Wide Area Network and Local Area Network

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Computer networks are critical to the success of any business no matter how small or big it is. The network connects people, services, support applications and give them access to a set of resources specific to a company which ensures its smooth running.  The daily company requirements are met by ensuring they have a well-functioning network set up structure in place. In this current technological world, the customer service should be available around the clock to ensure the business stays relevant and competitive in the market. The business network should be up nearly all the time. There should be significant security measures to ensure the network is protected against security breaches. The network should also have a mechanism of adjusting to traffic loads to ensure consistent response time of applications.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

In the recent years, there have been many advances in computer network with high rates of data transfer achievable in a WAN environment. In selecting the best option, some of the criteria considered include the potential to sustain video conferencing which is part of the cores of the current businesses, data transfer rates for hypermedia, the ease to transition upward when need be and the cost to the user. Some of the services available include; asynchronous transfer mode, switched multimegabit data service, integrated service digital network and frame relay bearer service.

In this Wide Area Connectivity, I preferred the frame relay bearer service. This is a connection oriented service with transmission rate from 56Kbps to 1.544Mbps. This connection performs correction only at the origin and at the destination (Penkov, et al. 7). Frame relay is of the data link layer protocol which can function over Internet Service Digital Network (ISDN) or the frame relay bearer service. This service is offered at a flat rate and is insensitive to distance. This service provides the best connection of different LANS at a good price.

Frame relay is the best Wide Connectivity Service for this company because it has clear transition path to increased bandwidth, great access speeds and is economy friendly. The primary driver of network design is the ability to utilize high bandwidth applications like MBone and Netscape. Frame Relay service bandwidth makes it access feasible. In this service the likelihood of bottlenecks is reduced greatly due to its design nature. When the distance charges are estimated Frame relay offers better rates because its costs are distance and time insensitive. Hardware specifications in the Frame relay WAN are widely accepted and products are offered by numerous vendors.

This network is a data link layer multiplexed data networking technology based upon routing the frames by Data link control identifier (DLCI). Information is encapsulated in a frame and is opened at the destination. Routing in this WAN design is achieved by forwarding frames in permanent virtual circuit (PVC) to the specified location in the DLCI connection table. This table is maintained by the Frame Relay Switch.

In connecting the different LAN’s to the Frame relay cloud, the following equipment are required: Channel Service Unit (CSU), RJ-48 and a router. The router and CSU will require 110VAC from an electric outlet. These devices should be surge protected using protection devices. A UPS could also be acquired for the devices especially when the value of the data being processed exceeds the cost of the UPS.

Local Area Network (LAN)

Local Area Network (LAN) is a peer-to-peer communication network whose main function is to broadcast information for all the stations in it to receive. Shared medium is the key concept in LAN planning. A properly designed infrastructure provides flexibility for future networking needs. The Ethernet provides a means though which networked devices gain access to the LAN. Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection(CSMA/CD) technique allows devices connected in a network to compete for medium access (Kessler 22). This functionality is performed by each devices Network Interface Card (NIC).

In this business the most suited medium is the 10 BASE-T Ethernet which uses Unshielded Twisted Pair in star physical topology as a shared medium. The choice of a medium will ultimately impose restrictions to the growth of a LAN network. CAT 5 UTP is the best cable media for the business because of its high transfer rates. 10 BASE-T operates over 2 pairs of wire, one pair for receive and the other for transmit data signal. Hubs allows multiple nodes to be concentrated into a single output. The hub amplifies the incoming signal and broadcast it to all the other nodes.

10 BASE-T topology.

This Ethernet installation is a bit costly but at the long term, it is cost effective and easily expandable. A malfunctioning node in this installation can be easily detected and isolated from the rest of the network.  In 10 BASE-2, fault isolation involves disconnecting all the devices in the network, one at a time until the faulty node is discovered. For somehow large networks like in this case, this will be the best solution for the LAN.

In acquiring equipment to be used in this network, it should be ensured the are standardized. Networking devices that are intelligent can be able to function as Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) (Kessler 35). The devices with this capability include hubs, routers, Network Interface Cards and peripheral devices. This device greatly increases the capability of the network administrator to detect and correct problems within the LAN.

A LAN operating system is necessary in case the users have to share a common software application. In this case, the LAN operating system will be necessary to ensure the business application for this company can be globally accessible in the LAN. This will also ensure the data that could have been stored in individual computers is rather stored at one central point therefore freeing space in individual computers. Data backup can also be easily done since the data are in one central place. To the WAN, the LAN will be like any other node.

The network structure that would be implemented in this business is the hierarchical network model. In this model, the access, distribution and core layers are separated in a well-defined hierarchy (Krajnovic 15). Access layer provides interface with the rest of the network by interfacing with end devices such as Pcs and printers, it controls devices allowed to communicate in the network and provides a means of connecting devices. This layer includes devices such as hubs, routers, switches and wireless access points.

Distribution layer combines received data from switches in the access layer before transmission to the core layer for its final routing. It uses policies to control network traffic and broadcast domain delineation is done by routing function formation between virtual LANs (allows segmentation of traffic in a switch into subnetworks) explored at the access layer.

Core layer is important for interconnectivity in the distribution layer devices, high speed of the network interconnectivity which can also connect to internet resources. It must be capable of forwarding huge amounts of data as it aggregates traffic from devices in the distribution layer. Computers and devices in this network that require access to the network are located on particular floor. Some resources, for instance, database servers and email servers are situated on a different floor. To ensure network access in all the floors, distribution switches are installed on each floor and then connected to all the devices that require internet access. Both the layer switch and distribution layer are stacked in the layer closet.

The benefits of this model include: easy maintainability, redundancy, manageability, security and good performance. Access layer switches can be connected to a different distribution layer switch to ensure redundancy (Huang and Lien 17). If a particular switch in the distribution layer fails, the access layer can switch to the other. The switch in the distribution layer is connected to several switches to ensure availability in case one of the switches fail.

Performance in the hierarchical model can be improved by avoiding data transmission through intermediary switches that are low performing. The high performance capabilities of the distribution layer are utilized to forward the traffic up the core. In this model, security is easier to manage. Access layer switches are configured with security protocols that determine the security of devices in the network. The model also provides flexibility for implementation of additional security measure in the network. This network model is modular in nature and are easy to maintain.

In conclusion, implementing this model ensure the continuous growth of the business. Implementing this model improves maintainability, performance and availability. Hierarchical model facilitates convergence in the network by ensuring performance necessary for video data to be combined into existing network. Traffic flow, data server locations and data store are used for bottlenecks identification. Addressing bottlenecks improves general performance in any network and also determine the requirements of the hardware that are appropriate to attain the desired performance.


Works Cited

Di Mola, Domenico. "Packet-Optical Convergence: Benefits of Multi-Layer integration in Wide Area Network (WAN) Scalability and Automation." Advanced Photonics 2015, 2015.

Huang, Jyh-Shyan, and Yao-Nan Lien. "Topology design for multihop cellular network." 2017 19th Asia-Pacific Network Operations and Management Symposium (APNOMS), 2017.

Kessler, Gary C. "Local Area Network Topologies, Protocols, and Design." Computer Security Handbook, 2015, pp. 6.1-6.31.

Krajnovic, N. "Network topologies for achieving maximal all-terminal network availability." 2016 24th Telecommunications Forum (TELFOR), 2016.

Penkov, Stoitcho, et al. "Industrial network design using Low-Power Wide-Area Network." 2017 4th International Conference on Systems and Informatics (ICSAI), 2017.

September 04, 2023


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