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CSC00240 Data Communications and Networks Assignment - Network Design for a Modern Software Development Company, Southern Cross University, Australia

Task - Design a recommended network for AML's HQ (main branch) LAN based on the findings of PART 1 on the following: i. Analyse user network requirements. ii. Describe and analyse the current network.

In PART 2 of your report, you are required to: i. Suggest a type of network architecture that is suitable for the organisation. You will need to identify all the media (circuits), network hardware necessary to build the network(s) you are proposing and to justify your choice, i.e., you will need to explain the function of the hardware and network choice in your solution and to justify your choice by value for money, Quality of Service (QoS), security, etc. ii. Explain IP address plan for the proposed network. iii. Explain logical network design with diagram(s) for the proposed network. iv. Draw physical network(s) diagram that shows how you connect the hardware you have chosen in (i).

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Answer -

Part I -

AML is a health care services company, which sells health products. Currently, the company is not selling their products on web. Now they want to expand their business by selling products on web. But their existing network is not able to support this business goal. This requires them to upgrade their network.

Initially the company is headquartered in a three-story buildings i.e. Building A and Building B. The distance between these building is 20 M. The company also does not support the users with BYOD facility. The buildings are not connected to each other and people are sharing data among two buildings using the web portal. They want to upgrade the network with some future concerns.

Part II -

Executive Summary:

Advanced Medicos Limited (AML) wants to upgrade the old network with a new one keeping in mind the future concerns. The new network should designed in such a way that it can be easily scaled up or down depending upon the future requirements. The new network should handle the company needs at least for the next five years. There are two buildings A and B which are having four departments. The software and Marketing departments are in building A whereas; Production and Administration are in building B. The software department has 70 workstations and 10 printers, production has 5 workstations and 2 printers, marketing department has 0 workstations and 4 printers and administration has 5 workstations and 2 printers. The buildings are not directly connected to each other. For any data communication they use web portal. There is no wireless server facility available in any of the building due to which it does not facilitate the "Bring Your Own Devices" (BYOD) to the employees. The router connecting these buildings to internet is located in the building A.

In future the company wants to change the work environment where in the employee will get a chance to work from home for the software development. For enabling this, all the 65 software developers will be issued with a laptop. This will definitely increase the work load for which the administration department will add 8 workstations and 2 printers. They are also looking forward to allow BYOD, due to which they have to include some security hardware to protect their network. The company also wants to enable the wireless LAN.

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The solution for the company could be to create their network using three-tier architecture and creating physical topology to handle various types of devices. For supporting the wireless devices they can use Access Points to provide internet connectivity to laptops and other hand held devices. A single server with high configuration will be used in either of the building which will be used for storing the data at the central location. For connecting the two buildings coaxial cable as they are only 20 M apart from each other. The router will be located in either of the buildings for connecting to the ISP for internet connectivity. For maintaining the security of devices a firewall can be used and various policies should be written in order to prevent the malicious requests and data transfer. For every department a separate VLAN can be created to keep the data secure in the department itself. For communicating among different VLAN, intra VLAN routing can be configured. For employees, to work from home some sharing tools can be used to allow the employees to work in a team from remote locations. Also, a separate video conferencing set is required for distance meetings with the clients. For this, IP phone can be configured for simplicity of work. In addition to all this, the company also needs some applications, such as-

  • Latest version of Microsoft Office
  • Enterprise Resource Planning software
  • Anti-Malware Application
  • An Email server to work internally.

In order to achieve the technical goals following can be done-

All the existing computers should be replaced with the high configuration machines. For ensuring the scalability the range of IP address must be selected with care and appropriate sub-networks should be created. As the employees need to access the data from any location separate servers for data storage is essential, like email server, file server etc. To ensure the performance, high speed WAN should be configured and reliability can be taken care by using the distributed databases i.e. maintaining the replication of data. Finally all these devices and tools must be kept in a secured way so a firewall gateway is essential.

In order to connect the AML's new HQ located at 100 KM distance from the old office we need to follow the following steps-

1. Consider a different IP for the subnet at the new office.

2. Set-up a VPN tunnel from router in old office to the router in new office.

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Architecture:

The type of architecture that is suitable for the organization is hybrid three-tier network architecture. The reason behind selecting this architecture is the division of roles and responsibilities for each sub layer. This type of architecture basically has three layers Core Layer, Distribution Layer and Access Layer. At the core layer routers are used to connect to the global network. The distribution layer includes switches operating at layer 3 of OSI model i.e. layer 3 switches. These devices act as an boundary in which defines policies and filters to transfer the data packets. The access layer has switches which connect to the end devices such as, laptops, printers, data servers, file servers, access points etc. The advantage of using this architecture for AML will help in achieving better performance, effective management of network, high scalability, and High speed.

For designing this hybrid three-tier architecture, following components will be required.

1. The cables required at the core layer are fibre optic cables which are used to connect the routers to the global network. Fibre optic will also be used for connecting the HQ with the old offices which are 100 KM apart from each other. For connections among the distribution layer and access layer category 6 cables will be used. The devices will be connected in the star topology using the cat 6 cables. RJ 45 and RJ 11 connectors will be used for connecting the media with different devices.

2. Routers Cisco 2911: To be used at the core layer to connect the AML network with the global network. As only two interfaces are required it comes with two gigabit Ethernet ports supporting high speed LAN connections.

3. Sonic Wall Firewall: To act as a bridge between the AML network and Global Network.

4. Layer-3 Switch 3560 24PS: A multi-functional switch acting as an interface between the core layer and the distribution layer.

5. IP Telephony Server: To facilitate the IP Phone network for video conferencing.

6. Wireless Controller: To control all the wireless devices.

7. Layer 2 Switches 2960: Multiple layer 2 switches will be required to connect the core switch with the distribution layer switches. This switches are selected because they have 24 fastethernet ports and 2 gigabitethernet ports for high speed data transfer.

8. As per the requirements of the company they need to provide the employees with 65 laptops of high end configuration.

9. Network Printers as per the requirements.

10. IP Phone for video conferencing and meeting.

11. Cisco Linksys: Wireless Access Points for enabling wireless LAN.

12. Web Servers XAMP/LAMP/WAMP: to support the web portal of the company.

13. For connecting the remote offices, AML need to have a new IP address and will have to establish a VPN between the two networks connected in a WAN topology.

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IP address plan for the proposed network:

It is given that software development and Marketing department are in building A and Production and Administration are in building B. So, after analyzing the requirements of AML and the available IP address and subnet mask, we can create two sub-networks, one for each building. The combine requirement of building A is (400+10)=410, whereas, the combine requirement of building B is (13+5) = 18. Following are the calculation of subnet mask and other key addresses for any network.

Building-A Subnet:

Number of Host IP required = 410

Therefore, number of host bits required = 9

Hence, the subnet mask = 255.255.254.0

So, the number of IP addresses in one subnet = 512

From the above calculations following can be deduced-

Network Address = 172.16.185.0

Broadcast Address = 172.16.186.255

Default Gateway = 172.16.185.1

Valid IP Range = 172.16.185.2 to 172.16.186.254

Subnet Mask = 255.255.254.0

Building-B Subnet:

Number of Host IP required = 18

Therefore, number of host bits required = 5

Hence, the subnet mask = 255.255.255.224

So, the number of IP addresses in one subnet = 32

From the above calculations following can be deduced-

Network Address = 172.16.185.0

Broadcast Address = 172.16.185.31

Default Gateway = 172.16.185.1

Valid IP Range = 172.16.185.2 to 172.16.185.30

Subnet Mask = 255.255.255.224

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Physical Network Design:

Physical design of the network is created using "EDRAW MAX" (trial version) tool.

Network Design.jpg

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Logical Network Design:

Logical design is done on "Packet Tracer 7.2" tool

Please find the attached files for physical and logical views of the AML's network.

Following is the IP plan for both the buildings.

Building A

Subnet Mask: 255.255.254.0

Network IP: 172.16.185.0

Gateway: 172.16.185.1

Broadcast: 172.16.255.255

Host IP: 172.16.185.2 to 172.16.186.254

Building B

Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.224

Network IP: 172.16.185.0

Gateway: 172.16.185.1

Broadcast: 172.16.185.31

Host IP: 172.16.185.2 to 172.16.185.30

Network Design1.jpg

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