DesignIT is a small, expanding graphic arts company, which has acquired a space for its office expansion. The space is intended to accommodate more staff. The proposal covers its aspects of IT requirements.
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DesignIT will use Ethernet network design, which is small and suitable for the size of the company. For a small company, Ethernet is not expensive and does not require expensive materials for configuration because some hardware components already have inbuilt Ethernet features (Mueller, Soper, & Ogletree, 2006).
Ethernet network design will provide distinct nodes with access to different data packets with specific address for source and target through a broadcast network. In addition, it ensures that all addresses correspond for effective operations. The network design will support different network devices within the office.
Ethernet will run on the normal 100 Mbps with nodes having a similar bandwidth. The Ethernet network design is suitable for a small company like DesignIT because it is flexible and it would allow for addition of other components when the company grows. It will also support high-speed Internet if required due to increased capacity.
DesignIT will use server-based network architecture. This would provide maximum security for the company’s network. Users will be created with the required security restrictions and access permission to ensure that the system remains safe. Employees can use network directory to share files, but the access will be restricted to prevent abuse or limit access to certain confidential files. For this network architecture, DesignIT will have centralized network resources.
Server-based network architecture is ideal for a small business to ensure that various network components such as printers and files have supporting dedicated supporting systems. It is also important for constant access because DesignIT will be available throughout for users. Server-based network architecture will offer scalability to the company. The company is expanding and any additional features will simply be accommodated in the existing network.
The server-based network architecture will offer security relative to other network architectures. Users will have different rights to share or use network resources. In other words, users without permission to share or view certain files will not be allowed because of user right groups. The network architecture will allow DesignIT to provide network to serve all its users. As DesignIT expands, it is most likely to have many specialized departments.
Consequently, different servers may be required to serve various departments such as human resources, design and creative, finance, sales and marketing among others. Once DesignIT becomes a bigger firm with increased Internet and network use and demands, it will simply use scalability features to improve the network, enhance file sharing and add new user groups.
DesignIT will use both LAN and Wireless LAN (WLAN) wiring. These network considerations would meet needs of various users at the company. Wiring considerations need effective evaluation to ensure that they have suitable hardware and software components for reliability. The company must evaluate all its design architectures for compatibility with both LAN and Wireless LAN (WLAN) wiring. These may include network topology or physical layout across the office.
For LAN, DesignIT must install it because of reliability, low costs, speed and ease of resolving challenges. The consultant must plan well for its configuration across the office. However, the office space has limited restriction. LAN network configuration will provide reliability and speed. In addition, scalability delivered through server-based network architecture will ensure network expansion when required. LAN will be dedicated to office desktops and printers.
Wireless LAN is ideal for DesignIT because of its portable devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones, which may require network connection. It is simple to configure and cost-effective. With Wireless LAN, there is no need for physical network connection. Wireless connection would be effective for the conference room where users may move with their devices.
The company however must ensure that all wireless connections are secure and user policy restricts unauthorized access. The company has a small space that can be served well with WLAN. WLAN must be enhanced to serve the entire office. The two network considerations for DesignIT will provide different advantages and complement each other in terms of reliability, security, flexibility and speed.
The company will require hardware components for its network. It is important to consider costs so that the company gets reliable network hardware at the right prices. Vendors have different hardware options with varied prices.
For a small company like DesignIT, affordable, adaptable options are preferred, and the company will settle for discounted products to cut costs. It is recommended that the wireless router should be installed at a vantage point to emit stronger signals for the office, especially the conference room. This would ensure reliability of WLAN. The following hardware materials are required for DesignIT network solution.
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|Office Space||Materials and Costs|
|Server Room|| |
|Four Cubicles|| |
|Conference Room|| |
The consultant must also consider other related costs. The backbone cost is useful because of network connectivity across the office. A switch will ensure connectivity to other areas of the office.
The network consideration for the company will require adequate security. Firewall is necessary for the network configuration. The company will need to execute firewall design effectively to avoid technical errors (Ellis, Speed, & Crowell, 2001). DesignIT will only use firewall once the network has been evaluated and the best choices made.
The consultant will use firewall deployment to restrict traffic and prevent unauthorized access. Therefore, any threat to the network will be blocked. In addition, firewall activities will be monitored regularly for defense strategies for different types of security threats.
In addition to firewall deployment, DesignIT will also use antivirus for its network and other vulnerable systems. These solutions will guard against viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware, malware and protect the company with online transactions and communication.
Given the nature of online threats, it is recommended that DesignIT should only work with reputable antivirus vendors. Antivirus will have to be tested for quality and effectiveness and the vendor must demonstrate regular update activities. Only antivirus with international recognized reputation will be considered for installation.
The consultant has recognized that network security solution with regard to security is a major challenge for many small businesses with limited resources. Hackers have developed potentially dangerous threats overtime, some of which could be difficult to detect while other new threats remain unknown until damages are done. It is therefore imperative for DesignIT to install the best software options and the chosen options must meet security needs of the company and its budgetary allocation.
DesignIT will have a secured network system for its infrastructure and guarantee safety of its data and client information. Protected Internet could give the company a good reputation. On this note, two security software solutions have been proposed for Design. The first choice for DesignIT is Norton Antivirus. The normal price for the product is $60. Norton has been rated among the best Internet security solutions, and it has been promoted as the future solution for Internet threats.
In addition, it can serve other devices such as smartphones, tablets and Mac computers in addition to normal PCs. Norton provides maximum protection because of its enhanced security features or layers. Besides, it offers safe Internet transactions. Another antivirus of choice is Kaspersky. The antivirus is valued at $49.5 for a single user, but there are also other alternatives for small businesses and multiple users. Kaspersky has been rated among the best Internet security solutions and therefore it is recommended for DesignIT.
These security software solutions are available for both single users and small businesses. Single users may serve portable devices. These alternatives are relatively affordable and have good reputation in the market.
|Estimated labor costs||Costs of equipment required||Maintenance costs and other related charges|
|Hourly rate $70 |
6 hrs per day
|All equipment for the job would cost $ 2500||The company will be charged based on technical issues identified but the minimum cost is $ 40 per hour|
The most likely network challenges for the company are associated with numerous single point of failures. For DesignIT, hardware failure that affects the network could be a major source of challenge. The best solution for network failure can be inhibited through redundant network components (Oracle, 2011). The network redundancy components would protect the network from total failure when one of the systems is impaired. Therefore, the role of redundant system is to act as a possible backup in case of system failure at any points.
For effective use of redundant network systems, various points of weaknesses, including network cabling, gateways, routers, switches and network interface card must be considered (Oracle, 2011). It has been identified that these are points of weaknesses, which require replicated software and hardware components. The Directory Server is the best place for installing these components to ensure that they are always available (Oracle, 2011). As a result, the redundant server will provide optimal availability.
The major advantage for DesignIT is that these redundant components are not expensive, easy to install and can be effectively maintained. In addition, these solutions have scalability advantages due to replication capability. For a small company like DesignIT, costs for maintaining these components may be negligible.
Ellis, J., Speed, T., & Crowell, W. P. (2001). The Internet Security Guidebook: From Planning to Deployment. Massachusetts: Academic Press.
Mueller, S., Soper, M. E., & Ogletree, T. W. (2006). Upgrading and Repairing Networks (5th ed.). Indianapolis: Que Publishing.
Oracle. (2011). Availability and Single Points of Failure. Web.