Computer Networks. Stephanie L. Faíson IT331. Kaplan University

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1 Computer Networks 1 Running Head: Data Communications and Computer Networks Computer Networks Stephanie L. Faíson IT331 Kaplan University

2 Computer Networks 2 Abstract This paper will discuss my choice of network, medium connection and the data communication model in order to meet RAS Associates' business objectives according to the case study.

3 Computer Networks 3 Networks RAS Associates, a consulting firm located in Chicago, has fifty employees in its home office, twenty-five remote employees and is currently adding another twenty-five employees at a new second location in Detroit which has an existing technology infrastructure. Using the SDLC (System Development Life Cycle) see Figure 1, I will assess RAS Associates' existing technology infrastructure to recommend my conclusion on how to integrate networks and voice / data communications for the three locations to create a virtual connectivity and data flow. Figure 1. A Chart Displaying Elements of the System Development Life Cycle Initial Information Given RAS Associates has a home office in Chicago with a staff of 50 employees networking four departmental LANs running Windows 2000 Advanced Server with several NT4.0 Servers.

4 Computer Networks 4 Chicago also has 25 remote employees networking through a modem and has dial-in access. Microsoft Outlook is used for service that uses Microsoft Exchange Server and telecommunications is provided by a leased PBX. Their Detroit staff has 25 employees at the home office, 20 consultants and five remote employees networking a single LAN to running Windows 2000 Server. Service is provided by a POP3 client through the Internet to the Chicago s Microsoft Exchange server. Phone service needs improvement due to it is not connected to Building A system. This location cannot directly connect to the Great Plains software which they use FTP to access this database. Internet is accessed through RAS Associates internet service provider. After receiving this value information, the next step is to evaluate the best infrastructure to interconnect Chicago, Detroit and remote employees. I also need to decide on a sole internet service provider and a unified telecommunication system. All decisions for RAS follows in the below paragraphs. Infrastructure Decision Interconnecting Chicago, Detroit and Remote employees When numerous LANs interconnect over wide range of distance in a geographical area, for example city to city, this is called wide-area network (WAN). Wide Area Networks are high speed and are low in error rates which in the past they were known to be noisy and very slow. Internet providers are known to use routers to connect to a LAN to build WANs by using leased lines which can become very costly. Another example of WAN is a home PC connecting to the internet via dial-up connection / modem providing a circuit-switched network. This connection to the internet is an example of packet-switching (see Figure 2).

5 Computer Networks 5 Figure 2. A circuit-switched network used to run a connection-oriented application at a home by an internet user via dial-up telephone line For this reason, I will connect Detroit, mobile employees and remote employees using a WAN connectivity. I will upgrade all LAN to VLAN. This will be done to help position RAS for future expansion and keep up with today s technology (see Figure 3). Figure 3. Drawing by S. Faison of the virtue system Detroit 5 Remote AT&T Internet Service Provider - AT&T

6 Computer Networks 6 RAS Associates employees in all locations will access the Internet through AT&T as the single Internet Service Provider. This is one of the largest provider today which I will negotiate a discount for home services for all RAS Associates employees. AT&T Unified Messaging and Network Client will be use for data and voice communications. AT&T Unified Messaging All telecommunications will be upgraded to use AT&T Unified Messaging which only involves signing up during work hours without interrupting regular operational hours. Unified Messaging is a mixture of different electronic messaging such as , facsimile, SMS, voic and more. All of these communication technologies are wrapped up into a single service which is accessible from hand held devices, PCs and telephones. Unified Messaging will be contracted via AT&T which we will call RAS Associates Unified Messaging. All company locations will have the ability to use a tie-line accessing other RAS employees, rather Chicago, Detroit or remote, by dialing 7 plus the seven digit number or they can dial the external ten digit number. The RAS Associates Unified Messaging allows employees to access messages, faxes and mailbox settings via the web along with the traditional telephone access option which makes working with a voice inbox much easier (see Figure 4). Accessing mailboxes requires a web browser via an internet connection allowing easy accessibility for mobile and traveling employees. Users will log into the system to retrieve messages or fax in their inbox. All urgent messages are shown separately above non-urgent messages and users have the option to delete or save messages. Some other great features are the option to send the message to another employee phone number online as well as by phone, option to configure your work number to ring to a home

7 Computer Networks 7 phone or to a hotel while traveling seamlessly, ability to forward your number to a cell or backup employee or administrative assistant, ability to add an additional reach-me-number to forward calls if you happen to be unavailable for the assigned forwarding number and faxes may be received paperless. These options and more makes unified messaging a great telecommunication integration choice. Figure 4. AT&T s example of connecting multi-users

8 Computer Networks 8 AT&T Network Client RAS remote workers, traveling employees or work-at-home employees will access RAS Associates internal network (intranet, databases, Great Plains software, and etc.) via AT&T Network Client. Employees may use AT&T Network Client to access applications from home broadband such as modems or DSL and public locations such as hotels. These remote tools allow employees to access the RAS network anywhere and the secure applications provide security while accessing confidential data (see Figure 5). Figure 5. Screenshot of Unified Messaging Employees can retrieve faxes, voic s and much more here. Ethernet Connection RAS Associates will complete a companywide project to upgrade all RAS Associates facilities to Ethernet for network connectivity. This means that Ethernet will be the standard network connectivity form in the offices and common areas within RAS Associates. This project service will provide RAS Associates the chance to standardize the office network at both of RAS

9 Computer Networks 9 Associates sites. Ethernet cables will plug into adapters available at all standard workstations and mobility offices connecting to the RAS Associates network. Remote Access Remote access allows RAS Associates to access the company s network from nearly any location in the world. The applications will be secured and will allow all remote employees to access data needed. Wireless LAN technology (WLAN), AT&T Wi-Fi, enhances productivity and allows a flexible environment for RAS employees providing connectivity to PCs and printers without cables. Installation of WLAN will be a complementary service to standard wired Ethernet connectivity in the Chicago home office and Detroit office. My decision and strategy for WLAN is to expand a secure coverage with a reliable service provider like AT&T. Office connectivity can be accomplished by roaming the RAS site using wireless connection to working tethered to an Ethernet port. Remote employees will have to access the company s intranet via AT&T Network client (see Figure 6). This application will access the preexisting home internet service provider which will be AT&T. Figure 6. AT&T Network Client screen shot for an IBM Remote Employee

10 Computer Networks 10 Conclusion WAN is the best choice to connect LANs for RAS Associates using AT&T as the ISP. AT&T will provide the company a competitive rate for business bundle as well has residential bundle services for remote access. These bundles will include internet access, phone services, unified messaging and Network Client.

11 Computer Networks 11 References Convery, S. (2004, June 18). General Design Considerations for Secure Networks. Retrieved from CISCO: Harris, Tom (n.p.). How Surge Protectors Work. Retrieved from HowstuffWorks: Maier, P. Q. (n.p.). Microcomputer Physical Security. Retrieved from CCure: White, C. (2009). Data Communications and Computer Networks; A Business User's Approach; Fifth Edition. Massachusetts: Course Technology. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2009, September 29). Systems Development Life Cycle. Retrieved from Wkipedia:

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