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Acme's WAN Design

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This is a detailed proposal that covers various aspects of Acme’s network design that ABC consultancy has designed to improve performance in the entire organization. This proposal focuses on Acme’s business interest in the United States, as well as China where there is a plant. The proposed network design will have its components described in this proposal. As a result, this proposal will cover the network topology, security measures, hardware and software component, IP addressing, and Vlan’s. These components will become a part of the new network for Acme.

Acme’s WAN design

WAN diagram

Acme manufacturing needs to connect six different locations. These locations are offices in the United States, while one is in China. Connecting all these six locations will allow the Acme manufacturing to communicate and share resources. The proposed WAN topology is shown below.

The WAN topology above will use public switched telephone network to connect various remote branches so that all department within the Acme manufacturing can communicate with each other. The choice of using a public switched telephone network stems from the incentives it will give to Acme. For instance, the cost of the network, monitoring of service and scalability options will be handled by the provider and not Acme manufacturing. The public switched network provider will have a number of protocols that would allow virtual private networking and implementation of quality of service (Xiao, 2008).

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All the remote offices in all the locations, except China, will have a fiber optic leased lines that will connect them to the public switched network provider point of presence. For maximum performance, the used leased lines will be T3, which have the capacity between 12 and 45 Mbps. For the plant location in China, a satellite link will be used to connect the plant to the public switched telephone network. With two offices being located in Atlanta and Georgia a wireless access point will be installed to enable connectivity between the offices. Preferably, a Cisco Aironet 1550 access point will be utilized to fill this gap. However, in each of the office, Ethernet connections will be used to link routers to the public switched network. The Ethernet connections will provide connectivity to all local hosts in all the offices.

Network services

The proposed network for Acme will provide essential services that will make it support the business goal of the organization. Given the need for communication during meetings and within the department, Acme manufacturing will use both PBX and VoiP systems. First, all the branches including the headquarters will have VoIP services and conference rooms for holding meetings during the organization meeting days. This means that special bandwidth will be set aside to enable this meeting to take place. In addition, qualities of service protocols will also be implemented in order to ensure that all the offices receive quality VoiP during teleconferencing. For other communication needs, a PBX system will be installed in each location in order to provide all offices with low cost solution to calling (Bates, 2006). This PBX solution will use the existing network infrastructure in the offices.

IP addressing scheme

The proposed network at Acme manufacturing will rely on an efficient IP address scheme that will have various subnets. The addressing scheme below will identify the different department and all the IP range. As shown below, the departments in each location have been classified into Vlan, which separates traffic. Vlans enhances network security.

The address scheme will also cater for other network gear that must also have IP addresses in order to work in the network. These devices include gateway router, storage server, , DHCP pool of workstation, subnet switch, layer 3 switches, network attached storage drivers and network printers (Liu, Miller & Lucas, 2007). These devices will have a unique address that will identify them in the network. In addition, the address will also allow the network administrators to have a proper and well documented network. This will improve the administration of the entire network, whether in the United States or China.

In addition to the IP addressing outlined above, the Acme manufacturing network will also have a number of virtual local areas network. The virtual local area network will subdivided the entire Acme manufacturing into seven virtual LANs for the management, creation, manufacturing, and sales. These segments will separate the traffic between different sections of the organization, therefore, limiting interference of data. Because of this arrangement, the virtual LAN will contribute to the overall security of data in each department. For instance, one of Acme’s department will not access the workstation in another department even when they are located on the same switch or office. Certainly, the VLAN will provide a better way of ensuring that.

Network security

Network security plays a critical role in the success of network in meeting the objectives of Acme. For the networks to be protected, a number of strategies must be used.

a)An intrusion detection system must be installed in the gateway router to alert the administrators of potential threats.

b)The routers in each of Acme’s offices must be well configured with access list to prevent any unwanted traffic from reaching the network.

c)The switches in the offices must also be configured to accept only specified computers bearing certain MAC addresses. This will prevent authorized persons plugging their laptops into the network and compromising with the security (Liu, Miller & Lucas, 2007).

d)The wireless network will also be protected using a WEP key that will allow only trusted computers to access the network.

e)The network will also be monitored to check on utilization level and report any suspicious activity. This process will also improve delivery of network services.

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