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Network Design and Latency

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Mr. Smith is the Director of IT at a law firm located in downtown Chicago. He needs to plan for a network upgrade. He has decided that he would like to have a network analysis done before the upgrade so that he can find out which systems would require upgrades and to create a strategy to present to the senior partners that will include return on investment.

The law offices occupy four floors of a high-rise building. The customer is experiencing network latency, especially in the Accounting department and in Human Resources, which both reside on the 32nd floor. The director of the Accounting department has expressed concerns about the security of his files. The Research, IT, and Corporate Administration departments all share the 33rd floor. The senior and junior partners and their support staff occupy the 35th floor, and the 36th floor is used for reception and conference rooms. The firm has decided that video conferencing is an essential component of its business and is looking to implement video conferencing as soon as possible so it can communicate with two new satellite offices that will be occupied in six months.

The firm has one network segment for each floor, but has been experiencing latency. Each floor except the 36th has 10 to 20 printers. Each floor has a 100Mb uplink to the Data Center on the 33rd floor. There are approximately 50 PCs on the 36th floor, 150 PCs on the 35th floor, and 40 PCs on both the 32nd and 33rd floors. The servers for each department reside on their respective floors. Mr. Smith is concerned about network security and wants a recommendation to secure traffic of three specific departments: Human Resources, Accounting, and Corporate Administration.

Answer these questions:

- What type of testing program (Prototype or Pilot) would you recommend to test the video conferencing among the remote offices? Why did you choose the method over other options?
- What type of naming structure would you give to servers, network devices and end nodes in this network? Provide a few examples.
- Explain why Mr. Smith's existing network does not provide adequate security for the data in each department. How do you want to optimize the network?
- Explain to Mr. Smith the function of each network device.
- Will the needs of key departments change your network design? Explain your answer.

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Method to Test Video Conferencing

To test the video conferencing of the IT firm headed by Mr. Smith, the appropriate method would be the prototyping program. This is because Prototype is a system where all the features are presented with all the stuff to be tested together in a lab. This is to convince the management, or a client, that the equipment is justified. If management is convinced, it would establish the system in the organization and if the client is satisfied, he would be willing to purchase it. It is basically a fleshed system in nature, as it tries to replicate the whole system or even some acquisitive part.

As in the case of this IT firm, the office network lies higher in the building on the 33rd floor. The office comprises of four floors and each floor has 50 to 100 computer systems. With such a network and the latency in accounting and human resource departments, Prototype would be the best way to check and test the viability of the network in terms of video conferencing. In the prototype, the prospected user can be plunked in front of the prototype. A user may be another system in the network that can be able to visualize and experience the use of the complete system.

In the prototype, the user needs to be prospective while defining the gains associated with the upgraded system that can help in video conferencing in the whole network. Prototype can be an artificial system constructed temporarily or can be the starting point for the actual system. It is recommended that Prototype should be recommended with a small investment, otherwise the sunk cost may effect financially if it is not satisfactory (Shelly, ...

Solution Summary

The following posting helps with a problem involving network design and latency.