The school is committed to enhancing smooth and uninterrupted research, collaboration, and communication for its staff and students by providing a fast and reliable internet connection of 40Mbps on the primary internet link and a 20Mbps backup link. With a /24 IP address space, the focus of the network is towards having many small and independent networks (subnets), rather than few networks but more users per network. The school has 261 computer users; both students and staff. The 150 student computers are equally distributed to 6 computer laboratories, and due to the enormous traffic generated by the students during their online research, each computer lab is a separate network. Each computer lab has a closet to house some of its critical network devices. Also, for easier network management and security reasons, the 25 library computers, the 6 staff computers, the 5 admissions’ office computers, and the open Wi-Fi will each be in its own separate network. The school, which occupies a two-story building, will also have two server rooms, one per floor.
With just over 100 end users accessing network resources in segregated way, the school network is relatively small, well segmented for easy management and fast speeds, and always connected to the Internet due to the provision of primary and secondary Internet links. This makes it possible to effectively implement the network in purely star topology.
The school has both wired and wireless network access.
The Wi-Fi access point is configured to broadcast its SSID and channel, and to connect automatically without authentication once the end device is within range.
The PCs are wired in star topology, with an Ethernet switch at the centre of the star. There is no redundancy at the access layer (between the PCs, servers and the Ethernet switches). The same topology is adopted between the Ethernet switches and the gateway routers. Since the switches connect to the individual routers independently, redundancy is created, but using different paths as one of the gateway routers is configured in standby mode.
Proposed Network Media (include network wiring diagrams)
The proposed network has both wired and wireless connections. While the wired connection has a star topology, the wireless connection is omnidirectional and uses radio waves as the medium of data transmission.
The wired connections use Cat5E or Cat6 UTP cables between the end devices and the layer two switches (Ethernet). The connection between the gateway routers is serial.
The school network has a relatively small number of users in a particular subnet.
Proposed Network Devices
Closets: the wiring closets provide the termination points for the infrastructure cabling for a given number of classes and offices. The closets in the classroom computer labs are to have enough room to accommodate a file server and all cable terminations. The closet in the students’ computer lab on the second floor should also have an addition space for power equipment for the wireless access point. Finally, the closets must be lockable.
Omnidirectional wireless access point: the wireless access point to be placed on the wall or the ceiling close to students’ computer lab.
Access Layer Switches: the total number of switches is four. All the four Layer 2 switches to have 48 ports each, and Power-over-Ethernet capability. The switches to be housed in the closets as appropriate.
Routers: two routers with NAT and firewall capabilities.
Cat 5E/6 UTP Cables: for connection between network devices and properly terminated in the appropriate closet.
The four PoE switches sufficiently meet the demand for 185 end users and 8 servers. Furthermore, they, being PoE capable, save on the power requirements of the proposed network. The Cat5E/6 UTP Ethernet cables have sufficient data rates to match the 40Mbps or 20Mbps performance required for the network. As the school network segregated into subnets is linked to the internet, a router is hence required to act as a gateway between the school network and the internet. It is also needed for inter-VLAN routing. The NAT capabilities of the router helps in the translation of the private IP range assigned to the open wireless access point into public IP range that can then access the internet. On the other hand, the firewall capability offers the first line of security between the school network and the Internet
Network Security Devices
The school has a segregated network in which the entire network is divided into subnets. This offers a good amount of security within the entire network itself. However, since there is need to connect to the Internet, an additional layer of security is hence necessary.
Proposed Network Security Devices
A firewall between the school network and the Internet then comes into picture. However, since there exist Cisco routers with firewall capabilities, it is cost effective to have this one physical device acting as both router and firewall.
The school is a learning environment. Any other activities apart from are the daily office work. This calls for standard end user PCs with adequate storage space, sufficiently good processing speed, and user-friendly interface.
The servers in every classroom computer room are for instructional purposes, and hence file servers. The other two servers are for mail, staff directory, and student register.
Proposed Computer Systems
185 PCs: the computers for end users running on Windows 10 are placed on every appropriate lab or office desk.
8 server computers: six servers to be housed in the lockable closets in every classroom computer lab, and the remaining tw housed in the two server rooms in the 1st and 2nd floors.
- R. Dionicio, “WiFi Design Considerations For K-12 Schools,” 14 June 2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.networkcomputing.com/wireless-infrastructure/wifi-design-considerations-k-12-schools/1397639972.
- P. Oppenheimer, Top-down network design, Indianapolis, IN: Cisco Press, 2011.
- Tamug, “Network Design,” 2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.tamug.edu/computing/class/ShipNetworkOldDesign.pdf. [Accessed 20 October 2016].
- Cisco, “Chapter 3- Basic Network Design,” in Ethernet-to-the-Factory 1.2 Design and Implemetation Guide, Milwaukee, Rockwell Automation, 2008, pp. 1-10.
- S. Convery, “General Design Considerations — Chapter 6 of ‘Network Security Architectures’,” 30 November 2006. [Online]. Available: http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/feature/General-Design-Considerations-Chapter-6