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A computer network is a set of linked computers together for the purpose of sharing resources. The common resource shared today is a connection to the Internet. Other resources that are shared can include a printer or a file server. The Internet as a stand-alone can be considered a computer network. Other than sharing data, computer networks are also used for communication through platforms like email, chatrooms, and video conferencing.
The networks also allow the users to share resources like printers, scanners and even shared drives.
Through networking, users can effectively share software and access their shared storage spaces and virtual machines remotely. There are different types of networks ranging from LAN (Local Area Networks), WAN (Wide Area Network), and the internet among others. Before embarking on the design of a network, there are a few things that need to be considered.
The first thing to do is to clearly outline the requirements of a business and assess the best type of network to serve the businesses.
The geographical location of business functions is also crucial. Another thing to consider is the connectivity and security needs of the business, redundancy and backing up, number of users/expected traffic, standardization of software and hardware options, size of the network, amount of data being transmitted, the future growth plans of the organization, and the overall purpose of the network (Guo et al., 2018).
From the requirements put across, FractalApps is seen to require a network that spans various states since its senior staff and founders will be located in Washington DC and will host the company’s headquarters.
Other employees are in Brooklyn, New York for sales and San Francisco for the developers. In order to connect these three branches of the company, the company will need a WAN (wide area network). A LAN will be required for each city because of the multiple employees.
Since the company is a new startup, the networks can be estimated to host 250 users combined. The company also needs a network equipped with security measures to prevent cyber threats. The network needs to be accessible remotely especially by the sales personnel and other staff members who may want to work at any time from any place. The network needs to be robust to handle gigabytes of data being shared especially since snippets of code will be moved multiple times each day as well as support video conferencing seamlessly. The network must also have back up features meaning they need virtualized servers to save on data storage.
The solution for FractalApps is through the development of a WAN to connect the three offices, a LAN for each of the three offices and it will also require a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to help in increasing security for remote logins into the systems. In addition to this, the network will require virtualization technology to help in the creation of various accounts for the employees instead of buying standalone computers. Virtualizing hardware will help save on costs and will promote data access, backups, and remote access to user accounts and the data associated with the accounts. The network will be developed to promote the quick transfer of large files and to sustain the video conferencing facilities. VPN (Virtual Private Networks)
The main idea behind VPNs is their ability to enforce security and ensure that only authorized persons to get access to systems/networks. A robust CP comprises of various components. The first component is an encapsulation method, authentication, data encryption, encryption key management, packet integrity, Non-Repudiation, Protocol Support, and address Management (Moreno-Vozmediano et al., 2017). Before a person is allowed remote access to the network, they need to verify their identity through the VPN Client. The proposed solution entails a two-point authentication on both the user and the device. The device authentication will require a digital certificate issued for the device while user authentication involves the username and password used to lock his/her virtual working space.
The VPN must guard against snooping and hijacking of information by heavily encrypting the communications and files shared. It must also check the integrity of the data packets being sent. The VPN generates and maintains three sets of keys for each communication, (for authentication, encryption, and hashing). The Non-repudiation function helps to alert the user of any changes to the connection. Protocol support entails the assets that require protection dictating the best protection techniques. The VPN must also keep track of the remote device’s internal address for device authentication (Moreno-Vozmediano et al., 2017).
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