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Network Hardware

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You are currently working for Surebank, a mid-size financial institution. The organization has approximately 80 people working in their main location where your office is located. The bank also has two branch locations. You have been very successful in your career as a Network Operation Specialist, serving at the help desk, assisting many users with routine problems with their desktop PC's and the company software. Your supervisor, the Network Administrator, was recently fired because of poor attendance. As you are the senior NOS and have performed very capably, you have been appointed as the Interim Network Administrator. If you do well, the interim position could become permanent for you.

Windows 2000 operating system and the Microsoft Office 2000 Suite is on all of the desktop computers (each staff member has a PC). These are the two primary applications you maintain on the network. The staff also uses a text-based interface to the financial system that operates on a mini-main frame similar to a UNIX machine. This interface is supported by consultants. You only need to coordinate the support calls for this software.

Each branch office has only two computers. Those computers are connected to the main office over a Frame Relay network that is supported by your local Internet Service Provider.

When you moved into your new office, you discovered that there is no network inventory, no network diagram, and very little information on how to maintain the network. You believe that the former Network Administrator took all of this information with him in retaliation for being terminated. You are not allowed to contact him, so you are on your own to learn and recreate the information you will need to be successful in this new position.

You will be able to use Internet search engines as well as have access to vendor information and technical resources to assist you in the work.

The main office computers are connected via an Ethernet network and a Token Ring network. Your predecessor was working on a presentation to your boss about having the Token Ring network replaced and converted to Ethernet. You have not been able to find the presentation so you will need to redo his work. In the coming weeks, you will need to both maintain current projects and systems, as well as take on any projects management asks of you.

Your first priority is to ensure that the network hardware is appropriate for the bank, and discuss it with the president. Research some of the primary issues that need to be addressed in the selection of network hardware. Be sure to address capacity, compatibility, and flexibility in addition to other areas you identify. How do these issues affect decisions on the type of network hardware to use? What network hardware selections would you choose for the scenario?

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Solution Preview

* Preparing for Token Ring-to-Ethernet Migration
When migrating the network from Token-Ring to Ethernet, all the
affected elements of the network must be considered. This
includes adapters, servers/workstations, cabling, network
topology, hubs, switches, network design, and network
management.

* Adapters and Servers/Workstations
For a device to connect to an Ethernet network, it requires an
Ethernet adapter. Some servers/workstations may support both 100 Base-T
Ethernet as well as Gigabit Ethernet adapters. The devices, which
do not support Ethernet, will have to be combined into a single
legacy Token-Ring network and phased out over period of time.

* Cabling
If the Token-Ring network uses STP cabling, then it can be used
with Ethernet. The pin-out for token-ring cables is different
from Ethernet, but that can be solved with the use of readily
available pin swapping adapter cables. Customers with Type
1A/2A cabling installed do not have to re-cable while migrating ...

Solution Summary

Network Hardware is explored.

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