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Patton-Fuller Network Design Project Essay

This project focuses on designing an integrated network for the Patton-Fuller Community Hospital. The first section of the paper describes the characteristics and components of the current network as well as the standards that coincide with the project. Lastly, the paper also evaluates the current network topology. The hospital has a power backup unit designed to automatically use auxiliary power from a diesel generator. Each department also has its own uninterruptible power supply. The topographical network design shows that of a centralized design. This system has benefits with no need for an operating system stored locally. Thus improving the performance because the OS and user applications are already running on the servers, however it also increases the risk if the mainframe suddenly lost power it will affect all terminals. Distributed networks have much less risk of power outages because if one component in the network fails the others will still have functionality.

On the other hand they require OS and software installed on individual computers which require additional hardware to store it, which can take more time to maintain and update. The network bridge is a critical component in this network that passes information locally throughout the network. Doctors can be authorized in a virtual private network (VPN) from a router linked to the remote access server (RAS) that permits them access to the servers from their home. For email functions the network has a Windows Exchange server running on an IBM x3250 series. Workstations in doctor’s offices and nurses have iMac clients on fiber cables. The senior managers in human resources, operations, and finance have virtual operating systems with both Mac OSX (Leopard) and Windows XP. The hospitals current network architecture comprises of a network bridge joining the administrative and clinical areas. All administrative functions have lines contained in a trunk using Cat 6.

The executive departments have Apple desktop systems with Wi-Fi cards installed. The hospital central mainframe is an IBM series Z9EC featuring a database storing patient records and with a fiber connection to a 10 terabyte NAS. Clinical departments have another trunk line on a single mode fiber optic line. (Virtual Organizations Portal, 2011) As part of HIPAA, which is meant to protect patient information in attempts of data breaches. This information is stored in encrypted data files using AES (advanced encryption standard). Access is permitted through identification and authentication of any user the requests this information. Standards are important in networking because all networking devices must have the same rules for communication to prevent a loss of data. Networks can have several levels of scope, local area networks (LAN) are a group of devices connected by Ethernet cables and are limited to the same building with a range of 300 feet.

Wide area networks (WAN) are networks built in cities, usually for institutions. Wireless networks have the same scope as LANs do, but use radio signals as communication between a router or wireless modem and any number of wireless devices. A WLAN will require a wireless standard in typically 802.11n or ac. In the installation of a WAN an X.25 standard using a leased line will be adequate for a connection between other hospital locations. (International Business Machines [IBM], n.d.).

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a telephone network that utilizes the Internet to send voice signals. Unlike the public switched telephone networks that require extra hardware when placing calls in other countries, VoIP send data packets to the phone. Which is the same as how a webpage is loaded in a browser (Nunn, McGuire, & Crowe, 2009) In summary, this paper discussed characteristics and components in Patton-Fuller’s network and its topographical design. Finally, standards that are relevant to this project were analyzed.


International Business Machines. (n.d.). Wide area network standards: X.25 networks. Retrieved from http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/ssw_ibm_i_61/rzajt/rzajtx25con.htm Nunn, L., McGuire, B., & Crowe, B. (2009, Forth Quarter). Measuring the benefits of voice over internet protocol. The Review of Business Information

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