This paper is a continuation of our previous scenario of developing a Wide Area Network for an audio and video special effects company with worldwide offices in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and South America. This part of the project details the types of network protocols we’re proposing to utilize for the WAN and LAN throughout the corporation. Keywords: WAN, Wide Area Network, LAN, Local Area Network, Global Corporate Communication Network Structure, Networking Protocols
Protocol Choices Discussion WAN’s (Wide Area Networks) and LAN’s (Local Area Networks) utilize a great deal of hardware and software to function efficiently and effectively. As our project has detailed thus far, the devices and programs we’re recommending for our given scenario is extensive. It must be stated here, though, that what is essential to a network’s operation is the protocols utilized. “A network protocol defines rules and conventions for communication between network devices” (Mitchell, 2013), and here we are detailing the protocol choices we’re recommending. EIGRP
EIGRP, or Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, is the primary WAN protocol we’ll utilize to connect our HQ, Design Centers and Sales Offices. This protocol is utilized for the communication between our routers, and it is this router communication which makes our WAN possible. EIGRP is our protocol of choice because it offers “quick convergence times with minimal network traffic” (Cisco, 2005). Cisco’s white paper on the subject states its advantages best: very low usage of network resources during normal operation; when a change occurs, only routing table changes are propagated, not the entire routing table (this reduces the load the routing protocol itself places on the network); and rapid convergence times for changes in the network topology (in some situations convergence can be almost instantaneous). (2005) It is these advantages which appeal to us and why we’ve recommended it for this project. The Domain Controller
Our design calls for the implementation of a Windows 2012 Server Domain called ACL office.net. This domain will have nine sites, San Francisco, Detroit, Paris, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Washington, Indianapolis, Tampa and Liverpool. Each location will have identical networking services which will first include the Domain Controllers. These are Windows 2012 Servers are used for authenticating each office workstation, device, officers, administrators, accounting, sales, and other user groups as needed. The Domain Controller will also make available ACL Office domain resources. Our design calls for at least 2 to 3 controllers per site making a total of 18 to 21. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a computer networking protocol used by hosts (DHCP clients) to retrieve IP address assignments and other configurations information. (Delaney, 2011) DHCP uses client-server architecture, meaning the client sends a broadcast request for configuration information and the DHCP server receives the request and response with configuration information from its configuration database. In the absence of DHCP, all hosts on a network must be manually configured individually – a time consuming and often error-prone undertaking. DHCP is popular with ISP’s because it allows a host to obtain a temporary IP address. Our DHCP server will sit on the PDC machine at the main office. We will implant one DHCP server in each of the sites to avoid leasing across a slow WAN link. File Transfer Protocol
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is usually used to send files from local computers to a hosting webserver when creating a website. It can also be used as a means of “downloading” files from other servers (Delaney, 2011) and FTP is sometimes used to send files from one computer directly to another. It most commonly uses ports 20 and 21. We will use FTP to enable employees’ access to all project information, accounting, sales, and other company data to those departments and individuals that have a need to know to perform their job. Our design calls for the implementation of one FTP server installed and configured on Windows 2012 Server located on the DMZ between the Internet and internal ACL office network. Network Address Translation
In computer networking, network address translation (NAT) is the process of modifying network address information in datagram (IP) packet headers while in transit across a traffic routing devices for the purpose of remapping one IP address space into another. Our design calls for the implantation of a NAT device at the HQ location. This NAT device will allow outbound connections to the Internet for all ACL office internet users. Web 2.0
The term “Web 2.0” refers to applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with each other as contributors to the website’s content, in contrast to websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, and video-sharing sites. We will host a few different web applications that will be backed by a SQL Server database. (Mistry, 2009) Users will interact with the database via HTML pages. Our design includes the use of one webserver which will be placed in the DMZ. SQL Server Database
A database consists of an organized collection of data for one or more uses, typically in digital form. One way of classifying a database involves the type of content it stores. For example: bibliographic, document-text, statistical. Digital databases are managed using database management systems, which store database contents, allowing data creation and maintenance, search and other access. In our design the SQL Server Database will hold all of the company’s data necessary for the office to locate. It will contain projects, customer’s information and budget information to upcoming projects. The Domain Name System
The Domain Name System distributes the responsibility of assigning domain names and mapping those names to IP addresses by designating authoritative name severs for each domain. In the design, DNS will be used for assigning each office location from an IP address to a name for each location in the forest. In general, the Domain Name System also stores other types of information, such as the list of mail server that accept email for a given internet domain. By providing a worldwide distrusted keyword-based redirection service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of the internet. The Distributed File System
The Distributed File System is used to build a hierarchical view of multiple file machine names for each set of files. The user will only have to remember one name, which will be the “key” to the list of shares found on multiple server on the network. In our network we will use DFS to manage file server resources efficiently while keeping the available and secure for users. Microsoft Exchange Server
With our exchange server we will need to have port 25 open. This will allow for all sites to have incoming mail into each of the buildings. We will need to have port 80 and 443 open so we have the option to use OWA services via the OWA website. With both 80 and 443 open this will allow the use of Internet access as well.
Conclusion As outlined here, our protocol choices will be employed to create a positive work environment for the entire corporate environment, making fast and reliable communication and information sharing possible. Our recommended protocols have been time-tested and proven to be secure and effective, and will make the quick paced and high capacity operations of our client corporation’s business endeavors successful. Utilizing our Windows 2012 Domain Environment, we’re building a highly effective WAN and multiple LAN network.
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