Consultancy Inc. is a small business organization specializing in the management consultancy for various businesses in the United States. Recent growth experienced by the Best Consultancy has made the company to integrate network technology to facilitate the business agility. Thus, my neighbor, who is the owner of the business, has contacted me to assist him in designing a network system that could serve his business purpose. Meanwhile, Best Consultancy requires the following network devices in the company network technology:
laptops, 2 workstations, and 1 server supporting 3 users
quality networked printer
File and folder sharing
Multiple email addresses
Basic security environment which similar to home environment
Initial investment of $5,000 or less
Recurring costs to be less than $200 per month
To design the network system for Best Consultancy, it is essential to integrate the following network devices for the company network technology:
Objective of this project is to recommend a network design that meets the needs of Best Consultancy Inc.
1: Network Design Recommendation meeting Customer Needs
The report uses Physical Network Diagram to meet the customer needs. The physical network diagram reveals all the network architecture that customer will require for the business activities. The physical network diagram presents the physical layout of the network, and the diagram provides the vital documentation of the network. The physical network diagram assists in presenting the visual representation of the number of equipment needed for the network system.
As being revealed in Fig 1, the customer needs the following items for the network system:
2 laptops, 2 workstations, and 1 server supporting 3 users
1 quality networked printer
Router to connect all the network components
Firewall for the network security
Multiple email addresses
Small Business server
File and folder sharing
2. Original Diagram of the Network Configuration.
Illustration in Fig 1 presents the original network diagram that meets the customer needs. From Fig 1, the router will be used to connect all the company laptops, desktop, server, the internet, the printer, and all other network devices together. Since the client requires wireless networking for his business activity, the Wireless Access Point will be installed to assist the client to work without connecting computers to cable or wire. Moreover, the Firewall will be installed to protect the network system against authorized access. Fig 1 provides network diagram of Best Consultancy network system.
Fig 1: Network Diagram for Best Consultancy Inc.
Network Architecture & Internet access configuration
Network architecture for the network system for Best Consultancy Inc. will compose of the following:
LAN (Local Area Network) configuration
Since Best Consultancy is a small business that will be operated in small building, the company would need Local Area Network (LAN) to connect all network components. LAN is the network system that offers data communication within a geographical area. Typically, LAN generally offers high-bandwidth communication over non-expensive media. The essence of LAN is to assist the data communication between the company server, office computers and printer. The LAN will compose of three hardware elements such as coaxial cable, fiber optics, and interface to connect the network to the host computer. (Clark, Pogran, & Reed, 2008).
The router is critical in the network connection and the high-end router will be installed for the internet connection and this will be used to support the internet backbone. Best Consultancy will use Cisco2900 series integrated router because of the multiple advantages that this router will offer for the network connection. Cisco 2900 router will offer secured voice and video service. More importantly, the design of this router offers high-speed delivery of concurrent data. Additionally, the Cisco 2900 router provides several security devices such as encryption acceleration, firewall functions and instruction detection system. Moreover, the router provides power saving for the hardware that will be used for the network configuration. The router will also provide access multi-gigabit fabric that could provide connection through switch ports without the external ports. (Cisco, 2010).
A sever is a computer device that provides various shared resources to computer network. The shared resources include hardware access, disk place and email devices. The report recommends HP (Hewlett Packard) ProLiant ML150 G6 Tower Server for Best Consultancy to share the network resources. HP server is ideal for small business and dependable method to organize and share network resources. HP (Hewlett Packard) ProLiant server offers the benefits of automatically back up the data from computers, and it is possible to quick retrieve complete data from stored in the folders, files and from the computers in the case of accidental loss. The costs of HP (Hewlett Packard) ProLiant are $1,038. Typically, HP (Hewlett Packard) ProLiant 2 is a powerful tool to increase flexibility and reliability of the server, and the HP ProLiant Server 2008 reacts faster to the business. More importantly, HP (Hewlett Packard ProLiant delivers rich web-based experience efficiently and effectively with a reduced infrastructure costs.
Best Consultancy Inc. will have access to a secured internet access through the Internet Service Providers (ISP). In the United States, many ISPs provide the internet access at low costs. However, the internet connection speed is very important before making the internet agreement with the ISP. To secure an internet access that would offer a reliable transmission speed, Best Consultancy will need internet connection less than 64 kbps. (Jenkins, 2003). Verizon is an Internet Service Provider that offers high-speed internet for small business. Verizon offers internet service for $54.99 per month, and the internet speed is 768 Kbps that offers ability to download document for up to 5 Mbps. The benefits of choosing Verizon as the ISP is that the company provides its customers with Self-Install Kit to get started, and the install kit consist of modern and router combo, phone cord, power cord, High Speed Internet Filters, Ethernet cable and USB (Universal Serial) cable and 2-for-1 adapter. More importantly, Verizon allows its customer to choose a dynamic IP address that could be used to identify the business. Additionally, Verizon offers the internet security suite that Best Consultancy could be used to protect the office computers from various attacks such as worms, virus, Trojan horse and other malicious network traffic. The Verizon ISP also offers online backup and sharing. The service also allows Best Consultancy to have Wi-Fi access at 1000 hotspots in the United States.
Email Address: Best Consultancy Inc. should use the business email address tailored to the business name. In the contemporary business environment, using the business email is very critical to enhance business integrity. The use of business email will make customer to have a trust in a business organization. The report recommends that Best Consultancy should use email address that could identify the organization. Sample of email address recommended are as follows:
The company could order for the business emails at Yahoo small business, and the email will cost $9.95 per month. The report recommends that Best Consultancy order 5-business emails, which costs $298.5 in six months.
4. Description of Hardware Recommended and Related Costs
The hardware for the company network will consist of 2 laptop, 2 workstations, one quality network printer and Hardware Firewall. The project recommends HP (Hewlett-Packard) for the laptop, workstations, and network printer.
The report recommends HP Pavilion Notebook PC which has the following features:
HP Pavilion Notebook PC of g6t-1d00
Attractive, affordable, reliable, and ideal for business activities
Operating system: 64-bit and Windows 7 Premium
Processor: Core (TM) i3-2330M, 2nd generation, Intel (R) 2.2 GHz and 3MB L3 Cache.
Screen size: LED Display (1366×768), 15.6″ diagonal and High Definition HP BrightView
Memory: System Memory (2 Dimm) and Ability to implement FREE UPGRADE to 6GB DDR3
Hard drive: FREE Hard Drive UPGRADE to 500GB 5400 rpm
Network interface: In-Built 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN
Wireless: 802.11b/g/n WLAN with Bluetooth.
Software: 60-day subscription of Norton Internet Security 2012
Price: $479.99 for each Laptop
Best Consultancy will need 2 Laptop for the business purpose. The cost of each Laptop is $479.99 making the costs of the two Laptops to be $959.98. If Best Consultancy orders these Laptop directly from HP warehouse, HP will offer the following additional benefits for Best Consultancy:
Free 6GB memory upgrade that worths$60
Free 500GB hard drive upgrade that worth $30
Free Standard Shipping
The report recommends HP Desktop PC Omni 120-1120t and the desktop has the following features:
Integrated Wireless LAN, Intel Processor and integrated HD display.
Operating System: 64-bit and Windows 7 Home Premium
Processor: Intel (R) Pentium (R) 2.6GHz, 3MB Shared Cache with dual-core G620 processor
Hard Drive: 500GB 7200 hard drive rpm SATA
Graphics card: Intel (R) HD -Integrated graphics
Optical drive: – SuperMulti Slim-tray DVD burner
Display: 20″ diagonal widescreen with HD LED backlit
Keyboard & Mouse: Premium HP keyboard & optical mouse
Networking: Premium Wireless-N LAN card & Bluetooth (2×2)
Integrated Ethernet: 10/100BT Network Interface
Software: 60-day subscription of Norton Internet Security 2012
Best Consultancy will need 2 Desktop for business purpose and the cost of each Desktop is $499.99 making the costs of 2 Desktop to be $999.98. If Best Consultancy orders these Desktop directly from HP warehouse, HP will offer the following additional benefits:
Free 4GB memory upgrade that worth $40
Free Standard Shipping
The report recommends 6600e HP Officejet, which is All-in-One Printer – H711a. The printer has the following features:
Function: Multiple functions, which include print, scan, Web and fax.
Wireless: Built-in Standard WiFi 802.11b/g/n
Display: LCD (color graphics) of (54.0 x 40.5 mm), 2.65″
Max scan size: 8.5 x 11.7 in Price: $119.99 with free standard shipping
The firewall will be integrated in the company network system that will be used to block unauthorized network access into the organizational network system. In the contemporary business environment, there are intruders who may attempt to steal sensitive information from the organizational network system. Hacker may use several tactics such as sniffing, and interception of the private data. Additionally, hackers may use other internet threats such as Trojan horses, worm, and virus to steal sensitive information from the company network computer. However, a small business firewall program will assist Best Consultancy to protect each of its computers from the unauthorized access. The report suggests Cisco RV 120W Firewall Wireless-N VPN. The firewall hardware recommended has the following features:
Internet and Network security through the firewall
High Speed access point connectivity to wireless devices
Featured IP Security (IPsec).
5. Description of Software Recommended and Related Costs
The basic software recommended to be integrated in the Best Consultancy network configuration is as follows:
The report recommends Norton Antivirus for the security of all computers of the Best Consultancy. Norton antivirus is a top ranked protection for laptop and Desktop computer, and the Norton antivirus software provides the following benefits:
Advanced protection for the company computers
Delivers superior performance and protection
Stops spyware: viruses, and spam
$49.99 for a year subscription
Since a Norton antivirus package could only serve three computers at a time, the report recommends that Best Consultancy ordered two Norton antivirus software package for the total protection of all computer system within the organization.
6. Cost Table listing all the items and the associated cost.
The report has been able to satisfy the client costs requirements because the total costs for all items is $4,767.41 which is less than $5, 000 as being revealed in Table 1.
Table 1: Cost Table listing all the items
No of Item
$54.99 per month
$54.99 per month
$49.99 per year
$9.95 per 6-month.
Basic configuration Recommended for a Secured Computing Environment.
There are many basic configuration recommended for a secured computing environment. First, the report recommends that there is a need to install a firewall for the protection of the network system from unauthorized access. Firewall is very essential within the network environment because it helps to block the unauthorized activities that may damage the network system.
Additionally, there is a need to install encryption software to maintain privacy. Encryption is the process of securing information because as more information is stored in the computer, there is a tendency that a hacker may decide to have access to information stored in the computer system. Thus, encryption enhances safe computing environment by converting all document sent through the network or stored in the computer system to unreadable text. To read the text, there is a need to convert the unreadable text to readable text using the private key to decrypt the text.
More importantly, integration of IDS (Intrusion Detection System) and IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) are also critical to enhance secured computing environment. IDS assist in detecting the authorized activities that may occur within the network system. However, IPS assists in preventing the unauthorized activities that might want to have access into the network environment.
While all these security procedure are very critical to enhance secured computing environment, however a sophisticated hacker might decide to use an activity such as social engineering to steal sensitive information from the company information system. Thus, Best Consultancy will need to draw up IT policy that all employee must follow in order to protect the company data. As the organization is recording sales growth, the company will need to employ more workers, thus, the company should provide basic training for all worker to enhance basic security for the company data. (Jenkins, 2003).
The report provides a network design that meets the needs of Best Consultancy Inc. The report recommends Cisco2900 series integrated router and HP ProLian Tower Server for the company network system. The report also recommends HP Laptop and Desktop computer system for the business activities. The firewall is also integrated in the network diagram to offer basic security for the network system. Meanwhile, overall costs of the both hardware, and software system and other associated costs are $4,767.41, which are less than $5,000 client costs requirements.
Cisco (2010). Cisco 3900 Series, 2900 Series, and 1900 Series Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 Software Configuration Guide. Cisco Systems, Inc.
Clark, D.D. Pogran, K.T. & Reed, P.R. (2008). An Introduction to Local Area Networks. Proceddings of the IEEE Xplore 66(11): 1497-1517.
Jenkins, S. (2003). Secure Network Architecture: Best Practices for Small Business and Government Entities. SANS Institute.
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