Information technology is a tool that enables information transfer between premises in a network. The benefits of such technology are unquestionably important as it helps a company to manage their resources efficiently and lessen the decision making process.
Furthermore, information technology (IT), a network design plays important role in determining a success of transmitting information. Since network design is essential, Dennis (2002) suggests that there are three basic network designs that any network designers should take into account; they are need analysis, technology design, and cost assessment.
By definition, network protocol refers to set of rules in transmission system in order to enable the data exchange (sending and receiving) over a telecommunication network. Protocol is somewhat similar to signaling in voice-centric system where it rules out how to set up a call, maintain the call session, and release it. In data-centric network or packet-switch network, protocol determines how to send the data, who release the transmission session etcetera.
Concerning the network, this paper will discuss about network protocols and the associated applications for each of Huffman Trucking Company location. The selection of protocol is important since it determine the performance of a network.
- California Plant
In their California plant, the company adopts Ethernet network topology. In addition, the network uses TCP/IP protocol. The use of this protocol is beneficial for connecting multiple network designs from different vendors into a single network (Internet). Mainly, TCP/IP is successful to deliver many applications that users/customers needs such as electronic mail, remote logon, file transfer between computers in an extensive systems of clients and servers (Gilbert, 1995).
Similarly, the use of TCP/IP in California plants is used for delivering multiple services like voice traffic (voice of internet protocol/VoIP), computers in accounting, sales, human resources, marketing departments; proxy server, and Microsoft Exchange for electronic mail applications. Network topology that California plant employs is Ethernet.
- Missouri Plant
In the Missouri plant, the used network topology is Token Ring. The protocol is IPX/SPX, which is a routable protocol that used for small and large network design. Originally, the use of IPX/SPX is for Novell NetWare network although it can be used for other products like Windows NT (Comptech, 2008).
In the network design in Missouri Plant, the network use IPX/SPX protocol since it uses Novell 4.11 operating system. The application within this network includes Novel border manager, apple talk, lotus notes, and Norton antivirus.
Operating systems are similar to blood in our body system where it enables the network to continue operating and enabling data transmission. For example, a network may employ operating system, Version 3.2 (Cisco, 2006). Due to the increasing number of traffic that a network should transmit, Network Operating System also improves in order to cope with the increasing amount of data transfer.
In another network design, in the Missouri Plant, it can be used the TCP/IP protocol for connecting several terminals (telephone, mainframe, scanner, and printer) in a single network throughout the plant.
- New Jersey Plant
In this plant, the used protocol is TCP/IP in a bus topology. The applications that handled by the protocol includes voice traffic in the PBX Telephone system with intercom, Windows 3.x and 9.x operating systems, AOL mail service, facsimile, internet connection by using AOL, and stand-alone sever.
In addition, in this plant, there is also a design of star network topology that employ Windows 3.x operating system along with several terminals such as network and local printers, PBX telephone, and mainframe. IN addition, there is also an ISDN (integrated services digital network) connection between the patch panel and mainframe through internet.
- Ohio Plant
Similarly, to Missouri plant, Ohio plant also uses IPX/SPX protocol since it uses the Novell 4.11 operating system and Novell Border Manager. By definition, SPX (Sequenced Packet Exchange) works at the transport layer to provide communication on top of IPX as shown in the following figure. Meanwhile, IPX (Internetwork Packet Exchange) works to support the transport and network layers in the OSI seven-layer network model.
About.com. (2008). Protocol. Retrieved March 24, 2008 from http://compnetworking.about.com/od/networkprotocols/l/bldef_protocol.htm
Cisco. (2006). Network Management Basics (2006). Retrieved March 24, 2008 from http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/cisintwk/ito_doc/nmbasics.htm
Comptech. (2008). IPX/SPX Protocols. Retrieved March 24, 2008 from http://www.comptechdoc.org/independent/networking/protocol/protipxspx.html
Dennis, A. 2002, Networking in the Internet age. John Wiley & Sons, New York
Gilbert, H. (1995). Introduction to TCP/IP. Retrieved March 25, 2008 from http://www.yale.edu/pclt/COMM/TCPIP.HTM
TechTarget. (2007). network operating system. Retrieved March 24, 2008 from http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid7_gci214124,00.html