Need Help-Hierarchical Network Design Assignment

Need Help-Hierarchical Network Design Assignment

Hierarchical Network Design Assignment

General Requirements

The college district is in the process of implementing an enterprise-wide network which will include Local Area Networks (LANs) at each site and a Wide Area Network (WAN) to provide data connectivity between all college sites.

Access to the Internet from any site in the college district is also an integral part of this implementation. Once the network is in place, the college district will implement a series of servers to facilitate online automation of all of the district’s administrative and many of the curricular functions.

Since this network implementation will have to continue to be functional for a minimum of 10 years, all design considerations should include a minimum of 20x (times) growth in the LAN throughput, 2x (times) growth in the WAN core throughput, and 5x (times) growth in the District Internet Connection throughput. The minimum requirement for initial implementation design will be Fast Ethernet to any host computer in the network and Gigabit Ethernet to any server host in the network.



The WAN will be based on a hierarchical model. Three (3) regional Hubs will be established at the Galway IT, Sligo IT and Letterkenny IT for the purpose of forming a fast WAN core network. College locations will be connected with
high-end, powerful routers. Access to the Internet or any other outside network connections will be provided through SligoIT with appropriate WAN links. For security purposes, no other connections will be permitted.




The LAN will include both wired and wireless connectivity.

Each Local Area Network (LAN) segment will use the appropriate Horizontal and Vertical Cabling which complies with TIA/EIA-568-A and TIA/EIA-569 standards.

Each College consists of 2000 student, 300 lecturers, 40 admin staff and 30 Network Technicians.  The LAN infrastructure will be based on Ethernet LAN switching. This will allow for a migration to faster speeds (more bandwidth) to the individual computers and between MDFs and IDFs without revamping the physical wiring scheme to accommodate future applications.

In each location a Main Distribution Facility (MDF) room will be established as the central point to which all LAN cabling will be terminated and will also be the point of presence (POP) for the Wide Area Network connection. All major electronic components for the network, such as the routers and LAN switches, will be housed in this location. In some cases an Intermediate Distribution Facility (IDF) room will be established, where horizontal cabling lengths exceed TIA/EIA-568-A recommended distances or where site conditions dictate. In such cases, the IDF will service its geographical area and the IDF will be connected directly to the MDF in a STAR or EXTENDED STAR topology.

Each room requiring connection to network will be able to support 24 workstations and be supplied with four (4) CAT 5 UTP runs for data, with one run terminated at the teacher’s workstation. These cable runs will be terminated in the closest MDF or IDF. All CAT 5 UTP cable run will be tested end-to-end for 100 Mbps bandwidth capacity. It will consist of a lockable cabinet containing all cable terminations and electronic components; i.e. data hubs and switches. From this location data services will be distribute within the room via decorative wire molding.

Wireless access should be secure allowing appropriate personnel to obtain connectivity with internet access.



All file servers will be categorized as Enterprise or Workgroup type services, and then placed on the network topology according to function and anticipated traffic patterns of users.  You should select the appropriate files servers for the organisation along with the reasons for your selection.



A complete TCP/IP addressing and naming convention scheme for all hosts, servers, and network interconnection devices will be developed and administered by the District Office. The implementation of unauthorized addresses will be prohibited. The District Addressing Scheme can be implemented in a number of ways. Ideas you should consider are Class A, B, and C Addresses with appropriate subnetting, Network Address Translation (NAT), and Private Network Numbers.

All computers located on the administrative networks will have static addresses, curriculum computers will obtain addresses by utilizing an appropriate server. Each site should use only addresses consistent with the overall District Addressing Scheme. A master network management host will be established at the Sligo IT college and will have total management rights over all devices in the network. This host will also serve as the router configuration host and maintain the current configurations of all routers in the network. Each region location will house a regional network management host to support its area. The management scheme for the data portion of the network will be based on the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) standards. All routers will be pointed to the master Network Management host for the purpose of downloading new or existing configurations. The Sligo IT college will maintain the super user passwords for all network devices and configuration changes on these devices will be authorized from the District Office: i.e., Routers and LAN Switches.




External Threats – Internet Connectivity shall utilize a double firewall implementation with all Internet-exposed applications residing on a public backbone network. In this implementation all connections initiated from the Internet into the schools private network will be refused. Appropriate internal security should also be empolyed.


College Floor Plans


Each college floor plan is identical.   Make up your own plan based on the following.  Each college has 2 buildings 400 meters apart.

Building 1

2 floors

150 meters long

Each floor has 30 lecture theatres

POP is on floor 1

Building 2

1 floor

50 meters long

20 lecture theatres

Your task Plans

Your team of 4 students have been employed by the College district to design a network that suits their needs.  Internal employees will implement the design, there fore it must be documented efficiently.  Here are some examples (not all) of what is required.

Use appropriate hierarchical design including LAN design, WAN design, cut sheets, MDF and IDF layouts, Server and workstation details, User policies, Data recovery methods, Addressing, VLANs, Servers, Maps, Redundancy, Backup procedures, Security procedures, routing protocols, Internet connectivity, wireless etc…

Marks              15% of Continuous Assessment

Due                 Friday 14th of October

Warning           10% deduction per day late



LAN Design Steps Study Guide


First step in LAN design is to establish and document the goals of the design


Requirements of network design:

  1. Functionality – provide user-to-user and user-to-application connectivity with speed and reliability
  2. scalability – ability for network to grow without major changes to overall design
  3. adaptability – design can adapt and implement new technologies as they become available
  4. manageability – easy network monitoring and management to ensure on-going stability


Critical components of LAN design:

  1. function and placement of servers – should use 100 Mbps or more
    1. servers provide file-sharing, printing, communication, and application services
    2. servers run specialized operating systems (netware, windows NT, UNIX, LINUX)
    3. categorized into 2 classes
  1. enterprise servers – supports all the users on network by offering services (e-mail, DNS); should be placed in MDF
  2. workgroup servers – supports specific set of users, offering services such as word processing and file sharing; should be placed in IDF
  1. select correct devices to decrease collisions
    1. media contention – excessive collisions caused by too many devices
  2. segmentation – splitting a single collision domain into two or more collision domains
    1. use bridges or switches creates more bandwidth availability
    2. bridges and switches forward broadcasts not collisions
    3. bridges and switches broadcast = FF-FF-FF-FF-FF
  3. bandwidth vs broadcast domains
    1. bandwidth domain is everything associated with one port on a bridge or switch also known as a collision domain
    2. all workstations compete for the same LAN bandwidth resource


1st step in designing a network is to:

  • gather data about the organizational structure
    • history
    • current status
    • projected growth
    • operating policies and management procedures
    • office systems and procedures
    • viewpoints of employees
  • analyze requirements
    • availability – measures the usefulness of the network
      • throughput
      • response time
      • access to resources
    • determine network traffic load
    • cost


2nd step in designing a network is to develop LAN topology (star/extended star)

  1. Layer 1 – physical cabling
    1. Type of cable (cat 5 for horizontal runs, fiber for backbone and risers)
    2. Distance limitations
  1. 100 meters for cat 5
    1. 3 meters – computer to telecommunication outlet/wall plate
    2. 90 meters – wall to horizontal cross connect (patch panel)
    3. 6 meters – HCC to switch
  2. 2000 meters for fiber
    1. make a logical topology diagram
  1. location of MDF and IDF
  2. type and quantity of cabling
  • detail documentation of all cable runs
  1. Layer 2 – devices to use to provide flow control, error detection, error correction, and reduce congestion
    1. Bridges
    2. Switches
  1. Can microsegment
  2. Eliminates collisions
  • Reduces size of collision domains
  1. Can allocate bandwidth on a per-port basis
    1. Asymmetric switching – allows more bandwidth to vertical babbling, uplinks, and servers.  Provides switched connections between ports of unlike bandwidth
  1. Layer 3 – use routers which:
    1. Allows communication between segments based on layer 3 addressing
    2. Allows connectivity to WANS
    3. Stops broadcasts from reaching other LAN segments
    4. Provides scalability
    5. Adds structure to layer 3 addresses
    6. Filters data-link broadcasts and multicasts


3rd step in designing a network is to create logical and physical network maps – document, by site and network within the site, the IP addressing scheme






Components of network documentation – least performed task in a network

  1. Cut sheet diagrams
    1. Diagrams that indicate the path of the physical wiring layout
    2. Type of cable
    3. Length of each cable
    4. Type of termination for each cable
    5. Physical location of each wall plate or patch panel
    6. A labeling scheme for easy identification of each wire
  2. MDF & IDF layouts – contains a physical and logical layout
    1. Rack mounts
    2. Auxiliary equipment
    3. Servers
    4. Patch panels
  3. server and workstation configuration details – fill out about each host attached to the network
    1. make and model of computer
    2. serial number
    3. floppy drives
    4. hard drives
    5. DVD/CD-Rom drives
    6. Sound and network cards
    7. Amount of RAM
    8. Physical location, user, and network ID
    9. Purchase date and warranty information
  4. software listings – of standard and special software
    1. operating system software
    2. application software
  5. maintenance records – all repairs to all equipment included in the network
  6. security measures
    1. soft security – user rights, password definition, firewall support
    2. physical security – how MDF and IDF’s are locked, who has access, how hosts are protected
  7. user policies – how users can interact with the network and consequences


Security policies

  • minimum password length
  • maximum password age
  • unique passwords
  • times of logon
  • don’t use family or pet names for passwords
  • screensaver password protected


Data recovery methods – protecting data from loss

  • Tape backup – duplicating all stored data to magnetic tape.  Works with a flag or switch. Uses an archive bit which only backs up what has been changes
    • pros – low cost
    • cons – stores data sequentially; drains system resources (bandwidth, processor power)
  • Fault tolerant disk configurations
  • Use of uninterrupted power supplies (UPS)


5 types of backup operations:

  1. full backup – all files on the disk are stored on tape and the archive bit for all files is set to off
  2. incremental backup – backup all files that have been created or modified since full backup; only work in conjunction with a full backup
  3. differential backup – backup all files like incremental backup but the difference is that even though the file is saved to tape, the archive bit is not reset, so each time differential backup is done, all files modified or created since the last full backup will be stored again
  4. copy backup – backup user selected files to tape; does not reset archive bit to off
  5. daily backup – backup only the files that are modified on the day of the backup; doesn’t reset archive bit to off


Fault tolerant storage devices – a redundant set of devices categorized by RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) levels 0 – 5


RAID types:

  1. RAID 0 – stripes data across multiple disks, no parity, no redundancy.  Used for speed
  2. RAID 1 – disk mirroring writes data to two identical partitions on separate hard disks thus creating an automatic backup.  Provides full redundancy but requires twice as much storage space
  3. RAID 2 – writes data across multiple hard disks, with error checking.  No longer used
  4. RAID 3 – stripes data one byte at a time and has a dedicated parity drive.  Very expensive
  5. RAID 4 – stripes data one sector at a time and has dedicated parity drive. Expensive and slow
  6. RAID 5 – stripes data and parity across multiple disks (at least 3).  A separate parity disk is not required abut full data redundancy is achieved.  On NT system, the boot and system partitions cannot be located on a RAID 5 disk array.  Very fast; need at least 5 disks for full redundancy


The three RAID levels that are supported by most operating systems are RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 5


Volume – a physical unit of storage


Environmental factors that can affect a network:

  1. Static
    1. caused by lack of humidity
    2. make sure all equipment is off
    3. make sure you ground yourself before starting to install equipment
  2. Dust and dirt
  3. Heat
  4. Power conditioning – preventing electrical irregularities
    1. Isolating transformer – controls voltage spikes and high frequency noise
    2. Regulators – maintains a constant output voltage.  Handles brownouts and surges
    3. Line conditioner – a regulator with an isolating transformer built in
    4. Uninterruptible power supply – battery charger that charges a batter, that in turn powers the computer
  5. EMI and RFI
    1. EMI includes power supplies and monitors, florescent lights, large electric motors, electrical wiring
    2. RFI (Radio Frequency Interface) picked up by other equipment or improper shielded cables
  6. Software Viruses
    1. Worm – propagates itself across computers, usually by creating copies of itself in each computer’s memory
    2. Virus – “infects” computer files (usually exe files) by inserting in those files copies of itself
    3. Trojan Horse – disguised as a game, a utility, or an application


Network performance – a measure of a networks quickness and reliability

  • Measured by a baseline – performance level established after the network has been installed and configured properly. Use a fluke LAN meter for a baseline
  • Baselines should be periodically updated


Two types of networks

  1. Peer-to-peer (workgroup network) – designed for small numbers of workstations (<10)
    1. Advantages
  1. Cheaper to create and operate
  2. Users control own resources
  • Doesn’t require a dedicated server
  1. No additional software required
    1. Disadvantages
  1. No central point of management
  2. If user changes password, all passwords on shared resources must be changed individually
  • If a shared computer is turned off, those resources aren’t available
  1. No room for growth
    1. Examples
  1. Windows for workgroups
  2. Windows 95
  • Windows 98
  1. LANtastic
  1. Client-Server – network operating systems
    1. Advantages
  1. Provide centralized point of user, security, and resource management
  2. Provide access to resources with one ID and password
    1. Disadvantages
  1. Single point of failure
  2. Requires specially trained personnel to maintain
  • Takes special network software and hardware


Client-Server operating systems:

  • UNIX
    • Kernel based
    • Uses NFS
  • Novell Netware (versions 3.12, 4.11, 5.0)
  • Windows NT


Main function of network operating system is to control the network by establishing:

  • Network user
  • Rights
  • Login accounts
  • Passwords
  • Groups
  • System profiles and policies


Troubleshooting a network

  1. identify network/user problem
  2. gather data about problem
  3. analyze data to come up with a possible solution
  4. implement solution
  5. if problem isn’t solved, undo change and modify data
  6. go to step 3

Need Help-Hierarchical Network Design Assignment


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