To keep to the mission of UMUC which is “students first,” the University must offer a quality education in the online and in the classroom. UMUC is dedicated to protecting not only employees’ data but students as well.
1. Network Topology
UMUC is requesting network design proposals for a newly leased two-story building in Adelphi, Maryland to further expand on-site access to technology and resources to better serve and support a diverse variety of students residing in Maryland. The new building will contain offices, multiple classrooms, computer labs, and a library/public access computer lab. Students will have the capability to use the computers provided at the location or have the option to bring their own.
I would propose the use of a star topology because of it provides redundancy and scalability, with a combination of single-mode fiber optics for the backbone configured in a logical star configuration and dedicated servers. Using this topology to connect all computers would easily assist administrators to detect issues for problem solving issues and reconfiguration when necessary as each node is connected to a hub or switch instead of each other allowing for problem detection easier to locate. Category 6a untwisted pair (UTP) cabling will provide connection to remaining wireless controllers, switches and other devices to include 802.11ac compatible devices
The logical topology is used to describe how the devices will communicate or transmit data between one another 1. The logical topology to be utilized is also a star topology. This will allow for many segments to operate on its own or connected and form a large network. In addition to having many segments the star topology allows the administrators to work on now segment of a network without affecting other components or functionality of the rest of the network 2.
Implementing a star network topology will be most beneficial for students, faculty, employees, and the network administrator since it is an efficient design that is easy to install, and it also allows for multiple computers to be set up to the same network to avoid relying on other devices to complete a task. If there was a malfunction or cable issue, only the affected computer would not be working. Using this method where every node is connected to a hub or switch and connection to one another is indirect, it allows for centralized management which aids in monitoring the network 2 and avoids having to shut down all the computers taking away access from others while being worked on.
2. Cables and Connectors
On the proposed network, the demand for retrieval, security and data speed are essential to all faculty and students. High-Speed Networks are now a much larger preference and dominate both wide-area network (WAN) and local-area network (LAN) markets. Private and public data networks have since evolved from packet-switching network to frame relay network operating at up to 2 (Mbps) mega-bits per second, and now (ATM) Asynchronous Transfer Mode operating at a minimum of 155 Mbps or even more. Fast Ethernet has greatly improved from 10-Mbps to 100Mbps and now Gigabit Ethernet 3. Network administrators need to be confident in their abilities for media, cabling and such to transmit all the necessary data securely, without flaws. While transmission speed is a concern for faculty and students, the viability and security post other concerns.
Recommended Cables and Connectors
A single-mode fiber optic connection to the demarcation point using LC connectors which will be provided by the internet provider. This single-mode fiber optic connection will continue through the firewall, end at the router located in the ground floor IT Server Room. Category 6a untwisted pair (UTP) cabling with RJ45 connectors will be used from this point on. From the router to the patch panel located in the Ground Floor IT Server Room, the Category 6a wire will be used, from the patch panel the Category 6a cabling will enter a layer 3 switch on the Ground Floor IT Server Room and a layer 3 switch in the First Floor IT Server Room, from the switches on their prospective floors the cabling will continue into additional switches in classroom server closets to connect faculty and student computers. These switches will also connect to wireless access points in order to supply wireless coverage to students whom bring in privately owned laptops and other mobile devices. The use of 802.11ac access points, the wireless network that will be utilized this proposal recommends, which support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels allowing for maximum connection and coverage to support the student and faculty utilization. Additionally, the 802.11ac wireless access points are configured to be backwards compatible for use with many older devices 4.
My justification with using a single-mode fiber optics is that according to 1 it supports speeds up to 10 Gbps. Also, the Category 6a UTP cabling supports transmission speeds of up to 10 Gbps and has more significant protection from (EMI) Electro Magnetic Interference. Single-mode fiber optics and Category 6a support longer distance transmission speeds. Fiber optics promotes high security measures. “Optical filaments are hard to tap. As they don’t transmit electromagnetic vitality, discharges can’t be captured. As physically tapping the fiber takes awesome ability to do undetected, fiber is the most secure medium accessible for conveying delicate information” 5. In this proposal, the recommendation for the wireless network is the use of 802.11ac access points which support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels allowing for maximum connection and coverage for supporting the students and faculty. The 802.11ac wireless access points are configured to be backwards compatible for use with many older devices 4.
3. Networking and Internetworking Hardware
UMUC is committed to providing state of the art learning environment which requires professional grade equipment for sharing resources, ensuring serviceability, securing data, ease of use (student computers), and for shared applications. As with any computer network, the importance of network devices is extremely important. Tools for students are database, email, printer sharing and internet access. Also, faculty must maintain the ability to share files and applications.
Recommended Networking and Internetworking Hardware
A list of recommended networking and internetworking hardware is listed below. The items included are Cat6a cabling, Single-Mode Fiber Optics, (1) Cisco Firepower 2100 Series Firewall, (1) Cisco 4431 ISR Router, (12) Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Layer 3Switches, (7) Dell PowerEdge R930 DNS File Rack Server, (2) Dell PowerEdge R930 Web Database Server. For the wireless networking criteria the hardware necessary is (2) Cisco 5520 802.11ac Wireless Controllers, (16) Cisco Aironet 1815i Wireless Access Points, and (215) Hewlett-Parkard ProDesk 400 G3 Computers w/ 19inch monitors.
Device Manufacturer Model Quantity
Cat 6a UTP cabling Firefold Cat6a UTP .21 per ft.
Single-Mode fiber optics Firefold Single-Mode 7.00 per ft.
Firewall Cisco Firepower 2100 Series 1
Router Cisco 4431 ISR 1
Layer 3 Switch Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series 12
Server Dell DNS, File Server PowerEdge R930 Rack Server 7
Server Dell Web, Database Server PowerEdge R930 Rack Server 2
Wireless Controller Cisco 5520 802.11ac 2
Wireless Access Point Cisco Aironet 1815i 16
Student Computers Hewlett-Packard HP Prodesk 400 G3 173
Faculty Computers Hewlett-Packard Z440 Workstation 17
Category 6a UTP cabling and the single mode fiber optics will supply the bandwidth and throughput for the dynamic and the collegiate level. The needed security for emails, data, applications and any other reasons hackers would want to gain access to information will be provided by the firewall. The Cisco Layer 3 switches enable segmenting the network which allows for segments to be taken offline without affecting other segments 2. The Dell servers provide the necessary File Exchange, DNS, Database and Web services with security, productivity and reliability. Using Cisco products for the router, wireless controllers and access points was justifies the commitment UMUC has to security and scalability. Each of these hardware items can be built upon ensuring the ability to grow along with the campus.
4. Wide Area Network (WAN) design and wireless configuration
For the security of every student and faculty along with daily the needs daily needs for college administration to have a clear and stable communication among its students and staff. UMUC’s students require wireless connectivity due to the influx of wireless devices needed by individual students. The bandwidth is needed to complete assignments and conduct searches required to complete projects and background information.
Recommended Wide Area Network (WAN) design and wireless configuration
The UMUC campus in Adelphi, Maryland has a dynamic that requires the recommendation of the star topology utilizing the IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking standard. The 802.11ac wireless networking standard supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels allowing for maximum connection and coverage to support student and faculty use. The 802.11ac wireless access points are configured to be backwards compatible for use with 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g standards of many older devices 4. The configuration of the wireless network should consist of a wireless controller on each floor (providing the dynamic IP addressing), connected by Cat6a UTP cabling to a Layer 3 switch, and connected again by Cat6a UTP cabling to the wireless access points located through the buildings floors. The wireless network will be using WPA2-Enterprises AES for security. This feature will allow authentication for faculty and students who bring their personal devices onto campus.
When it comes to the students at UMUC, they deserve the upmost reliability and security when it comes to the use of a wireless network. Using the wireless controllers to assist the network with providing dynamic IP addressing, it takes the load of the work off the router and puts the work load on the wireless controller to handle not only the IP addressing but the security that comes along with WPA2-Enterprise AES encryption. This is a necessity to prohibit attacks or viruses from being initiated via an unwanted attacker and ensure the functionality of the network. Using the IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking standard supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels allowing for maximum connection and coverage to support both students and faculty members utilization. Additionally, the 802.11ac wireless access points are configured to be backwards compatible for use with 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g standards of many older devices 4.
5. Computer System Hardware for Faculty and Students
Within the confines of UMUC located in Adelphi, Maryland, it houses a huge database and study tools. Access to vital information while studying on location is an important need for students. UMUC will house computers for labs, classrooms and the library to ensure students have the necessary study tools to maintain and exceed the educational requirements to obtain certifications or graduate and undergraduate degrees.
Recommended Computer System Hardware for Faculty and Students
There are 17 Faculty computer systems needed for the network design proposal and I recommend using the HP Z440 Workstation. The HP Z440 Workstation offers next level of performance, expandability, and no compromise reliability in one complete package. The HP Z440 features a perfect mix of HP Z DNA in a performance workstation with up to 8 discrete processor cores, up to 128 GB of RAM, and multiple storage and PCIe configuration options to support vast configurations 6.
The 173 Student computer system necessary to facilitate productive educational progress I recommend are the HP ProDesk 400 G3. The HP ProDesk 400 G3 has Windows 10 Pro 64, 6th generation Intel® Core™ i3 processor, 4 GB memory; 500 GB HDD storage and Intel® HD Graphics 530. They are redesigned, reliable, and secure HP ProDesk 400 Microtower (MT) is a powerful PC with performance that’s scalable to grow with your needs 6. The list of computer systems is listed above in the table of devices.
The HP Z440 Workstation faculty computer systems offer next level performance and flexibility, expandability, and a no compromise reliability in one complete package. The HP Z440 features a perfect mix of HP Z DNA in a performance workstation with up to 8 discrete processor cores, up to 128 GB of RAM, and multiple storage and PCIe configuration options to complement any faculty need.
The HP ProDesk 400 G3 student computer systems come with Windows 10 Pro 64, 6th generation Intel® Core™ i3 processor, 4 GB memory; 500 GB HDD storage and Intel® HD Graphics 530. They are redesigned, reliable, and secure HP ProDesk 400 Microtower (MT) is a powerful PC with performance that’s scalable to grow with you. Perfect for applications and programs for testing to computing.