Anyone networking people here?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan_M_M, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. Ryan_M_M

    Ryan_M_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi guys

    I have been handed this network assignment that carries with it 50% of my module’s marks. I am wondering is there any networking purists here that could give me some pointers. Here’s the criteria I have been given:

    Heart link is a newly created computer dating agency with a 200% growth rate. In order to deal with the expected increases the company hope to increase the number of staff in the following years

    Staff Year 1 – 5 people
    Staff Year 2 – 35 people
    Staff Year 3 – 70 people
    Staff Year 4 – 110 people
    Staff Year 5 – 150 people

    They have purchased the following premises and you are to recommend how should network their premises

    10 metres long

    ------------------
    | |
    | |
    | |
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    5 metres wide



    Task 1

    Write an informal report to management detailing the different types of LANs that could be used with their advantages and disadvantages. Make a firm recommendation as to the type of LAN that should be used with used with reasoned arguments.

    30 marks

    Task 2

    Draw up an effective layout of the computer and any ancillary equipment that would be required. Take into account the projected growth of the business.

    10 marks

    Task 3

    Explain how the components in the network interact when data is sent across the network

    30 marks

    Task 4

    Using e-commerce source the equipment that would be required.

    30 marks

    I was thinking in terms of topology using star, but any other opinions would be welcomed. I am wondering however since the agency will expand in due time what procedures would I need to set in place. What lines of equipment will I be putting money towards (i.e hub, switches, routers, print servers etc). Also would it be worthwhile investing in a wireless network so as when people are out of the office carrying their laptops. The layout design has me buggered on this one. The assignment is flexable (so the lecturer states), so this is why I stress opinions are important. You’ll have to excuse me. I am fairly new to this area. I am more a programmer. Any advice on costs and implementation would be helpful.
     
  2. Sean P

    Sean P Agent

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    Ryan,

    I've done some work as a LAN/WAN guy. I'm a consultant now though, so take this with a grain of salt.

    First - the 10 x 5 meter premises - how many people are there per room? If it's just one or two, you may have to expand. If your expansion is going to be too large (multifloor, hundreds of meters on the same floor) you're going to have to look at a multi switched environment. If you will be able to get away with one switch, just go with a 10/100 switch. The technology is mature and relatively easy to manage. If you will have to use multiple switches (either due to switch population issues [switch blades can have up to 24 ports per blad, but you're probably going to want a management port per blade], cable length issues , or you just think that 2 or three switches are pretty), then hook the switches up in a redundant ring. If you will have a lot of high load traffic (like for video conferencing), you may want to look at ATM or GigE. Cabling will be fine with Cat5e or Cat6 if you want a slight bit of upgrade insurance for the future. Star topology from the switch is going to be the easiest to implement and to grow with. As for print servers, I would reccommend using HP Jetdirect print servers. They can be on cards built into the higher level HP printers, or can be stand alone usb or ethernet devices. Relatively trouble free and you have fewer areas that you would need to troubleshoot if there is a problem. Count on 1 printer to 10 people minimum, 1 printer to 4 people max. HP laser printers are what you're probably going to want, but that's my prefence for compatibility reasons. For the NOS, its a trade off. If you want more security and relative easy of maintenence, go with Netware 5.x It does IP fine, but it isn't going to give you a ton of options in the future. Since you're planning for 5 years, its going to have to depend upon the kind of traffic you will need. If it's just going to be simple file storage, Netware will be fine. If you are going to have networked applications/databases/webservers that will change at all in the next 5 years, give some consideration to a Microsoft environment. You will need to consider if there will be a web presence. If so, you will need a router and a dedicated firewall at the very least. VPN access will be another consideration. As for wireless, its great, but a big potential security risk. Plus, people wouldn't be able to use the wireless at home unless they had an access point and a connection back into your network (again, probably VPN) As for computers, just go with a midline Dell of Compaq running Windows 2000 at the least. You aren't going to get a big price break at the level you will be shopping at, so something like buy.com will give you an idea as to cost. If you have any questions, feel free to post them.

    Sean P
     
  3. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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  4. Ryan_M_M

    Ryan_M_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the advice Sean and Ajay. Real professional stuff there and very good pointers. That was an interesting point in that laptops are often given to people that aren't computer savy. I never thought of that. I will mention the disadvantages of setting up a wirless network. The assignment is very academic and obviously does not reflect possible situations in the real world. I agree about the 10m x 5m premises being somewhat awkward to work around. My thinking is will I have to make radical changes as the network grows since the premises is so small. I wish the lecturer had of given me better premises. This stuff to me makes Java look easy.
     
  5. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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  6. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Also remember the lecturer is looking for you to incorporate the lecture themes, which may not be applicable with "real life" advice. Be wary of incorporating ideas not previously presented in class, they probably won't get you bonus points.

    Academia is not always reality. Good Luck !
     

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