Over four months, a very short period of time, a small accounting firm grew from five employees to fifty. The existing network architecture could no longer support the exponential growth. Peer-to-Peer networks work very well in a small office environment. Once the ratio of employees exceeds around five employees resources, file storage and a plethora of other network disasters begin. The obvious solution was to recommend a change. As explained in the proposal the proposed upgrade from a peer-to-peer network architecture to client/server was an imminent necessity. Cable Recommendation
The accounting firm presented with the possibility of moving to a newly constructed office site. The best time to make changes to any network architecture is when planning to deconstruct in one location and start anew in another. There are many different networking and security solutions available for a business interested in starting from scratch. The architectural design of a small business network requires assessments, feasibility and project planning several months in advance. The most important part of a network is the end user and their requirements of its use. Taking into account the pre-requisite of 10Gbps speeds and the location of each office from the wiring closet Twisted Pair Cat 5e Ethernet Cable was the cable that fulfilled the demands. IP Infrastructure
When a company is expected to expand and has a solid steady growth rate it is important to have an IP Structure that will accommodate that growth. IP Structures and IP Addressing schemes can be difficult to ascertain. It is important to have a good understand of all of the different aspects involved such as the differences between Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Static IP Addressing. With Voice over IP curtailing its way up in the internet technology world considering the advantages and disadvantages of its implementation are of grave importance as well. Remote Access
A seamless transition from home to office was requested. After receiving a numberable abount of requests to work from home the organization decided to inquire whether it was possible to implement Remote Access into our current network architecture with little or no downtime and still keep the network free from security threats. A recommended solution of software and hardware for Remote Access implementation as well as a brief introduction to its requirements are included. Network Security: Operation Lockdown
Due to the recent garnering of a government contract from a very secretive agency it became necessary to upgrade the basic network security a higher level. A demilitarized zone is a type of security that provides dual firewall network protection. A depiction of it’s architecture and inner workings is defined therein. Documentation: Network Management Documentation Outline
With all of the changes that have been implemented over such a short time period we have found it necessary to update our Network Management Documentation. An outline of what it will be comprised of as well as management and optimization procedures have been included. Once a network is up and running it is necessary to keep it performing at optimized levels and manage it in a way that is proactive instead of reactive. These types of actions allow for more network familiarity and the ability to make recommendations for upgrades or newer software implementations. Predictability is an important and reliable asset for a large network such as this one.
Introduction. DW Associates has just landed AWheeler Production and rapidly expanded our company size from five to fifty employees over a four month period. In addition to the professional skill set that each employee brought to our company they were also accompanied with a Windows 7 computer. This leaves our IT Department with the challenge of providing a solution that will connect all of our old and new users in a way that will allow them to use and share company files and resources such as printers, scanners and other items. Our intention is to do the aforementioned in a manner that will allow us to manage all of the files and resources from a central location by implementing a server to our current network architecture. Reasons to Change. In the past our peer-to-peer network architecture served us well by providing us with a way to share our files and resources in a manner that did not require much planning. Unfortunately, as a peer-to-peer network grows it becomes more difficult to maintain due to its lack of centralized control which makes it un-scalable.
With the addition of fifty individual workstations, security access and file storage control remains in the hands of the user. For example, should someone decide to delete a company file, there would be no way of knowing. Once there are more than five or six workstations attached peer-to-peer networks begin to pose as a security threat that may cause loss of sensitive company data due to virus and spyware attacks. Fortunately advancements in technology have provided a viable solution for rapidly growing small businesses such as our own called servers. Our Viable Solution.
Adding a server to our current network will allow our employees to manage, store, send and process data from a centralized location 24 hours a day. In Jennifer Sanati’s article titled ‘Top Ten Reasons to Set Up a Client Server Network’ she states, “There are advantages and disadvantages to both peer-to-peer and client-server networks; however, in general, small businesses benefit more from a client-server network designed to maximize your employees’ productivity through enhanced security, reliability, and accessibility features.” On the outside these machines look very much like any other PC; but inside lies the answer to how we will maximize on our recent expansion to provide the impeccable accounting services DW Associates has always supplied in a more effective and secure manner. Figure B, illustrates a Figure [ A ] Peer-to-Peer network and Figure A is the newer Client/Server architecture.
Scope of Work. Based on our market research we’ve chosen the Dell™ 12th generation PowerEdge™ over HP’s 7th generation servers because they are up to 85% faster. Additionally, our IT closet is not air conditioned and this server can withstand temperatures up to 113°F (Dell , 2012). Windows Small Business Server 2011 accommodates up to 75 users. This Small Business Server addresses our storage accessibility issues by providing more powerful online collaboration that allows users to edit and share documents from anywhere. It also includes automatic backup and restore capabilities and improved Outlook Web Access that will allow us to communicate better and faster with our clients. Over time research has shown us that “wired (or Ethernet) networks are said to be extremely reliable, economical, secure, and easy to install (Campbell, 2010).”
The hub will be removed and there will be additional Cat5e cable ran overhead from each new workstation; five more switches and a broadband router will complete the setup. Conclusion. The advantages of server networks far outweigh the disadvantages. Most companies in our position are hesitant to integrate a network because of the hefty startup costs but they pay for themselves quickly over time. A server is designed to provide a specific service from a centralized location. Their operating systems are optimized to perform based on the service it is providing. “File servers simply store files that can be accessed by other computers. Mail servers provide email services and stores user’s email accounts. Web servers provide web pages to computers that are connected to it. (PC.Net, 2005).” Remote access features will allow us to launch our business into another realm for both the company and our employees. Most importantly, this type of architecture can grow as the business grows.
Campbell, S. (2010, June 4). How to Setup a Small Business Network. Retrieved from MakeUseOf: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-set-up-a-small-business-computer-network/ Colorado State University-Global Campus. (2012). Module 4 – Networking [Blackboard ecourse]. ITS 310-3 Introduction to Computer-Based Learning Systems (Personal Computing). Greenwood Village, CO: Author. Dell . (2012).Dell vs HP Servers. Retrieved from dell.com: http://marketing.dell.com/business-server-innovation PC.Net. (2005, February 23). What Does A Server Do? Retrieved from The PC Help Center. Sanati, J. (2011, May 02). Top Ten Reasons to Set Up a Client Server Network. Retrieved from The Data Stack: http://communities.intel.com/community/datastack/blog/2011/05/02/top-10-reasons-to-setup-a-client-server-network
Intro: the task at hand. The IT Department was recently informed that ABC Company has been researching various opportunities to acquire a new office space in the newly constructed Ash Towers. This news has provided us with the opportunity to redesign and update our current cabling structure. Our task is to recommend a specific type of cable that will support faster speeds of 1Gbps and implement it into a network design that will be functionally secure and scalable. The determining factors of our recommendation were based on our current applications, overall internet usage, external access requirements, projected growth analysis and today’s technological small business industry standards. Applicable cable types. There are three main types of cables available for use in a small business local area network (LAN) such as ours, Twisted Pair (See TWISTED PAIR Table 1), Coaxial (See [ Table 2 ]) and Fiber Optic (See [ Table 3 ]). Fortunately there are industry standards that govern the methods of connecting all types of voice and data equipment.
The various components used when designing a structured cabling system should always be based on these widely accepted standards thus allowing many types of applications to be used on the system. Coaxial cable ( [ Figure 3 ], [ Figure 4 ], [ Figure 5 ], and [ Figure 6 ]) does not integrate with modern technology, nor does it support star of topologies, our current and future network design. It lacks cost efficiency and is difficult to install. Fiber Optic cable would be ideal if we were looking to install the cable with the highest quality and speeds available; but this type of cable is usually used in large corporations with multiple locations that support well over 1,000 users and devices over a Wide Area Network (WAN). Fiber Optic cable is completely resistant to interference because it transmits data through light pulses instead of electrical signals. Our company would not even begin to utilize the total amount of bandwidth available with this cable; the ends did not justify the means for a Fiber Optic cable structure. Cable Recommendation. The obvious choice was Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable; these types of cables are grouped into different sequentially numbered categories (“Cat”) based on their specifications.
The most important characteristics we considered were the length (expressed in meters), data rate (expressed in bits/second) and bandwidth (expressed in Megahertz) of each category. The cable length determines the distance that a signal can be carried completely without being interrupted by noise or signal attenuation (loss of signal). UTP is also one of the most common cable used in Ethernet networks worldwide. Characteristic explanations. A cables data rate defines the maximum amount of information that can be pushed through the cable per second and is determined by the devices that are attached to the network not the cable itself. The bandwidth of the cable determines the maximum frequency at which data can be transmitted on the wire; for example Cat5 cable bandwidth is 100 MHz, which means that it completes 100 million cycles in a second.
All Twisted Pair cables are available in two types; Shielded (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP). Shielded Twisted Pair ( [ Figure 1 ]) “has a grounded outer copper shield around the bundle of twisted pairs or around each pair” (Labsim Online Labs, 2012); Unshielded Twisted Pair ( [ Figure 2 ]) does not have a grounded copper shield. The copper shield provides added protection against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and drives the cost of this type of cable up when compared to Unshielded Twisted Pair. Inside each cable is four pairs of color coded individual conductors, each pair is twisted around one another, thusly implying the origination of the cables name. The twisting of the pairs helps cancel out EMI generated from the voltage that is used to send the signal over the wire. Additionally, if the pairs are not twisted properly crosstalk occurs, meaning that some of the signal being transmitted on one pair has leaked over to another pair. This is the phenomenon that occurs when you hear another’s conversation though the telephone. The more twists per inch, the better the protection from EMI and other outside interference. UTP Category options.
The specified speed (1Gbps) and distance between the offices and telecom room (less than 100 meters) left us with three category options; Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat6a. The current industry standards are Cat5e or Cat6. Since this is a new install Unshielded Cat6 would be the better choice of the two. Best Buy and Amazon prices indicated an average around $.40 cents more per foot than Unshielded Cat5e, but as technology changes more and more small businesses are finding that they have to upgrade to Unshielded Cat6 just to keep up with the pace; that alone should be justification for the higher category. In essence “not only is Category 6 cable future-safe, it is also backward-compatible with any previously-existing Cat5 and Cat5e cabling found in older installations (Cableorganizer.com, Inc, 2012).” In Closing. When looking at the overall cost we must take into consideration that using Cat5e would probably necessitate an upgrade within the next couple of years, we have to deem whether or not that would be a viable outcome.
Our current cabling system is not without faults; it is our department’s intention to implement a new cabling structure that will eliminate our current faults. In essence, we have taken a retroactive perspective by designing this cabling structure to support voice and data. We have prepared to place four-port telecommunications outlets in every space of our new office, including lounge areas. The larger executive offices will have outlets on each opposite wall. This foresight will give us the ability to add more workstations, printers, phones and other devices that require cabling without the additional cost of running new cables. According to Oliviero and Woodward (2011), “the per-cable cost to install additional cables later is far higher than installing additional cable during the initial installation” (p. 81); our observation has been that this same theory would apply to pulling out Cat-5e cable and replacing it with Cat-6 in the imminent future should you choose this direction.
Table [ 1 ]
* Two wires that carry the data signals (one conductor carries a positive signal; one carries a negative signal). They are made of 22 or 24 gauge copper wiring. * Two wires are twisted to reduce the effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and crosstalk. Because the wires are twisted, EMI should affect both wires equally and can be cancelled out. * Multiple wire pairs are bundled together in an outer sheath. | TYPES|
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)Does not have a grounded outer copper shield. UTP cables are easier to work with and are less expensive than shielded cables.| Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)Has a grounded outer copper shield around the bundle of twisted pairs or around each pair. This provides added protection against EMI| CATEGORIES|
Phone cable| * Two pairs of twisted cable (a total of 4 wires). * Used to connect a PC to a phone jack in a wall outlet to establish a dial-up Internet connection.| Cat 3| * Designed for use with 10 megabit Ethernet or 16 megabit token ring.| Cat 5| * Supports 100 megabit Ethernet and ATM networking. | Cat 5e| * Similar to Cat 5 but provides better EMI protection. * Supports 100 megabit and gigabit Ethernet.| Cat 6| * Cat 6 cables often include a solid plastic core that keeps the twisted pairs separated and prevents the cable from being bent too tightly. * Supports 10 gigabit Ethernet and high-bandwidth, broadband communications * Additional standards for Cat 6 include Cat 6a (advanced) and Cat 6e (enhanced) which provide better protection against EMI.| Advantages|
* Relatively low cost * Availability| * Supports 10Mbps to 10Gbps speeds
* Easy to install.| Disadvantages|
* Susceptibility to signal distortion errors |
* Longer distances slow transmission rates|
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)| Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)| | |
Figure 1. (Systel Canada, Inc., n.d)
Figure 2. (Ningbo Linkee Industry and Trading Co., Limited, n.d.)
Table [ 2 ]
* Two concentric metallic conductors: * The inner conductor, which carries data signals. It is made of copper or copper coated with tin. * The mesh conductor is a second physical channel that also grounds the cable. It is made of aluminum or copper coated tin. * The insulator, which surrounds the inner conductor, keeps the signal separated from the mesh conductor. It is made of PVC plastic. * The mesh conductor, which surrounds the insulator and grounds the cable. It is made of aluminum or copper coated tin. * The PVC sheath, which is the cable encasement. It surrounds and protects the wire.
* A transmitting and receiving fiber strand is needed to connect to a computer. * A glass or plastic core carries the signal. * The cladding maintains the signal in the center of the core as the cable bends and the outer sheathing protects the cladding and the core.
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Cableorganizer.com, Inc. (2012). What Is The Difference Between Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 Cable? Retrieved from Cableorganizer.com Learning Center: http://www.cableorganizer.com/articles/cat5-cat5e-cat6.htm
InfiniCor. (n.d.). Multimode Fiber Optic Cable [Image]. Retrieved from DeepSurplus: http://deepsurplus.com/Network-Structured-Wiring/50-125-Outdoor-Multi-Mode-Fiber-Optic-Cable
Jiangxi Potelecom Cable Co., Ltd. (n.d.). Single Mode Fiber Optic Cable [Image]. Retrieved from Made-In-China : http://lan-cable.en.made-in-china.com/product/qeBnlSuTfvkK/China-Single-Mode-Fiber-Optic-Cable-Duplex-Indoor-Fiber-Cable-GJFJVV-2B-.html
Labsim Online Labs. (2012). Labsim for Testout Network Pro N10-005. Pleasant Grove, Utah. Ningbo Linkee Industry and Trading Co., Limited. (n.d.). Shielded Twisted Pair Cable [Image]. Retrieved from Made-In-China.com: http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/linkee/product-detailAorEGkuTIthO/China-Shielded-Twisted-Pair-Cable.html
Shanghi Asian Development Prosperous Imp. & Exp. Co., LTD. (n.d.). Coaxial Cable (RG6 Quad-Shield–75 Ohm) [Image]. Retrieved from Made-In-China.com: http://adpningbo.en.made-in-china.com/product/DMExyiUuJVcz/China-Coaxial-Cable-RG6-Quad-Shield-75-Ohm-.html
Systel Canada, Inc. (n.d). Unshielded Twisted Pair [Image]. Retrieved from Systelcanada.net: http://www.systelcanada.net/products.asp?cid=21