Term Paper: LAN Construction Carefully Outlines

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[. . .] Installing cabling can also be an expensive proposition, particularly in an existing building. An existing building has barriers such as ceilings and walls that restrict your ability to install new cabling. We have already assumed that our LAN will be a one floor network. It is important to arrange a safe way to string the cables between the workstations. Cables should be placed on the floor channels, dropped from the ceilings, or otherwise distributed to prevent people from tripping over or accidentally pulling on cables and breaking the connection. After laying out all the cabling, all the hardware equipment will have to be connected. All the workstations or PCs will be connected to each other via a 24-port switch. The switch can be a CISCO Switch or any other depending upon the budget. A UTP-Cat-5E will attach a workstation to a switch.

All the workstations will have Intel processors. Since web designers and programmers need great processing speed, it is preferable to assign them Pentium IV with graphic cards. The sales department, directors, logistics, administrator officers and administrators may have either Pentium III or Pentium IV, depending upon the budget. Since the servers maintain most of the load, it is preferable that they too should be Pentium IV. The processor speed of the computers should range from 700 MHz to 900 MHz, RAM should be 128 MB and the hard disk should be 40GB. Since the mail server in our LAN will be used to connect to the Internet, another piece of hardware that will be required on this workstation will be a modem. "The modem will be the gateway to the world. The main reason for a modem is to allow you to connect your PC with other computers over standard telephone lines" (Jack Nimersheim, The First Book Of Modem Communication). It is preferable that the modem installed is a 56K U.S. Robotics Modem. The application software for the Internet access security or ISA would be installed on the Mail Server. The Gateway too will be installed on the Mail Server. For controlling the accessibility policies, i.e. The logistic office will be separated from the other users without internet access, the programmers will be able to see the designer group and the directors will be able to see the sales and administrative group, the mail server would be made the domain. Since the mail server will have an access to the Internet, it is preferable to install firewall on it i.e. CISCO PIX Firewall. The operating system installed on the mail server, file server and administrator's workstation would be Windows 2000 Advance Server. The Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000 Professional can be installed on the rest of the workstations. Since the job of the Administrator is to administer other users on the LAN, it is preferable to installed NET Support manager on his PC. It is recommended that the Internet connection should be DSL. A modem driver would also have to be installed on the mail server.

Other types of hardware installed may include Ups, Digital Cameras for web designers, a shared printer, a CD-writer and speakers. Another type of network software that should be installed on the workstations is IPX Protocol. IPX for Internet packet exchange is a protocol that transmits data through cables among workstations on Novell Networks. The IPX File contains the software to handle data transmissions. The IPX Software implements simple communication capabilities that provides the minimum service for network traffic between the network shell and the Network Interface Card or NIC. For most applications, IPX is sufficient. However, a superset of communication commands and functions known as SPX can be added to IPX. Among other things, SPX can confirm that transmitted data has actually been received.

Most networks have what is known as Network Shell, which is the program that remaps the DOS file-access routines to its own code. Some network shells also remap DOS printer routines, data and time services and so on. In this manner, the network can appear transparent to a wide variety of applications running on the workstation. You can see the NEXT has taken DOS interrupt 21H and remapped it. This means that all DOS service requests will be passed to the shell for processing. NEXT also takes over the DOS fatal-error and program-termination interrupts. The shell also uses some of DOS's memory, which results in less memory being available for the application.

DOS version 5.0 and above, as well as certain add-on products, allow the network shell to be loaded into the memory above the 640K that is available to the DOS. If the application is tight on memory, even in a single-user system, it is strongly recommended that one should consider obtaining software to place the network shell into high memory. The ability to load programs into memory above the 640K limit can result in a dramatic increase in the amount of memory available for the application.

Since our network constitutes of computers connected via a 24 port switch, our LAN topology would be star. "Local Area Network, which consists of a central computing node to which all other nodes are directly connected often, constitutes a symmetric topology" (Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks). With the passage of time, a variation called a star wired LAN has gained wide acceptance. In the star wired LAN, a wired switch is used to form the connection between network nodes. A switch allows cable to run up to 2000 feet between a switch and a workstation. The cable that we have used in our LAN is most suitable for this sort of LAN topology. It is important to note that a LAN topology forms half of the LAN's circulatory system i.e. its veins and arteries. The other half of the LAN circulatory system relates to the functions of the heart, pumping data through the system's medium. These functions are primarily referred to as Media Access control or MAC. In the OSI reference model, the MAC functions are basically found in the data link layer.

Media Access Control defines how packets are placed on the media. Connection media access is first come/first serve access where everyone shares the same bandwidth. Physical address is defined here, as well as logical topologies. The logical ology is a signal path through a physical topology. Line discipline error notification, ordered delivery of frames and optional flow control can also be used at this sublayer. The Logical Link Control layer is responsible for identifying Network

Layer Protocols and then encapsulating them (Todd Lammle, CISCO Certified

Network Associate).

After the installation of all the hardware and software, the LAN must be carefully tested. Each user environment must be tested before to ensure that it meets the entire user's needs. Any bugs encountered should be removed. Extra workspace should also be allocated to store the new equipment, supplies and spare parts. The constructed LAN should be managed by a trained professional to ensure that it gives the maximum throughout to its users.

Works Cited

Andrew S.T. Computer Networks. Prentice Hall International Inc. 1996.

Andy S. Computer Communications, Principles And Business Applications.

McGraw-Hill International, UK, Limited.1999.

Market Research Report On: Applications, Competitive Technologies, Issues, Markets,

Trends And Vendors. 19 Apr. 2000. Available on the address http://www.apresearch.com/lanrpt.htm. Accessed on 1 Feb. 2003.

Behrouz F. Data Communication And Networking. McGraw-Hill International. 2000.

Fred H. Data Communications, Computer Networks And Open System. Addison Wesley Longman Limited. 1997.

Jack N. The First Book Of Modem Communication. SAMS. 1992.

56K Modem Reviews-U.S. Robotics. Available on the address http://www.56k.com/buyer/usr.shtml. Accessed on 1 Feb. 2003.

Todd L. CISCO Certified Network Associate. SYBES Inc. 2002.

Refer to Figure 2 to see the LAN setup diagram for better understanding.

For an insightful analysis on U.S. Robotics Modem, refer to http://www.56k.com/buyer/usr.shtml.

2, for a better understanding of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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