Network Design Research Paper

In understanding network complexities it is the obligation of the consultant to provide the best available communication model that suits a client’s needs and IT expertise. In the case at hand the client has a population of more than fifty employees of which each require a connected computer taking into consideration location spanning in two different floors. The local business premises need to be connected through wired local area network.

The interconnection is useful in a business environment since it allows sharing of major resources. Resources shared in a computer network include data and applications where the workforce can share files making access to data easier. In addition, network storage this can either be DAS or NAS. DAS is direct attached storage where storage is in a server or in a PC NAS is a special network set-up that is available for storage. In designing a network it is important to consider speed, cost, security and reliability. The following design takes into account a faster data rate, fair installation and maintenance expenses it also provides a secure network to the privacy of the local firm and is reliable in the sense that it is available 24/7 as long as the customer services the requirement and has a longer MTBF mean time between failures (Minoux, 1989).

Wired local network is the best connection as it allows access to a limited number of people connected to the network thus is secure since it cannot be easily hacked like the wireless network. This is important as well because of the occupants in the fourth floor who may access the wireless network when it is not in agreement with the client’s requirements. Additionally due to the need to access printers and faxes wired network is recommended as one can easily use the facilities without moving around and it is safe and convenient. In designing the following network topology, I will make use of a network adapter, medium, cable connectors and a router.

It will apply the bus topology for simplicity and convenience in connecting the two different floors. Bus will allow connection between the third and fifth then it will work inconjuction with mesh topology to connect every computer on each separate floor. This combination forms a hybrid topology where we will use different topologies for their best advantage in specific design. Mesh offers superior redundancy and is reliable this makes it possible and easier to troubleshoot.  Hybrid topology will allow sending the signal to all computers linked to the network (Ceder, & Wilson, 1986). This means that the management can communicate to all fifty employees in a click of a mouse. Furthermore, a partial-mesh topology is useful to cut meshing cost of all computers since the design focuses on critical nodes which require meshing (Cameron, 2003).

In a set-up of 50 employees plus the management a hybrid topology will guarantee that computers do not slow down due to traffic affecting performance. Also, distance between computers will be minimised using cat6 for Ethernet cables. In determining growth, bus topology allows for network extension and additional of more computers in cases where the local firm may need extra assistance using a repeater a device responsible for connecting two cables while boosting the signal before transmission for effective performance for instance if the signal received is weak it can thus travel further and be received correctly to its destination computer.

The design of the infrastructure will use hybrid hubs, this component in the network equipment allows differential cables and is important in cases where we are using linear-bus topology as any break in any cable attached to the hub will not cause a standstill but its effect is limited to a segment of the connection thus other computers continue receiving and sending signals. Security is another major concern. Since the network is connected through Ethernet using a standard protocol.  However, to restrict illegal access the network will have a hardware address known as (MAC address) media access control address. In this seemingly fairly large organization, network access control is recommended. Commonly referred as NAC it involves using a protocol 802.1x which allows employees to integrate login credentials with the network. One major benefit of using this kind of a design is that in a wired network one can see and tell where the signal is originating and the point of destination (Cameron, 2003).

Finally in this network infrastructure graph theory context in the flowcharts and network diagram will include tools for creating through software (free software) that allow visualization. Dia is free software for editing diagrams using linux or other system, in linking entities the relationships are coded with lines, curves and labels. By using Dia all work and coding will be saved in xml files which can easily be compressed or converted in a variety of formats. Graphviz will be responsible for laying out graphs to bring out or visualize a flowchart (Richards, 2002). Therefore Dia will provide a mechanism for diagramming using a free and smart application. Moreover, Dia has stipulations that bind designers in ethics of the exercise hence ensuring no misuse and quality.

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