Acme Manufacturing is a growing company that is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Recently the company has acquired a manufacturing plant in China and multiple offices in the United States. Acme is now in need of a WAN solution to connect their many offices. All new equipment will be used to build the LANs at the offices. Then the LANs will be connected to the WAN to allow for easier communication and data transfer between the offices. The headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia will be home to corporate operations, marketing department, administrative staff, and the accounting department.
This branch of the company needs a strong network since it is the center of the company. A fiber optic line will be used as the backbone of the LAN at the Headquarters. Ethernet cables will connect the client computers to the switches that are wired to the backbone. This is the most cost effective solution since the backbone of the network will carry the heaviest load (Regan, 2004). The engineering building is located across the street from the headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. A sales department will also be located at this site.
A point-to-point wireless connection will be the best way to connect this office with the headquarters. The proximity of the two building and direct line of sight makes a point-to-point wireless connection perfect to connect these two buildings. The backbone of the engineering network will be Ethernet as will the client computer connections (Regan, 2004). There will be three distribution centers that also house administrative staff and a sales department. One location is in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and New York City, New York.
All three distribution centers will use Ethernet cables for the backbone and client connections. These locations will connect to the headquarters through a VPN (Regan, 2004). The manufacturing plant is located in China. The LAN in the China plant will consist of an Ethernet backbone and Ethernet client computer connections. A satellite connection will connect the China plant to the Acme headquarters in Atlanta; once that connection is made the China plant will be able to connect to any of the branch offices.
The branch offices will use a VPN to connect to the China plant’s LAN, and the China plant can use a VPN to connect if the satellite connection is lost. All sites being interconnected will allow for easier communications at the weekly meeting with video conferencing (Regan, 2004). The telecommunication system that is recommended for Acme Manufacturing is VoIP. VoIP would provide many benefits such as enhanced productivity, decreased cost for the wiring setup, and lower maintenance costs. With VoIP system the same cables used for the network can also be used for the telecommunication system, lowering installation costs.
VoIP would allow video conferencing and enhance communication during the weekly meetings (Regan, 2004). A class B network can be used for this company using IP addresses in the range 128. 1. 0. 1 to 191. 255. 255. 254. Subnets and a VLAN will be used to logically group the different departments. This will allow all the sales departments to communicate as if they were in the same location. Although departments are not physically grouped together, grouping them into logical networks would provide increased performance.
A VPN allows for a connection through a private tunnel on a public network, typically the Internet. This allows for communication on the WAN as long as Internet access in available (Regan, 2004). There are many components that can be part of a network. The network will run best with the needed hardware and a few optional items.
•Client computers for employee use. •Servers for data storage and services. •Routers and switches to direct network traffic. •Firewalls will protect the network for dangers on the Internet and intruders. •VoIP hardware to allow video conferencing and IP phone system. Point-to-point wireless transmitter and receiver for headquarters and engineering building. •Printers and scanners for data input and output.
Network security is the next step to creating Acme’s WAN. WEP encryption will be use for the wireless connection between the headquarters and the engineering building. This will help to keep data confidential as it travels by radio waves. The firewalls installed on each LAN will serve as one layer of protection; user names and passwords will be another security layer. Keeping software up to date is another security measure Acme will implement.
Network equipment will be stored in a locked room that is only accessible by the IT staff. Any person not on the IT staff must be escorted, including cleaning crews and repairmen. Acme manufacturing can benefit from the technology available. By properly installing LANs at each location the LANs can be connected to the WAN. The WAN allows for a reliable connection for telecommunications and data transfer. This will increase productivity by allowing employees to access the needed files without leaving their workstations. It will also allow for better collaboration during the weekly meetings.
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