After conducting interviews with the key stakeholders at the Leonard Cooper Charter School, we have identified several issues with the current network that need to be addressed. According to Network Technician, Helen Ross printing is a problematic area. The school currently has over 50 networked printers in the building and they would like a way to consolidate the management of print jobs due to the queues of the printers often being filled. Recommendation: Install a print server to handle print requests on the LAN.
This will offload the management of printing from the main LAN and increase network efficiency. In addition a 24 port switch will need to be installed to assist with communications between the printers and networked devices. This will alleviate the printer collisions and allow print jobs to complete much more quickly. The network has also become a source of contention with frequent collisions especially at peak periods during the day such as the morning when everyone gets is and starts their daily activities.
An interview with IT Director, Alfred Wingfield has revealed that the cable infrastructure is in dire need of replacement to enable the use of a voice over I. P. system with the current system. In addition, the customer would like all of the backbone switches connected to each other with a high speed connection. Recommendation: Install Category 6 UTP 1000Base T Ethernet Cabling. While this may not be the most cost effective solution, it will alleviate all of the customers concerns by providing a high speed connection that can handle the voice over I. P. system as well as connect all network switches and reduce the current bottlenecks experienced by the customer.
This cabling solution will also allow the network to run at full duplex rather than the current half duplex. In a half duplex network data travels both directions over a shared pair of wires causing frequent collisions. Switching to a full duplex configuration will provide point-to-point connections between transmitters and receivers allowing sent data to travel on one wire while received data travels on another.
Another problem that is being experienced is the slow connection experienced by laptops in the building. Per the HVAC technician when plugging in his laptop to the network he only operates at 10 mbps causing him to be unable to retrieve data from the equipment he manages. The technician would like to be able to manage his equipment via the web wirelessly with a minimum connection of 100 mbps. Additionally, an interview with the Principal, Selena Daniels has shown that each classroom does not have a live network connection port, and they are not able to connect additional network devices to the classrooms.
Currently, they have the ability to connect up to 7 classrooms, not the 23 that they need. Recommendation: The recommendation for both of these issues would be to implement a wireless network and upgrade from their current desktops to portable laptops. This would eliminate the need and cost of additional wires to connect each classroom. Adding wireless capability to the school will enable the HVAC technicians to monitor and manage their equipment from anywhere in the building as well as allow teachers the freedom of mobility with their laptops.
The recommended wireless connection speed is 100 mbps. In this case the recommendation will be to use radio wireless technology as it has the ability for both short and long distance communications and is able to operate from room to room even through walls. Additionally it is fairly inexpensive and easy to manage. In conclusion, the overall recommendation will be to implement a switched network to improve the current performance by allowing each device to have its own dedicated point-to-point circuit. This will greatly reduce the amount of collisions experienced by the users.
Along with the topology change the cabling will be upgraded to Category 6 UTP 1000Base T Ethernet Cabling to enhance the speed and reliability of the network as well as allow for the use of VOIP that the customer requires. Radio wireless technology will also be implemented as a solution to connecting each classroom and manage the HVAC equipment remotely. This solution will allow for greater mobility as well as eliminate the cost of cabling. Additionally, a print server will be installed to allow for better management of print jobs so that print queue fill ups can be avoided in the future.