Network Design

Introduction to Kudler Fine Foods and Project

Kulder Fine Foods is an upscale specialty food store located in and around San Diego California. They currently have three stores located in La Jolla, Del Mar and Encinitas. Their mission is to provide unparalleled food shopping experience and the finest quality goods from around the world. The company was founded by Kathy Kulder an advocate of gourmet cooking who wanted to bring her love to the area (University of Phoenix, 2009). To be more efficient and implement new systems, the company is interested in updating their network architecture and components. The integrative network design project (INDP) combines key features of a design approach and considerations, network and data configuration, and hardware and software configuration. INDP will begin with the current network’s fundamental characteristics and components along with current network topology and applicable standards

The Network’s Fundamental Characteristics and Components

The current network architecture used by the company is simple with a few hardware and software components. In order to understand how each component communicates and operates it’s helpful to break it down into pieces and then analyze. Let’s begin by looking at the current network for the La Jolla store (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Network1

(University of Phoenix, 2009).

As seen in the Figure 1, the current network uses a 56K modem for the internet access and the POS systems each running on WIN9x operating system are connected directly to the Ethernet Network. The network uses Novell 4.11 Server for the POS systems and a separate computer with Windows NT Server and Internet Information Services (IIS) 4. The 56K modem is an analog voice band modem that operates at speeds up to 56Kbps. It is used to access the internet. Since each store needs to access the company data on the internet, the network is a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Current Network Topology

The network architecture is deployed in bus topology. The bandwidth which is the volume of data that can travel over the cable is shared. One problem with this topology is that the bandwidth is congested as more users connect. Stations are connected to a single cable referred to as backbone. Figure 2 shows a diagram of a bus topology.

Figure 2

Network2

 

 

 

 

 

Each computer (node) listens for a signal assigned to them. If the signal is not received, a terminator at each end of the backbone absorbs the signal. A media access method is also used to handle collisions if two signals are placed at the same time (Pearson Education, 2007).

Standards Applicable to the Project

Components assigned to a specific architecture layer have standards which are approved by regulatory organizations. A standard for the 56Kbps modem is V.90. New network upgrade will include T1 network type WAN standard. The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model characterizes and standardizes the network architecture into seven layers.

  1. Physical – Cabling, connectors, hubs, modems.
  2. Data Link – groups and frames data. Detects and corrects errors.
  3. Network – Best route to take.
  4. Transport – Make sure data is moved correctly. Produces rate of transmission.
  5. Session – Manages communication and traffic.
  6. Presentation – Handles data encryption and translation.
  7. Application (User Level) – Interface for file management.

(Pearson Education, 2007) 

Design Approach

The top down design approach is used for INDP. The project started with the vision that the new network needed to be much faster and more reliable. Broadband connection is needed along with latest network devices for efficient data transport. The project vision was than broken down into key technology changes, starting with the Physical layer of OSI. Understanding the business requirements and the management’s expectations for the project helped with the design approach and project timeline.

Protocols and Overall New Network Architecture

The new network architecture for Kudler Fine Foods will include multiple new devices and communication protocols to support projects like the frequent shopper program. Let’s begin with the physical layer of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI). The new network will use faster Ethernet 100 Base-TX with two pair Cat 5 568-A cables using RJ45 connectors. The internet connection will be through a leased T1 line which is a more reliable connection. The T1 line will provide up to 60 times more data transmission than the 56K modem with speeds up 1.544mbps compared to the 56Kbps modem (Conjecture Corporation (2003-2012). A Channel Service Unit/Data Service Unit (CSU/DSU) will be used to connect the T1 line to a router. This is the equivalent to a modem. The new network will use packet-switching with Frame Relay protocol along with switches for connecting the workstations, servers, and other devices. Frame Relay packet-switching uses cyclic redundancy check, or CRC to check for errors when packets reach their destination (Cisco Systems, Inc., 2009). For layer 3 of the new network, a VPN router will be used to connect to the internet.  Routers include a configuration table that handles connections to use, priorities, and rules for handling traffic. Traffic analysis is important to avoid unnecessary usage of network capacity. The connection will be protected by a firewall. Internet Protocol (IP) will be used at this level to identify the transmission addresses needed to route packets. Two switches will connect to the router and each switch will connect the assigned equipment using a star topology. For final network design please see Figure 1.

Figure 1

Network3

Timeline for Project

 Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Communication Protocols

Since internet protocol takes place at level 3 the next layer is the transport. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) works on top of IP which together help make networking possible. TCP is important because it allows error free delivery of the packet segments. Since the data packets travel following different routes, TCP makes sure the data being transmitted arrives in the same order as it was when it was transmitted.  This is accomplished by what is called a “sliding window” mechanism (Daintith, 2004).  The data packets don’t transmit all at the same time. When each segment reaches its destination, the receiver will send out an acknowledgement by verifying the check sum. If the check is okay the next segment is forwarded if not a resubmission is requested.

Latency, Response Time, and Jitter

As discussed in Part 1, the main purpose for the new network design is to provide a more efficient and reliable connectivity that can handle the requirements of new systems.  In order to accomplish this goal the network must be fast and generate low delays such as latency. Latency is a delay that can last a few seconds or be constant. The variation in the delay or latency is called jitter. Network tools will be used to measure latency by determining the time it takes a request packet to reach destination and back. This is also known as response time. The new broadband connection along with the IP routing and packet switching will provide highest possible performance (Pearson Education, 2007). The latency will be low making response time faster.

Hardware and Software needed for a Network against Electronic Treats

Many threats exist including malware, viruses, and warms. The network must be prevented not leaving the company vulnerable to a breach. More often a software program is used to protect computers from attacks (Pearson Education, 2007). This includes antivirus programs like Norton Antivirus by Symantec. These programs scan each propagation vector (method for malware to move to a victim computer). The VPN router used for the network will act as a firewall between the network and the internet. The system will use encryption along with content filter to prevent access to non-business related content.

 

VoIP and Centrex

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is getting a lot of attention for telephony. This is a substitute to traditional circuit-switched approach in which it uses packet switching for voice data transmission.  VoIP will save Kudler Fine Foods calling charges and will be an easy integration. The service does have its disadvantages like relying on electric power and limited emergency phone calls. Centrex provides business solutions where the service provider handles all the major equipment providing call control, process telephone calls, and offer telephone features (Pearson Education, 2007). 

LANs and WANs

The new network uses Virtual Private Network (VPN) which uses Local Area Networks (LANs) and connects to other (LANs)  creating a Wide Area Network (WAN) . The difference between a local area network and wide area network is easy as the name says it all. Local area network is network that exists within a single location area (retail store). WAN is a network that covers a much greater distance (up to across the globe). The bandwidth is greater for LAN than WAN resulting in faster connection. Peripheral devices cannot be shared within a WAN. WANs need routers to connect networks.

Conclusion

The paper covered the introduction to Kudler Fine Foods and Project INDP. The network’s fundamental characteristics and components were discussed along with the current network topology and standards that are applicable to the project. The paper also covered the protocols and the new network architecture for Kudler Fine Foods. The importance of communication protocols was discussed along with and the terms latency, response time, and jitter. The project is now finished. All objectives are completed resulting in a greater, more secure, reliable, and faster network using the latest industry standard technology. The business can now be more efficient processing transactions using the POS systems and capable of implementing new system solutions like the frequent shopper program in the works. The Return on Investment (ROI) will pay for the costs related to the project not counting the budget assigned for special projects.

References

Cisco Systems, Inc. (2009). Frame Relay. Retrieved on 03-17-12 from http://docwiki.cisco.com/wiki/Frame_Relay

Conjecture Corporation, (2003-2012). What is a T1 Line? Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-t1-line.htm

Daintith, J. (2004). “TCP/IP” A Dictionary of Computing . Retrieved March 14, 2012, from encyclopidea.com:

Pearson Education, (2007). Telecommunications Essentials. The Complete Global Source, Second Edition. Chapter 6, 7, & 9.

Pearson Education, (2007). Network Security. Business Data Networks and Telecommunication. Chapter 3.

University of Phoenix, (2009). Kudler Fine Foods Intranet. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, NTC362 – Fundamentals of Networking.

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