How Networking Works...

Putting it all Together


Putting it All Together

We have looked at the various network topologies and hardware in previous pages (see under Networking). Now comes design and implementation. For a typical network configuration in use today that works well up to 50 users, the network elements that you need to consider are as follows:

  1. Topology
    • Consider at least a switched high-speed backbone for your network infrastructure
  2. Network technology
    • Consider the size, speed and scale requirement
  3. Cable
    • Fiber optic cables should be used as backbone for faster speed and long distance cable laying, up to Gigabit/sec transmission speed
    • Twisted pair cable, types cat5 and cat6 can be used for connection to workstations
  4. Network Interface Cards
    • Ethernet 100BaseT for workstations
    • 1000BaseT for servers
  5. Network performance requirement
    • ...depends on the applications requirement for speed of transfer, amount of data transfer and the frequency of data communications
  6. Resource sharing
    • Server based information and resource sharing is recommended
    • Avoid peer-to-peer implementation
  7. Network Type
    • Consider the requirement for peer-to-peer, client-server or combination of both
  8. Network protocols
    • The common one is TCP/IP protocol
    • If a proprietary protocol is available, it will provide better network security
  9. Data and network security
    • DMZ (demilitarized zone), firewalls
  10. Compatibility requirement
    • Must be assured for both hardware and software
    • This is a common problem if older systems are to be used with the new system 100 vs 10mbps
  11. Remote access requirement
    • VPN (virtual private network)
  12. Data Backup Requirement
    • System and user data
  13. Other services
    • Requirements for printer, fax, email, etc

"[The] above network elements are the basis for planning just about any network. It will address needs at local level quite effectively. Even for very large network, this configuration will work for local use. However, since technology changes quickly, networking professionals should keep abreast of the latest technology available and adjust these recommendations to incorporate the new version of configuration that better meet your needs."

"As you make the hardware selection above and adjust your basic network model, draw a map of your network. A map is the architectural plan on how to layout your network. It is also called network topology diagram. As you redesign the network, keep this map up to date, even during installation. It will be the permanent documentation of your network cabling and layout. Whenever network troubleshooting is required, this map will be invaluably useful. In future, when network expansion is required to accommodate company growth, this map is absolutely required for network review before the expansion plan can be formulated."

Here is a network implementation diagram we designed in Microsoft Visio as part of our Certificate III networking assessment:

Network Layout

Additionally, for "future proofing," it is necessary to consider the following four factors that may develop during the future utilisation of a newly implemented network:

  1. Bandwidth requirements
  2. Network growth
  3. Security
  4. Specialized software and hardware requirements

See also: Cert III 2016 Network Implementation Plan [Microsoft .docx Format, 38KB] for a good all-round idea of what was expected of us in Certificate III networking assessments.

© 2016-2020 Leo Coroneos
Certificate IV in Information Technology
South Regional TAFE, Albany WA Australia