A large finance company that services both mortgage and federal education loans asks you to help improve its network’s fault tolerance.

A large finance company that services both mortgage and federal education loans asks you to help improve its network’s fault tolerance. The company’s network carries important and confidential client data in real time from both a mainframe host and several servers to workstations in several locations across the region. Of course, all of the data transferred is highly confidential and must not be lost or accessed by unauthorized personnel.

Specifically, the network is configured as follows:

  • Six hundred workstations are connected to five shared servers that run Solaris.
  • Fifty of these workstations serve as call-center training computers. Two hundred workstations are located in various college financial aid offices and title companies and are used to view and update loan applications, submit accounting information, and so on. The remaining workstations are used by administrative staff.The clients are connected in a fully switched, star-wired bus network using Ethernet 1GBase-T technology.
  • An Internet gateway supports e-mail, online searches, and VPN communications with four remote loan offices. The Internet connection is a T3 link to a local ISP.
  • A firewall prevents unauthorized access from the T3 connection into the company’s network.

The IT director asked you to identify the critical points of failure in the network and to suggest how they can be eliminated. Identify the single points of failure, and then recommend which points of failure should be addressed to increase availability and how to achieve this goal.


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