Catacomb Case Study
Catacomb, Inc is an international company involved in providing logistics services which incorporate supply chain and freight services. This is provided via managed warehouse and international and domestic freight forwarding. The company has its branches in Europe and in the United States. Catacomb uses modern technology to effect communication between the company and the employees as well as between the company and the customers. However, the company system is currently inefficient since it cannot accommodate the huge flow of data. The company has recently experienced the expansive growth in its customers and employees and thus, it needs to expand its system to manage this. This paper focuses on identifying the new company’s requirements and proposing a suitable solution to counter them.
Catacomb has got five requirements that it must fulfill to enhance its system. They include:
- The need to improve the company data flow efficiency
- The need to reduce downtime in the data center
- The need to expand the wide area network to cover all the company offices and branches
- The need to improve telephone services efficiency
- The need to lower the telephone services bills and unexpected increase in telephone cost
The company is growing at a high speed. This has resulted to the increase in the volume of data flow in and out of the company. Consequently, the currently system is completely unable to handle the current flow of the data effectively. In this regard the company requires to establish a system that allows a higher flow of data. This can be done by increasing the bandwidth of their system. The company data center is experiencing excessive downtime. This can be due to human error, overheating or overloading the data center. However, based on the fact that increase in the downtime started recently, the main possible cause is overheating, power interrupts and overloading. Thus the company may require to get a better way to stop all these things from happening.
Similarly, the company has expanded is coverage area beyond their current wide area network. The expansion of operation branches has increased the need for expanding the company’s network much wider to ensure effective communication with all its branches. The company current ISDN system is quite inefficient. It requires a lot of money to maintain for it to remain effective. Moreover, the telephone bills as quite high and they are increasing unceremoniously despite not having additional service to the company. In this regard this system need to be completely eliminated since the company is not interested in maintain the system. In addition, the company needs to introduce video conferencing to cut on the cost of travelling. All these factors need to be considered in the new telephone system.
Proposed Technical Solution
The company can solve the data flow problem by increasing its operation bandwidth. The new bandwidth can be twice the current bandwidth and with a room for future expansion. To enhance the network coverage, the company should consider doing metropolitan network and connecting them to create a wide area network by the use of radio links. This will enhance networking and expansion of data bandwidth. They should also consider using the similar internet provider but this time round they should consider doubling the bandwidth for both upstream and downstream internet. The company should also consider expanding its data center by increasing the hardware potential to accommodate more data. Higher data processing ability is required to eliminate overloading. Cooling system is required to lower overheating and UPs system to ensure that the data center is not affected by power interrupts. The company should also consider changing its ISDN telephone system to VOIP system. This is because the VOIP system requires to be integrated in the internet system and thus, the company does not have to incur extra charges for this. The VOIP will also enhance video conferencing and thus, it will also solve that problem for the company (Garg, 2010).
The company will integrate the unconsidered branches in the metropolitan network of their closest town among the five metropolitan areas. Then, the five metropolitan area network will be connected together to form a wide area network by use of radio link. This will result to a wireless wide area network for the company. The company will also integrate the internet services via the radio link, connecting headquarter metropolitan network to the rest of the wide area network (Guizani, 2006). This is illustrated below:
The company will incur a number of costs. One major cost will be expanding its WAN to cater for the new branches. However this can be reduced by expanding the metropolitan network and integrate the new braches into the WAN via the Metropolitan network. The second cost will involve data bandwidth expansion. This will increase the company’s internet monthly charges with a certain percentage. Improvement of the data center will also cost the company a great deal. The company will incur cost in purchasing powerful hardware, setting up UPs system. The company can reduce the cooling cost by setting up the new data center in a more specious room with good ventilation and enough fans. However, they may consider implementing a fluid based cooling system. VOIP on the other hand is completely eliminating the cost of telephone services and thus, it is the best option.