Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following
questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your
classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:
After reviewing the story, conduct research online into the various possibilities for analyzing and approaching the
end-to-end problems that were presented, and propose possible solutions.
Before you start this assignment, please read the story entitled Problem at the Courthouse. This can be found in the
LAN/WANS/MANS MUSE. This can also be found in your text materials for Week 3.
This is a direct link to Problem at the Courthouse. After reading the story, complete the following:
Discuss the specific recommendations you would make based on your personal experience and research.
Discuss what effective network endpoint design considerations are relevant and how they can be
implemented for the company that was mentioned in the story.
Provide specific examples of how you would address the problems that were mentioned in the story.
How can you apply the lessons that you learned from the story to your own retail store problem?
Provide feedback on the problem-solving recommendations that were made by your classmates.
The local municipality is experiencing issues with their Information Technology (IT) resources being shared with a
community college across a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). Because of these issues, an assessment of the
MAN concluded that when the MAN was built, outdated and inefficient mixes of networking topologies were used.
Endpoints have been recognized as a critical area that must be considered (Colorado Technical University, n.d.). AN
endpoint is a computing device like a laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet, server, or workstation that communicates
with and receives communication from the network it is connected to (Palo Alto Networks, Inc., n.d.).
Based on my experience working with these types of issues, I would recommend updating the unsuitable network
topologies as the first step. The hardware that is in place can possibly be used with a corrected architecture
configuration. For example, if a switch or router is about five years old but not used effectively, those devices can be
relocated to be more efficient. With cost being a considerable factor, most of the allotted budget will need to focus
on endpoints. Depending on the age and performance of existing endpoint machines, replacement or retrofitting with
new hardware may be necessary.
One way to discover optimization issues with network endpoints is with the Network Performance Monitor (NPM)
tool in Microsoft Windows 10. NPM operates over an open Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) port with support
for endpoint machines, websites, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, Platform as a Service (PaaS)
applications, and Structured Query Language (SQL) databases. Metrics that can be measured include response time,
latency, and packet loss to the endpoint. Issues that can be identified include application performance problems at
the provider’s end and hot spots in the network that increase latency because of too many hops in the network
topology. Tests can be configured to check a specific Internet Protocol (IP) address with configuration options for
frequency and port numbers (Sharma, Wallace, & Wren, 2018).
Another consideration is that the MAN is most likely using old routing protocols like Routing Information Protocol
(RIP) and lacking layer two technologies like Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs). RIP is an outdated
networking protocol from the 1980’s that many homes and small office routers still use. Aside from inefficiency,
RIP is also more susceptible to attack vectors like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) (Yegulalp, 2015). A VLAN
is the logical separation of multiple LANs. Numerous parameters of a VLAN can be configured like the number,
name, type, and state (Active or suspended) (Cisco, 2018).
Once issues have been identified within the topology and endpoints, solutions can be implemented. If no new
hardware needs to be purchased, the solutions that are needed will not cost much since the solution is configuration.
Updating the outdated RIP to the newer Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) with Address Resolution
Protocol (ARP) fallback would alleviate any issues caused by RIP. VLANs can help segregate assets between the
courthouse and the college. Although security is not mentioned, preventing a breach from occurring or the MAN
being subjected to a DDoS attack is important when handling sensitive information.
As I understand it, the company that was hired to set up the metropolitan area network (MAN) was the lowest
bidder. As such, there was a rush to complete the project, so the lowest bidder cut corners and just set up the (MAN)
using the outdated and inefficient mix of network topologies that were currently in place. A (MAN) is a network that
gives the ability to interconnect users with a computer resource in a specific geographical area or region that is
larger than that which is covered by using a large local area network (LAN) set up, but smaller than the need for
using a wide area network (WAN), Rouse, N. (September 2005). In this case the courthouse and college are sharing
the network and there is a distance of 20 miles that separate the two locations.
The first thing that I would do is share the findings of the college IT staff with the point of contact that controls the
network topologies at the local municipality. I would work with them to see if they plan on updating their network
topologies to meet the need of the network for those that are using it. Next, I would consider separating the college
and the courthouse local area networks (LANs) all together. You could also put the college on its own (MAN) to
link the academic buildings and halls of residence together, Sam, S. (14 December 2016). It is important to note that
the courthouse is having an influx of tickets and the need to use their internet resources so putting the courthouse on
its own (MAN) which links the different agencies located within the courthouse together could help improve
network speed. Doing this for both the college and the courthouse means the distance will be shorter for the network
to travel over when it is connecting to multiple sites within the same location. This network can then be connected to
a (WAN) for access to the wider Internet if needed, Sam, S. (14 December 2016).
The (MAN) networks are typically lined together using high-bandwidth technology like fiber-optic cable, however
they can be separated into smaller (LANs), Sam, S. (14 December 2016). It is likely though that because of the cost
of cutting-edge technology that is employed for setting up a MAN, cheaper materials may have been used, Sam, S.
(14 December 2016). Some network endpoint design considerations to take into account would be the security being
received as a result of the connectivity on the internet. These slower speeds can offer hackers a chance to infiltrate
the system. This is the last thing that these two buildings need especially when they both handle personal
identifiable information (PII). A few other items to consider for design on the network is the redundancy and backup available, standardization of hardware and software, a disaster recovery plan and future growth of the
organization, Weedmark, D. (31 January 2019).
To establish the means of backing up information on the network it would be wise for the organizations to have at
least two servers, Weedmark, D. (31 January 2019). One server can be sued to configure fail-safes while the other
takes over if the one fails or is in need of maintenance, Weedmark, D. (31 January 2019). A disaster recovery plan is
good to have because it should include the provisions for back-up power and what procedures are to be followed if
the network crashes, Weedmark, D. (31 January 2019). The standardization of hardware and software is worth
looking into because in the long run it will cut costs that are associated with maintenance, updates and repairs,
Weedmark, D. (31 January 2019). If the network were to expand somehow it is important to factor in at least 20
percent in growth potential per year, Weedmark, D. (31 January 2019). This means that switch ports to data back-up
systems should be looked at and planned for accordingly, Weedmark, D. (31 January 2019). A review of new
hardware and software, as well as the creation of a disaster recovery plan would be great starters to look at for both
the college and courthouse. The security will come with the increased speed based off of the configuration. I would
definitely recommend getting a backup server at each location for the main servers as well.
I think it is smart that the network is connected as a (MAN) for the two companies but odd in the sense that they are
two rather large companies that facilitate the use of the internet often. For my story with my retail store I think the
lessons that I have learned here are that I could use a (MAN) and separate it onto a smaller (LAN) so that I am not
sharing fiber-optic speeds with the stores surrounding me. This may open some bandwidth for my retail store and
those that surround me.
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