The Network Redesign: Doc
Added on - 16 Sep 2019
Network RedesignOverviewThe network redesigning is required at The First National University (FNU). FNU is a highereducational organization for long distance learning. This is the first educational organizationproviding online courses in the country. The university runs online training and courses; it requires anetwork infrastructure of very high performance to provide Quality of Services to the end users. Theuniversity covers 5 regional campuses and 10 metropolitan campuses and a main campus to runsuch a huge educational institute. University offers undergraduates programs and postgraduateprograms through distance learning. Moreover it provides Vocational and Educational Training (VET)as well as short programs for professionals to increase their skills. FNU teaches 45,000 students atboth undergraduate and postgraduate level for various programs on-campus whereas 15,000students are studying off-campus for distance education at FNU. To ensure services to be deliveredat all the ends, FNU’s network is designed to divide into 3 facility centres. Firstly, Headquarters,where main campus is located. Second, Operation i.e. Data Centre which is located 50 km away fromheadquarters. At the Operations centre, the technical staff is appointed for managing andperforming IT related tasks required for proper functioning of the network. The third division is theBackup Facility. Backup facility is located 1000 km away from the main campus. This is becausebackup facility is needed only when operation facility breaks down.As discussed above, due to heavy number of users on the network, it may result in network slowdown. The online submission is the key facility provided by FNU for ease of submission andevaluation for the students as well as staff members. Due to online submission for both on-campusand off-campus students, it has been observed quite a few times that the network problems appearwhich makes the late submission for most of the students which in turn results in the bad grades.FNU has no Bring your own device(BYOD)and Work at home (WAT) policies embodied in thenetwork which is highly needed by the students and staff to make it possible to work from theirown devices. For this purpose, the secure wireless network should be implemented which supportsBYOD and WAT.There are certain tasks that needs immediate actions in regards to the identified issues above:1.Scalability for 50% increased enrollment in next three years.2.Improvements with issues in online assignment submissions.3.Implementation of bring your own device policy by adhering wireless network in thecampus. This enables the students to work on their own laptops, tablets, notebooks andsmartphones.4.With WAT it will allow users (students and staff members) to access network facilities fromtheir homes.5.Security measures must be taken to safeguard data from the hackers.6.Providing Quality of Services to the network users both at on-campus and off-campus.Networks and Information Security Case study - Copyright © Edilson Arenas – CQUniversity*Template adapted from Oppenheimer, P. (2011). Top-Down Network Design (3rd Edition). Indianapolis, In: Cisco Press.
Identify Organisation’s Needs and ConstraintsBusiness GoalsFNU is divided into regional and metropolitan campuses that are all similar in size ofinfrastructure, staff members and technology. These campuses are all well built with networkand required technologies which serves at its best to the students studying in that campus.With academic teaching and learning activities both on-campus and off-campus, FNU also has12 external partners some of them are:Hospital: FNU deals with providing training to students for hospitals. On the other fair side, FNUhelps hospitals to get their best interns at the optimum search. The hospitals get benefited byappointing best candidates at their hospitals with limited searching. The university offers all themedical related courses which help hospitals to get the best suited candidate.Research Center: FNU may help students by providing current research practices due to itspartnerships with research centers. It benefits students for future reference. On the contrary,the research centers uses data and statistics from the university to research further about aparticular field of interest. FNU ties up with such research centers to allow them to performresearches in some areas.Vendor Support and Technology are other fields FNU have partnerships with which one or theother way benefits the students learning process. Also, the FNU offers campus interviews forthe students to get placed in various companies which in turn benefit the companies forselecting best candidates on the basis of their grades.As per the requirements discussed above for FNU, it becomes very important to identify theorganizations goals to provide best services to the users of the network, be it students, teachingstaff or technical staff. The business goals are as elaborated below:1.The university is currently having 45,000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduatelevel for various programs on-campus whereas 15,000 students are studying off-campus fordistance education. Future goal of university is to expect new enrolments of 50% rise inupcoming three years. From the business point of view, the FNU is preparing to add newstudents both on-campus and off-campus. FNU presumes to increase the students at thelargest possible rate by providing learning in new and currently trending fields.2.The FNU provides day learning courses for on-campus students. These activities can also beextended to short training programs to attract more students and get more enrolments on-campus. Some short training courses should also be undertaken with certification that willattract more students seeking for on-campus education for limited time period.3.The off-campus online courses provided by the university are limited to some extents. Toincrease the enrolments, it is required to introduce new training courses. With new coursesadded in online training or long distance learning it is possible to attract off-campus studentsfor distance education.4.As far as partnership related expansion is concerned, the FNU administrative and managerialstaff must communicate with more hospitals, companies and research centres. Thesepartners extension result in attracting more students. Also it may result in recognition fromvarious other universities.5.To provide large number of courses for huge number of students, FNU is aiming to providethe best network for the users. The current goal is to redesign the university network toNetworks and Information Security Case study - Copyright © Edilson Arenas – CQUniversity*Template adapted from Oppenheimer, P. (2011). Top-Down Network Design (3rd Edition). Indianapolis, In: Cisco Press.
provide end to end services without any interruption. Many students using network all thetime must have a heavy load at every moment. FNU aims to use better network policies forthe entire network.6.Foremost goal of FNU is to increase students and this increase in students will result inheavy loads at metropolitan campuses. This will result in increased number of regionalcampuses for distributing students.7.University also aims at providing BYOD and WAT policies in the network for more usability inthe network.Needs of improvements in FNU Network:1.Since several numbers of students and staff members uses the network, FNU network mustbe very good at providing best performance. Right from internet surfing to downloadingfiles, sending emails and providing high end network performance is the high need of thenetwork.2.The business goal of FNU is to increase number of students by 50% in the next three years;hence it requires a network design which is highly scalable in nature. New PCs at campusmust be added up in the network without much overhead is the basic need of the networksince more number of students is expected to be increasing in upcoming years.3.The university provides off-campus distance learning and hence must be available at anytime for its distance learners. Moreover, it requires the student’s on-campus to submit theirassignments online; hence availability of network is very important at that part as well.4.FNU must also provide Bring Your Own Device and Work AT Home policies in the networkfor more usability in the network. These policies are highly needed at the university since itis affecting the usability of the network. Once more and more personal devices can beconnected to the network, it will affect in overall students learning process.5.FNU needs to implement a secure wireless network which safeguards student’s logincredentials, files, and other important assets. Moreover, it may restrict the intruder gettinginto the network by facilitating strict security measures. Authentication will also need onceBYOD and WAT policies discussed above are implemented in the network to filter illegalactivities. The other security measures should also be taken to protect important files in theserver.Business Constraints in FNU Network1.Foremost limitation of FNU network is that it does not support bring-your-own-device(BYOD) which makes it difficult for students to migrate their work from university PCs tolaptops and vice versa. With this limitation students cannot work from their own laptops,notebooks or tablets.2.The network does not support work at home (WAT) policy which does not allow users toaccess university network from their personal spaces. WAT must be provided by theuniversity which will help staff members to carry their pending work out from their homes.3.Another noticeable limitation is that it sometimes fails to upload assignments due to poorperformance which leads in late submission of homework. This eventually results in poorgrades of the students. The load at the deadline of the submission is observed to be veryheavy in the network which results in slow down of the network and hence students areunable to upload their assignments on time.The main campus of the university holds large number of users including students and staff. OtherNetworks and Information Security Case study - Copyright © Edilson Arenas – CQUniversity*Template adapted from Oppenheimer, P. (2011). Top-Down Network Design (3rd Edition). Indianapolis, In: Cisco Press.
campuses like regional and metropolitan campuses are in similar sizes and technology usage. Allthose campuses use old complex technologies which are out-dated and results in poor performanceof the network.Technical Goals1.ScalabilityScalability can be best defined as the ability of the network to ensure no degradation inoverall network performance even if the network size in increased. Scalability is one of themost important features a sound network can attain. It is the property of the network to adddevices to its existing cluster in such a manner that new added devices do not collectivelyform a load that exceeds the cluster’s collective load to offer adequate performance.Scalability once attained on the network, provides good quality of services in the networksince it eventually relates to the network performance.The redesigned FNU network must have this feature so that it can be scaled to supportextended usage of services including multimedia applications. This feature is important inFNU so as to include online teaching in its training part. FNU must provide scalable networkfor further enrolments of the new students both on-campus and off-campus. This featuresmust be employed everywhere at all the campuses. There are several techniques to attainscalability these are, Network Load Balancing (NLB), scaling up and scaling out. Network loadbalancing is the trustworthy technique that allows the network to assess the load on thenetwork and balance it to provide better network performance. FNU network needs highscalability for its goal to enrol 50% of the current strength in next three years.2.AvailabilityThe organizations with multiple data centres, network availability are a vital concern.To perform operations daily such as downloading files from server at FNU requires highneed of network availability because users performing daily operations in the networkneed the network to be available all the time. Availability is serious when it comes todisaster planning and recovery. FNU aims at providing a network that is availableapproximately 99.9 percent of the time and offers an MTBF (mean-time-between-failure) of 6000 hours and an MTTR (mean-time-to- repair) of less than 90 minutes.Network availability with these values can never fail even at the students’ submissiondeadlines. As per students complaints about network slow down at the time ofsubmission, the network with such availability metrics can fulfil their request ofnetwork availability. A key concern FNU’s students and staff is concerned about isavailability of network at their personal spaces so that they can work from home aswell. Implementing WAT in the FNU network is in demand from students and staff ofthe network.3.Network performanceThe overall network statistics assessment to define and analyse if the network iscapable of serving quality of services is termed as network performance. Itquantitatively and qualitatively assesses the performance of the computer networkwhich tells the network administrator to observe, analyse and improve the servicesprovided by the network. Network performance is measured as:Networks and Information Security Case study - Copyright © Edilson Arenas – CQUniversity*Template adapted from Oppenheimer, P. (2011). Top-Down Network Design (3rd Edition). Indianapolis, In: Cisco Press.
Bandwidth:metrics for data transfer rate.Throughput:the maximum amount of data transferred at one time in the network.Delay and latency:The extra time taken by the: data than the stipulated one.Jitter:the difference in data flow within the network due to congestion.Data loss:Data drop before its delivery to the recipient.The above mentioned parameters define the overall network performance of thenetwork. Any of the parameter is failing to achieve its quality in the network leads tocomplete drop of network performance. FNU wants to provide a wireless networkthat is privately secured for students, staff members and visitors as well. With manyusers on the network, FNU needs to be redesigned to fully satisfy the networkperformance. FNU’s network must also have a response time less than a second forinteractive applications.The network administrators must increase the bandwidth ofthe Internet connection to support new applications in the network.4.SecuritySecurity is a key concern in any network even if it is as small as ten computers. FNU’s bignetwork is under the threat of security breaches. With wireless network, security comes intopicture since wireless network themselves are less secure. Some security measures areneeded to be employed in the network to make it secure. Network security is the act ofsafeguarding network data as well as network devices from intruders and malware attacks.With large number of users and several numbers of devices in the network, security is a keyfeature to work on.FNU’s network must be redesigned to protect the end to end device connections. Moreover,it is needed to safeguard network from hackers stealing authentication and authorizationrights in the network. To achieve high level of security, network layer of the protocol stackimplements various algorithms, policies and controls which benefits by providing access tothe authorized users in the network while prohibiting false users to enter into the network.Security not only protects your personal data and login credentials in the network butultimately protects your reputation. FNU with so many users at a time needs a concretesecurity measures so that no reputation will be threatened.5.ManageabilityA network is said to be manageable if it allows most of its tasks to be automated. The FNUnetwork is very huge with different and diverse tasks and services within the network.Manageability is required at the IP support end where there are many tasks to work onespecially regarding network management. If more of the tasks are automated, the networkitself reduces most of the burden from IP support staff. These tasks include:1.Network Configuration2.Data Backups3.Load Balancing4.Network Management5.Network Monitoring6.TroubleshootingNetworks and Information Security Case study - Copyright © Edilson Arenas – CQUniversity*Template adapted from Oppenheimer, P. (2011). Top-Down Network Design (3rd Edition). Indianapolis, In: Cisco Press.
7.UpdatesThe tasks once performed by itself, network is said to be manageable. FNU’s network shouldalso be redesigned to perform several tasks by its own.6.UsabilityUsability of the network or an application is defined as the ease of access of suchproducts that helps user to use it by using all its functions with utmost ease. Thenetwork usability is how effortlessly and easily a network user can use the networkwithout having issues like operational issues or connection issues. The FNU network isvery complex and supports various users’ at a time and hence requires the greatdegree of usability. The network and its applications should be so very easy that thestudents and staff members must handle it very easily. The applications in thenetwork includes university website that manages students, their submissions, resultsdisplay, etc. Network usability plays an important part when the network or itsapplications are difficult to use.With usability, network administrators can assess the level of difficulty and redesignits applications for ease of access to its users. FNU’s network must be easy to operatefor the students and staff so as to make it effective in use for them. Students in thenetwork are very much new to this kind of environment hence usability must beachieved by the network for making it easier to use it. Usability in the network can beaccomplished by first analysing which areas are difficult in use and hence redesigningit may help in attaining usability.7.AdaptabilityThe network is said to be adaptable of small changes done in the network that does notaffect the overall performance. The FNU’s network is currently using wired services but nowFNU’s administrators are planning to provide wireless services provisions to students andstaff members. The new network must be designed with wireless provisions and hence itmust be adaptable to new changes in the network. The network adaptability is the ability ofthe network to respond positively to the change and hence fit into the new circumstances.Repair the IP addressing scheme of the old network since the network is planned to migrateto the wireless technology.FNU network is requires all its users to use bring your own device policy in which personaldevices of the students can also be connected into the network without any difficulty orconnection issues. Availability of network will allow its students to connect their personaldevices with utmost ease. Moreover, FNU is planning to implement the WAT policy in whichthe university network will be available all over the globe so as to help its staff to work athome. In order to make these two policies implemented in the network, FNU needs toimplement a network with high availability.8.AffordabilityWith implementation of security, usability, availability and other technical goals in the network, itbecomes very difficult for the network administrators to keep the network affordable. With thesecurity concerns, the new devices and software needs to be employed in the network. These devicesNetworks and Information Security Case study - Copyright © Edilson Arenas – CQUniversity*Template adapted from Oppenheimer, P. (2011). Top-Down Network Design (3rd Edition). Indianapolis, In: Cisco Press.