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The Scenario for Network Design Assessment Tasks

Your company in Australia specialises in designing networks for local and international clients. Your company has signed a contract with NTN private nursing school located in Sydney, Australia to design their network.

The main campus of NTN is located in Sydney and the satellite campuses are located in Darwin and Cairns. NTN has made agreements with three private hospitals in Sydney, Darwin and Cairns to provide the internship and training to the students of the nursing school. All three private hospitals have Wi-Fi access points that can provide a minimum of 100Mbps data rate to a user. The 2-storey buildings of main and satellite campuses are less than 200m away from the corresponding private hospitals. Each campus building is approximately 15m wide and 40m long.

Lecture, tutorial and laboratory classes are conducted in the campus in Sydney and they are live-video streamed to the satellite campuses forming a virtual classroom. The instructors and the students in the satellite campuses can directly communicate with the lecturer in the Sydney campus when a virtual class is in progress. At any time, there will be at most 200 students in the main campus and a maximum of 100 students in each satellite campus participating in a virtual class. However, these numbers are expected to double within the next couple of years.

NTN also plans to provide a telemedicine and healthcare service to the community in a radius of about 200km from each satellite campus by having a small mobile team of doctors and nursing students. The mobile team in Darwin as well as in Cairns provide consultations and services to the needy patients at their homes. The mobile teams travel around in a specially equipped vehicles called the home-care vehicles, however, unlike in the conventional ambulance services, they do not carry the emergency patients to the hospitals. The mobile team should be able to scan/photograph and send the reports of the patients immediately to the corresponding private hospital and communicate directly with the medical staff there via the network in the home-care vehicle.

Overview of NTN Private Nursing School

The goal for this project is to offer a network infrastructure strategy which will permit NTN private college employees and management have a conducive and interoperable network. The network design structure will offer a recommendation that will permit for support of efficiencies, economies of scale and reusability of the technologies. The core goal of the project will be to build a network design structure for NTN Private College so as to:

  • Consolidate and improve network performance at NTN Private College.
  • Offer yet to come  expansion ability
  • Offer adequate bandwidth among the remote branches and the main branch.
  • Offer augmented network volume.
  • Point out critical areas of failure in the present network structure and how to do away with these areas.
  • Provide a recommendation on which areas of failure must be addressed to augment the availability.      
  • Improve network’s security, speed connection and fault tolerance, this will increase effectiveness of daily operations in NTN Private Hospital college(Pop, 2012).

NTN private nursing hospital is a medium-sized local hospital in Sydney and has branches in Darwin and Cairns. Additionally, NTN has made an agreement with other three nursing hospitals to provide for the internships for the students. The management has an interest in updation of the network infrastructure.   The NTN network facility carries the critical patient data in real time from workstations in operating in different operational rooms, billing offices, doctors’ offices, teaching labs or branches to the mainframe server room for processing purpose. Unquestionably, the data in transit is confidential and should not be accessed by unauthorized persons.

By reason of growth in population, the management has plan to enlarge the hospital technology for better patient care and productivity. The administration is fed of frequent slowness and network downtimes which upsets patient care. The employees of NTN have complained slow response times. This is attributed to congestion of LAN and outdated technology.

The hospital has envisioned to upgrade its WAN infrastructure to offer enough bandwidth the head quarter in Sydney and the remote branches in Cairns and Darwin without forgetting the mobile telecare too (Sokowski, 2015).   

The applications used by the hospital include but are not limited to particular medical apparatuses running over the IP and standard office programs. NTN oncology, radiology and other sections perform medical imaging. As the sections of the hospital obtain new working tools, they add immediate motion to highly detailed medical scan images which are bandwidth hungry. A lot of these tools do not have UPSes or proper ecological control.

Network controllability is vital has the NTN hospital is well renown in having small support employees with huge productivity. This also happens elsewhere, NTN is not an exclusion. The NTN’s network timeframe for upgrade will be 7 to 8 months. The budget is approximated to $219,620.57 according to the table calculations shown.

A business goal refers to the set objective by a company or any business enterprise with aid of the available resources. For NTN, the following business goals have to be scored:

  • Increased staff productivity: this is measured in expressions of average amount of employee hours for each month.
  • Reduce working inefficacies:
  • Minimized operational costs
  • Improved computer environment security particularly patient info.
  • Renovate NTN private nursing school’s out-of-date technologies.
  • Mend NTN private nursing school communications to a instantaneous basis.
  • Avail information to staffs in remote areas and within the offices for best decision making (Collins, 2017 ).

Goals and Constraints

A business constraint explains limitations, for instance time, physical limitations, fiscal limitations which are foreseen as the parameters which affects or rather drags the business goal achievement. NTN has the following list of business constraints:

  • Staffing and budgetary: like any other profit making business environment staffing, employee incentives and budgetary hot potato topics when they are discussed. And so is NTN private nursing school. NTN management wants to have large marginal outputs in dealings with low inputs. The network implementation team may require the appropriate manpower and material for the implementation process to run smooth but the management may not be in a position to offer the required resources. Implementation of Homecare Unit necessitates latest technology for it to function as expected, however, as we are expectant to have the latest technology on the surface of the earth, the question of cost comes in. I need to mention too that implementation of telemedicine will require new staffs who are well versed with the system to offer support for the telemedicine field.  
  • Politics and policies: NTN private nursing hospital is not different to other business enterprises in which implementation of different projects attracts politics amongst the employees. Hence, network design and implementation will face politics and policies which it is necessary for the implementation team to accommodate all these constraints.
  • Planning and scheduling: this project is scheduled to take place within timeframe of 6 to 8 months. However, this may not be the real truth since logistical processes at NTN may delay the whole process. Such delays may be experienced in areas such as license acquisition from concerned authorities for the project to implement(Jean-Vasile & Andrei, 2013).

Technical goal refers to the objectives set for particular tasks or duties in the current project implementation. The goals outline what is expected of the project. The expectations should be effective and easy to measure. On the other hand, tradeoffs are situations that encompasses losing of one quality in return of gaining another aspect. The following are list of technical goal for the network design to be implemented:

  • Improve Network Capacity and Speed:
  • Advance Network Security: we will create secluded VLANs for the intern Medical School students so as to prevent access of students to data from servers. Managed switches will replace hubs. The managed switches offers all of the characteristics of unmanaged switch while providing ability to manage, monitor and configure the LAN. This, obviously provide greater control over how data transmissions over the network are performed and which party has access. Still in security aspect, the network design will assist in the compliance with HIPAA policies and regulations.
  • Availability: the NTN private nursing school network is expected to have 0.00001% downtimes due to homecare unit facility. This unit relies on the network for in to function. It should be remembered that facility carries life.
  • Scalability: the present network being designed should offer scalability aspect just in case there will be a growth in future. In this project, we are informed that the population is likely to double.
  • Performance: performance scales out the response time on the basis of accuracy, efficiency, utilization, time and throughput between request time and response. NTN private nursing school network is expected to be real-time.
  • Usability: usability denotes to how easy will staffs for NTN will access and use the network infrastructure. The employees should have easy time accessing shared files so as to work on those files(Nogueira & Salvador, 2013).

Tradeoffs

NTN private nursing school has a set of tradeoffs that are to be foregone so that the technical goals will find its way during the implementation. Such tradeoffs include foregoing the old servers and cable lying structures that NTN employees are used to. Additionally, access of shared files by employees without use of password hurdles will be foregone for NTN to fully comply with HIPAA policies and regulations. It is good to mention these tradeoffs to NTN employees during training for them not to curse out the new network design being put in place.

A user community refers a set of individuals who have legality to use the NTN private nursing school network infrastructure. Table below tabulates the user community for NTN network together with data stores, traffic flows and network applications.

User community name

Data store

Network application

Traffic flow

Accounts Department

NTN ERP system

SAP

batch data, File sharing, transaction data

Admin Department

file sharing server, email server, Web server

world client, Google Chrome, mailing application

messaging and mailing, File transfer, voice

Students

video server

Webex

Voice, Videoconferencing,

Remote Nursing crew

Mailing, Browser

Chrome

file transfer, Messaging and mailing

Network admins

alerts for alert page, Logs for Open view

alert page, Open view

Management of the Network

Doctoring Department

Cloud centre Web , email,  browser

MS. Outlook, Google chrome browser

File sharing and  transfer

Lecture Nursing Team

cloud , File server, mailing,  

Webex

Video and voice conferencing


(Thanasis, et al., 2012)

So as to meet NTN private nursing school technical and business goals, the network designers will apply top-down design structure in designing and implementing NTN hospital logical design. The primary objective is to offer best practices data on the designation and implementation of a secure network design.  The network design will use top-down design technique of designing networks. The methodology begins at the topmost layers of OSI model in advance to lower layers. It pays attention to sessions, applications and transport before router, media and switch selection. The three operate at the lower layers of OSI reference model. It is good to mention that this architecture employs use of modular approach. The modularity aspect in designing offers flexibility in designing networks and simplifies deployment and troubleshooting. The layered top down implementation approach takes defense-in-depth technique that a number of layers of protection are tactically positioned throughout the network. The layers are under integrated tactic for protecting the whole network and numerous components of the network. These include infrastructure services, network segments, applications, network devices and endpoints.

Technical Goals and Tradeoffs

The logical network for NTN private nursing school is topologically divided into 3 primary functional modules namely:

  • Service provider edge: this module is not to be deployed by NTN’s organization, however, it incorporated to signify WANs and the Internet links offered by the service providers.
  • Enterprise edge: this module houses all functions necessary for communications amongst the remote and Enterprise campus locations particularly remote employees, partners, students, branches, and homecare mobile unit.
  • Enterprise campus: this module entails all functions necessary for independent process within given branch campus location. It should be noted that this area does not offer remote connection.


Every functional module entails network segments which in sequence comprise the core, distribution and access layer operability.  

Access layer: this layer is situated within a campus structure and it masses end clients from workgroups offering uplinks to the distribution layer. The layer entails devices which allow legalized users within the building to access the network. Access layer is in charge of ensuring that authorized users are able to access the network (Cain, et al., 2015) 

Distribution layer: the layer offers access between the Core and the workgroups. Routing functionality is deployed in this layer. The layer monitors access to services by deploying access lists aka filters. Both redundant links and switches to both backbone and access is also deployed here. So just in case any of the switches or routers goes down, the network will still be on to continue to support the work (Todd, 2016)..

Core layer: this layer offers high speed connection among distribution, data server, access layer and edge distribution (Oppenheimer, 2010).

A protocol denotes to the rules and regulations necessary for a certain operation to take place or work.  A routing and switching protocol in this case denotes to the parameters or rules necessitated for packets to be transmitted from one campus  location (branch) to another or to outside LAN of NTN network.

Routing protocol governs how packet are controlled from one hop to the next till it arrives at the destined hop. Our network design opts for open Shortest-Path-First (OSPF) routing protocol due to its open standard nature together with many benefits listed below.

  • Reduces routing update traffic
  • Provisions for CIDR/VLSM technology
  • Permits for creation of autonomous and areas
  • It provides unlimited hop count.

A switching protocol denotes a set of rules set to govern a switched network basically ensuring that no loops are created during the switching process. In our network design we will be using Rapid Spanning tree protocol. This type of STP is chosen because it has a faster convergence time (Lammle & Tedder, 2014 ).

In compliance to HIPAA regulations, security begins with computing environment. In our network design, we have edge distribution layer which will security amongst enterprise and edge. This layer will offer the protection against the following threats:

  • Unauthorized access: will control access to the network
  • Packet sniffers: edge distribution layer will be separating the edge’s broadcast domains from branch network, this will hinder possible packet incarcerations.
  • IP spoofing:  edge distribution routing device guards the core area from spoofing of the IP addresses
  • Network reconnaissance: network discoveries will be filtered to prevent discovery from external networks(Eric, 2012).

The table of networking & communication devices and applications required, including the cost of each of them, the IP addresses, and the product numbers as well as the approximate total cost

Device Name And Model

Quantity

Cost Per Item ($)

Total Approximate Cost($)

Cisco 8-Port VPN Router

5

5,354.95

26,774.75

Cisco 800 Series Integrated Services Router

12

8,225.47

98,705.64

Cisco VC 220 Dome Camera

3

12,739.00

38,217.00

Cisco 3560G-24TS (Catalyst) Switch - 24 ports - L3 - managed

6

618.99

3,713.94

Cisco 7000 Nexus Series Switches

18

149.99

2,699.82

Cisco Catalyst 6509-E Switch

7

2,475.00

17,325.00

Cyber CP1500AVRLCD(Power) UPS - 800 Watt - 7.3 Ah

5

24.99

124.95

RJ 45 Clips *Pack of 45

5

266.95

1,334.75

Cisco 3560-X (Catalyst )Series Switches

12

2,235.00

26,820.00

Cisco ASA 5000 Series Security Firewall - Security appliance

10

49.99

499.90

Cisco Pro POES5(Small Business) PoE splitter

6

567.47

3404.82

219,620.57

  • Cisco 8-Port VPN Router: used to offer remote connection to remote sites, for instance, our branches in Darwin and Cairn.
  • Cisco 800 Series Integrated Services Router: used to route packets within and outside our network.
  • Cisco VC 220 Dome Camera: it helps safeguard NTN private nursing hospital assets, patients, and doctors in effective video surveillance manner both night and day.
  • Cisco 3560G-24TS (Catalyst) Switch - 24 ports - L3 – managed: is a layer 3 access switch used for building management systems
  • Cisco 7000 Nexus Series Switches: provides availability and resilience, scalability characteristics for eased management for datacentres.   
  • Cyber CP1500AVRLCD (Power) UPS - 800 Watt - 7.3 Ah: power backups required to offer power protection for NTN private nursing hospital server room.
  • RJ 45 Clips *Pack of 45: RJ 45 Clips required to terminate patch codes.
  • Cisco ASA 5000 Series Security Firewall - Security appliance: firewall required to filter incoming and outgoing data.

Once all the details are done and the design strategy is accomplished, the deployment of the network will become known for no downtimes and improved speed within NTN working environment. As part of the deployment process, a preliminary network test will have to be done. The test will be done during off-times to minimalize impeding problems. Though, the primary test will take place in normal working time to completely evaluate the network design performance (Khosrow-Pour & Mehdi, 2018).  

The following will be our areas of testing:

  • Validation of the WAN and LAN device and technology selections
  • Verification of the ISP that he offers the agreed service
  • Verification that the network design meets the primary technical and business goals.
  • Identification of available connectivity or bottleneck problems.
  • Network redundancy test
  • Determination of optimization methods to meet technical and performance goals
  • Analysis of effects on performance in times of link faults.
  • Identification of any risk that might impede deployment and device for contingencies.

Step

Expected Results

Actual Results

Pass/Fail

Tester/Date

1

Speedy network functionality

2

Unauthorized users should not be able to access NTN network infrastructure resources

3

Minimal downtimes

4

Staff should struggle to work

References

Cain, N., Luescher, M. & Flynn, D., 2015. Microsoft System Center Building a Virtualized Network Solution. 2nd ed. Carmel: Sams Publishing.

Collins, J., 2017 . Turning Goals into Results (Harvard Business Review Classics). Watertown: Harvard Business Review Press.

Eric, M., 2012. Network Security A Beginner's Guide 3/E. Pennsylvania: McGraw Hill Professional.

Jean-Vasile & Andrei, 2013. Sustainable Technologies, Policies, and Constraints in the Green Economy. Hershey: Igi Global .

Khosrow-Pour & Mehdi, 2018. Advanced Methodologies and Technologies in Network Architecture. Pennsylvania: IGI Global.

Lammle, T. & Tedder, W., 2014 . CCNA Routing and Switching Deluxe Study Guide. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Nogueira, A. & Salvador, ‎., 2013. A Practical Approach to Corporate Networks Engineering. 2nd ed. Chicago: River Publishers.

Oppenheimer, P., 2010. Top-Down Network Design: TOP-DOWN NET DES. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Pop, P. C., 2012. Generalized Network Design Problems: Modeling and Optimization. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Sokowski, D., 2015. Mastering Project Management Integration and Scope. Upper Saddle River: FT Press.

Thanasis, K., ‎Michael, Z. & ‎Maximilian, O., 2012. Testbeds and Research Infrastructure: Development of Networks and Comminities. New York City: Springer.

Todd, L., 2016. CCNA Routing and Switching Complete Review Guide: Exam 100-105. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

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