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Anyone networking people here?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Ryan_M_M

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Posted October 19 2002 - 09:19 AM

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.
Please vote for a Richard Donner Superman II recut

http://www.hometheat....&threadid=7361

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Sean P

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Posted October 19 2002 - 02:15 PM

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 of 6 OFFLINE   AjayM

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Posted October 19 2002 - 04:46 PM

Quote:
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:

Well I've been doing networking/IT stuff for 8+ years and below is a rough idea on how I'd do it, but since this is a school assignment just remember how much ya paid for the advice Posted Image

Quote:
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

You lucked out here by only having to plan out 5 years and to 150 people and no longer. In the real world these still have to be considered, so this does make the assignment a little easier.

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

10 metres long

------------------
| |
| |
| |
------------------

5 metres wide

This part I don't get, the premises is only 10m x 5m? That's a whole whopping 50 sqaure meteres of space? That's nowhere near enough for 150 people. Is there more than one floor here?

Quote:
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

Ethernet Star topology with a gigabit backbone and then out to regular 10/100. Essentially all servers would be connected to a Gb switch which would then be connected through a Gb line to client switches. I'd try and divide up areas of the network with smaller switches (12-24 port units) with Gb connecting them all. I may jump up to a 48 port in a dense area (like a big sales or support pool). This is if I had a nice beefy budget, but would give nice performance.

I would seriously try and stay with managed switches exclusively, they are just so much nicer to work with. Everything from monitoring to troubleshooting network problems are a sinch with them, and with the costs coming down so much it's just silly not to use them.

Quote:
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

Fairly simple, my standard practice is to drop at least 2 network lines whenever I think I'll need 1. This has saved my butt more times than I can remember.

Quote:
Task 3

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

30 marks

Again fairly simple, plain ol' layer 2 switches all work the same way, but with a fat backbone performance will stay very nice even out to the 150 user level.

Quote:
Task 4

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

30 marks

This is WAY to open ended. What kind of traffic is the site getting? What kind of uptimes do I need to shoot for?

I mean this could be anything from a webserver, db server and a good tape backup.....all the way to a webserver farm running off a big fat traffic managing switch with a bit db server farm....all running off big fiber channel SAN units (high end EMC stuff), which is then mirrored off-site and then put onto tape for archive's. In the middle will be all kinds of fun stuff like SSL accelerators, caching servers, etc.

On the low end you'd be running Apache (webserver and tomcat app server) with a cheap DB like SQL server. To big super-duty IBM/SUN level servers running AIX/Solaris with BEA weblogic/IBM Websphere app servers running the ol' standby Oracle db servers.

Quote:
What lines of equipment will I be putting money towards (i.e hub, switches, routers, print servers etc).

Switches will depend on the number of people. Routers, well that is solely going to depend on your ISP and the bandwidth needs (no need for internal routers anymore, at least not with this small network). Print servers are going to depend on office layout probably more than anything. I've needed to expand workgroup printers more because of people walking to damn far more often than because I'm getting close to any kind of duty cycle on the printer.

Quote:
Also would it be worthwhile investing in a wireless network so as when people are out of the office carrying their laptops.

I hate the wireless stuff these days, especially in an office enviroment. It's very insecure out of the box, and costs a bundle to lock it down (remember we're talking about an e-commerce company here, and Credit card companies will require certain levels of security). Big brass loves the wireless stuff though, more because it's the hip thing these days than the convience of it.

I don't know if the assignments get's into this much detail, but laptops present an interesting problem in the IT world, because they are usually given to people who aren't that computer savy, but they present problems security wise with viruses and trojans, nevermind the risk of somebody losing the laptop....and all the information on it...etc.

Quote:
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.

Like I mentioned, the above is a very loose outline of how I'd do it, there's a fair amount that's left out...but the guts of it is there.

Quote:
Any advice on costs and implementation would be helpful.

When I do a budget I follow this loose guideline.
$1500 - workstations per user.
$1000 - Misc software per user (remember this is an average for all users - so Sales may not need hardly anything, but your graphics people will blow past $1k very fast)
$6000 - Server after 40-60 users added. (this is in a Windows enviroment - Been awhile since the Novell days, but this is more than just having another domain controller, but at these levels dev teams need more servers, you need more file storage, etc).
$2000 - Misc server software.
$4000 - Workgroup printer 30-50 users added.
Budget whatever network equipment you would need for the above levels, don't forget backup units, racks, KVM's, etc.

A few things to look at that may get you some brownie points, take a look at real client/server apps for some of the "lesser" departments, sales/support teams (which get to be quite large people/equipment wise) can often benefit from a Citrix/Terminal Server like enviroment (ROI comes from way less administration at the desktop level).

Wow...I could go on and on...there's a million ways to go depending on budget constraints and space constraints and user constraints, etc....

Andrew

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Ryan_M_M

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Posted October 20 2002 - 12:14 AM

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.
Please vote for a Richard Donner Superman II recut

http://www.hometheat....&threadid=7361

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   AjayM

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Posted October 20 2002 - 09:51 AM

Quote:
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.

It's a big point to consider, in my own experiences the boss's love the idea of "wireless" technology and how hi-tech it makes them seem, but then they are overly paranoid about security. So when you start getting into the guts of it, they start to see the point. A quick and dirty diagram of it would look like;
Wireless laptop--->Wireless access point--->Security device(need to filter it, or do something like a RAS off it)--->LAN--->security device(Firewall)--->internet/WAN

Quote:
I agree about the 10m x 5m premises being somewhat awkward to work around.

32x16 ft = 500sq/ft....which is maybe enough for 5 people. We had a 2500sq/ft office with almost 20 people in it and it was crowded! So forget about putting 150 people in there, it's just not possible (3sq ft per person, basically enough space for a chair).

Quote:
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.

Well it's simply not possible at all. But even so, make accomodations for expansion in the plan, knowing the outline there should be no need to make a change per say.

Quote:
This stuff to me makes Java look easy.

Naw....I've worked with Java guys for a few years, this is way easier than this crap...Posted Image

Andrew

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted October 20 2002 - 10:48 PM

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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