details are assumed-

a) Network address:

b) Gateway Address:

c) Subnet Mask:

2. The LAN topology selected is Star, in which a centralized core switch will be configured and five different distribution switches of 24 ports each will be connected to each floor of the building. The core switch consisting of 24 ports will be connected to the router which in turn will be connected to the ISP for providing the internet services.

3. The network is designed keeping in mind the three-tier architecture. There is a router at the top layer connected to a core switch and then the number of distribution switches which are again connected to the end devices. The router also acts as an gateway between the server and any external links.

4. A web server is assumed for hosting the company’s e-commerce edge. 

5. A data sever will facilitate as a data center for the company.

6. For allowing the employees to bring their laptop and have access to their emails and other services a wireless router is also used. The access point is also connected to the core switch.

7. For connecting all the devices an Ethernet network is configured.

T4: Significant business benefits:

Some of the key business benefit from the newly designed network to the management is as follows:

1. Because of the Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), it becomes simple for the employees to work from any location or from any floor of the company. This will ultimately result in the increasing productivity and effective utilization of the resources. This will benefit the management to a great extent.

2. Providing the support for data center will help the organization to keep all their data at the central location. So it becomes easy for the stakeholders to get the access of the data as and when required.

3. The web server will help the company to host their website for providing the e-commerce edge for better business opportunities.

4. The design also provides scalability to the network; if in future the company decides to expand they have the scope of adding multiple computers or other devices in their network.

5. The star topology helps in maintaining the reliability of the network. If any device fails then the entire network will not get hamper.

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