Comprehensive Project:  Widget Corporation Network Redesign

Comprehensive Project:  Widget Corporation Network Redesign. This case study is of a small- to mid-sized network. In this project you will evaluate the existing network and, based on findings and customer requirements, propose a new network design.

Comprehensive Project:  Widget Corporation Network Redesign

This case study is of a small- to mid-sized network. In this project you will evaluate the existing network and, based on findings and customer requirements, propose a new network design.

Scenario:  Widget Corporation Network Redesign
This project involves redesigning the network infrastructure of Widget Corporation, a fictitious architectural company that designs medium to large office building in Canada, United States, and other industrial countries.

The company has provided you with a short description of its current situation and future plans. As a network designer, it is your task to identify the customer requirements that allow you to provide the most effective solution.

Company Facts

Widget Corporation, a leading architectural firm, headquartered in Toronto, Canada and offices around the world. Demand for the company’s products is constantly increasing; therefore, the company must tighten the integration of its customers and partners into its information infrastructure.

The company employs approximately 300 people across 10 sites. These sites are located globally and vary in size from a single part-time person working from a small office/home office (SOHO) to 150 regular office staff.  The company’s headquarters consists of a building that contains approximately 150 employees. The headquarters also houses four major departments—Design, Human Resources, Marketing, and Sales.

The company has one international office (Canada) and many remote offices in each country where it is present. All large remote offices (those that have more than five employees) within each country are permanently connected to the international office, while smaller offices (those with fewer than five employees) are connected on-demand via integrated services digital network (ISDN). Each international office provides connectivity to the headquarters for all sites within that country.

Most of the time, the employees use universal software that converts all the company’s business workflows and runs on a mainframe. The e-mail server runs on a separate platform.

Current Situation

Widgets WAN is a typical hierarchical, three-tier aggregation network that uses serial lines. The links vary from low bandwidth (64 kbps to 128 kbps) between the large remote offices and the international office to higher bandwidth (up to 2 Mbps) between the international offices and the headquarters. All remote locations that have more than five employees are layer 2 switched, while smaller locations use Ethernet hubs.

The current network does not provide any redundancy or backup strategy. Therefore, in the event of link or network equipment failure, the employees cannot perform their daily work; this results in lower productivity.

Internet connectivity with the maximum throughput of 1 Mbps is provided via a central firewall that is located next to the mainframe.
All internal servers (e-commerce, CAD, e-mail, and so on) are located at the headquarters. Usually (approximately 85% of the time), architects, engineers, and employees are accessing these servers; the remainder of the traffic is from the Internet.  Architects and engineers use CAD software and computers to design and redesign new and current buildings.
The current infrastructure contains three 6500 Catalyst switches connected using layer 2 links. Building access switches, WAN routers, Internet firewalls, the mainframe, and Windows servers all connect to 6,500 switches. Some fast Ethernet hubs are used in the network. Currently, no redundancy is implemented in the LAN.
Architects, engineers and users repeatedly report low response times and the IT manager mentions that they experience sporadic network outages several times during the day.  Furthermore, the average WAN utilization between the headquarters and the international offices is approximately 40% and rarely exceeds 90%. The WAN utilization between international offices and the remote offices is even lower and does not seem to be the issue. The administrators are concerned about this problem and believe that it must be resolved soon.

The network is IP-based and uses EIGRP as the routing protocol.

One Class C network from the range 192.168.x.x is allocated to each LAN and WAN link. In locations where more than 252 IP addresses are required, an additional Class C network is added. Route summarization is not implemented on any router. Connections to small remote offices with ISDN connections are implemented with static routes that are redistributed into the routing protocol at the international offices.

The data traffic is predominantly CAD files, HTTP, and e-mail because the company has implemented an intranet. In addition, the company has entered into a partnership to design a new Corporate Headquarters building for an American Software company that will require it to send CAD files of the new building electronically to their new American client. These CAD files must be secure and free from competitors hacking them.

Plans and Requirements

The company urgently needs to resolve the low response time issue and is open to any potential solution.

The following are things that Widget Corporation would like to accomplish with its network.
To minimize investment costs, the company would like to include redundancy while retaining the existing equipment if possible. Redundancy should be implement ed in the headquarters’ LAN and on all WAN links.  The company is aware of potential business risks that periodic network outages might cause during the solution implementation.
It would like to optimize its IP addressing because it understands the disadvantages of its network’s current IP addressing scheme.

Also, company would like a scalable and manageable solution that would allow for expansion to new markets by simply adding new remote locations to the system.

The company would like to separate the four departments in the headquarters campus and possibly deploy security policies among them in the future.

The company wants to go to VoIP for its phone service and to better utilize its network. However, it is not sure if its existing network could handle the voice traffic or what equipment upgrades it would need.

The company wants to offer extranet functionality to its new American client that is fast and secure.

It’s considering various connections options for its American client but is not sure which solution would be best and cost efficient. The company wants to provide secure and invulnerable access to its external servers, which should be separated from the internal servers. The internal mainframe should securely upland and download the data from the external server. This solution must be universal, regardless of what connectivity option the parties choose. They want you to determine if using the Internet and a Site-to-Site IPSec VPN to connect to their new American client is a workable solution.

It has remote users who travel that must be able to attach remotely to the corporate headquarters.
The company wants to implement SNMP to monitor network behavior and particular implement syslog for logging computer and network device messages.

Finally, company wants to redesign it system and data backup policy to provide increased data redundancy and reduce downtime from a system failure.

Exercise: Propose Your Network Redesign

The following sections are intend ed to guide you through this customer’s network redesign.

Campus Redesign

Propose a campus redesign that solves the current problems reported by the architects, engineers and users. Consider redundancy when redesigning the LAN.  Write an overview of your redesign and articulate why you selected that solution.  Use the Internet and any other resources to help with this redesign. Cite your sources in a reference page.
WAN Backup Design

Propose a WAN backup design to improve network reliability. Write an overview of your design and articulate why you selected that solution.

IP Address Redesign

Further, Propose an IP addressing redesign that optimizes IP addressing and IP routing (Including the use of IP address summarization). Write an overview of your redesign and articulate why you selected that solution.

Routing Campus Redesign

If the existing routing protocol does not fulfill all the requirements, propose a new one to meet the customer’s needs. If a new routing protocol is not required, outline any modifications that are required for the existing routing protocol.  Write an overview of your redesign and articulate why you selected that solution.

American Client WAN Connection Design

Propose a WAN design that will enable secure access to the internal servers for Widget Corporation and its new American customer. This connection must allow for the secure and timely transfer of the large CAD files that need to be transferred back and forth. You must consider using the Internet and a Site-to-Site IPSec VPN, but if you choose to go with a different solution you must justify your choice and explain why the Site-to-Site IPSec VPN would not work.


Remote Users

Propose a solution for allowing remote users to reliably and securely connect to the corporate network while on the road.

Monitoring the Network

Additionally, Explain how using syslog would be capable of logging all computer and network device generate d messages and why having this information would be beneficial.

Course Project Report

The body of the report for this project must be a minimum of five pages in length, but can be as long as you wish to make it. All seven elements list ed previously must be include  in the body of the report. The paper is to contain a title page, table of contents, and reference page.

Even if you decide not to go with a Site-to-Site IPSec VPN as the means of connecting to the new American client for Widget Corporation. Include the commands one could use to setup such a connection (refer to the lab from Week 5). You must also include the commands one would use to setup syslog on a network. (Refer to the lab from Week 6).

If your suggested solution requires the purchase of any new equipment on the part of Widget Corporation. Then a cost breakdown must be include  that indicates how much this new equipment will cost. While all costs will be approximations, whatever costs you find from researching equipment will suffice.

Lastly, The report is to use APA format. The report is due at the end of the seventh week (Week 7).

Finally, If you have any questions, post or e-mail them to your instructor.