Details of Network Configuration are essential for maintenance of any network. The network configuration includes distinctive elements like the components, network protocols and network topologies followed in the configuration of network. This Unit 24 Network Topology Assignment will analyse a suitable network configuration for STP Sport’s business scenario where the existing computer systems are not connected to each other through a network topology. The aim of this Unit 24 Network Topology Assignment is to provide a step-by-step guideline to set-up a network topology in use and the configuration components present in the network.
Role of Network
World Wide Web became an integral part of our lives now (Yeager Nancy 1996, p.6).
To develop the web solution system for given organization, it is essential to have understanding of different kinds of network technologies and system components. The requirement of a business varies and with this varies the suitable network configuration for the particular business. Knowing the different types of possible network configuration assist the process of developing a web system for the given organization company based on the requirements of the business from the network solution.
The configuration of a network system in the business scenario of given organization is to gain advantage of the network components and technologies for better management and convenience. The proposed network will provide the company ability to access the company files from any system in the network of company. By using this network, the manager can actively keep track of all the accounts and different files related to the business strategy. With implementation of the network, it’ll be easier for the company receptionists to check the membership details of members. With the help of the new system, sports coach at the given organization can access the equipment availability from his computer at any time. Having a networked system allows the company to have faster updating of data to all computers simultaneously.
When it comes to administer the web system , one must consider having a clear understanding of the environment of web network (Silve Steve 2008, p.7).
Many people believe that a network system is always a web system which is not true and it is possible for a network to exist within an organization without having connectivity to internet. Internetwork systems are also feasible in cases of different organizations where the network combines a number of different networks.
Network topology defines the arrangement of network component within a network. The development of a network topology for the given organization will assess the requirement analysis in order to decide an appropriate network configuration as well as different components in the network. Network topology also requires setting up the security measures for the network.
The network management system or NMS can be defined as the evaluation tool which is result of the amalgamation of the hardware and software entities. is a system monitoring tool that is developed by the combination of both hardware and software components. The Network monitoring systems allows the IT department of a company control facility for the whole network architecture. The NMS system monitors all the components and activities on the network. In a fashion, a network management system controls the behaviour of network attributes. For the mentioned organization’s network system, The NMS will provide complete control over the network to the IT administrators. Before establishing a network management system, it is essential to define the parameters and attributes of the network. In addition to these aspects of network, NMS also controls the flow of data, user account privileges and defining access control to the network.
The network found in the organization is making use of SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). This is one of the most popularly followed network protocol for the Network Management System. The SNMP network protocol is the standard NMS protocol used worldwide for development of Network Management Systems. The protocol includes a fixed set of data objects, and network architecture. The protocol applies to the network layer of the existing network as per the OSI model of network development. Finding that SNMP protocol was used in the development of network for the mentioned organization provides following details:
- Accounting: The SNMP protocol provides accountability of data flow i.e. it allows the data flow to be monitored by the network administrators. The feature makes sure that the network administrator can keep track of various resources and the flow of data in the network.
- Security: SNMP protocol adds security in the network by protecting the transmission of data between various components of it. The security measures are also employed to ensure the safety of client computer system as well as validating the sender of a data packet to prevent intrusion in the network. In case of network systems, encryption methods are employed to keep the network secure from intrusion and a firewall is installed to prevent risk of malware.
- Performance Monitoring: The monitoring of performance for the network system is a crucial feature of SNMP protocol. This feature ensures the performance check of various elements of network. The performance tests provide information about the efficiency of the network as well as providing details about a component that is not performing as intended.
- Fault isolation: multi-link dependency is often found in many networks and in such cases, failure of a single element can halt the entire network. To deal with situations like this, the SNMP protocol facilitates the ability to isolate the fault in the network. This feature ensures that the network administrator can quickly identify the faulty component of network and isolate it from the rest of the network. In case of a virus or a malware, this approach ensures that the faulty system does not spread the malware to other systems.
The network components for a network system includes various hardware devices such as computer systems, routers, modem, LAN cables, switches and hubs. For the network configuration of the given organization, there will be a database where all the data is stored for later retrieval or just for keeping secure. Additional components of the network include computer systems of every employee, A Wi-Fi router to allow all the employees the ability to connect their computer systems with network. In absence of a Wi-Fi router, the network is likely to be functioning through LAN cable connections. The accounts related data of the company must be kept secure therefore, there should be a security certification.
Internet Information Services or IIS are Microsoft’s official solutions for security in a network. This security package is only available for the systems running on Microsoft’s Windows NT operating systems. The Windows IIS services are quite flexible and versatile as these services can be installed for different kinds of network protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SMTP, and NNTP.
With reference to a network system running on the SNTP protocol, the Internet Information Service offers following advantages for the security in the network:
- The IIS services provide an authentication process for the guest users as well as the anonymous users accessing the network
- IIS also provides facility to enforce general purpose access authentication
- UNC pass-through verification
- Digest access validation
- Validation of the digital certificate
- Validation of the .NET passport sign-ins
- An integrated approach of authenticating
Performance aspects of the network:
A number of different network components and aspects affect the overall performance of the network. The aspects include the protocols for network data flow, software tools and hardware components included in the network configuration. Determining the network configuration requires finding the performance attributes of the network which ultimately leads to finding the different components of the network. Following are some of the elements in a network which affect its performance:
- OS: OS or Operating System is the middle-layer interface of a computer system or network management system that functions as the human interaction front for the machine. The OS installed allows the users to communicate with the computer in an easy way rather than tricky machine codes. Other than the user interface providing task, Operating System also deals with the tasks like allocation resource to various applications and tasks. By the way of managing the resources, the OS is an important part of a network and can significantly influence the network performance.
- Speed of the network connection: The efficiency of a network relies on the speed it provides to the users of it. Speed of a network is itself a measure of network configuration performance. The network speed refers to the bandwidth of the network at any given time. It is to be seen as the total bandwidth of the network and the maximum bandwidth available for a single network connection. A lower bandwidth will result in slower rate of data transfer. This kind of arrangement will suggest use of legacy network systems.
- User capacity: A network requires specific infrastructure for the network to be established. The infrastructure of a network is defined based on the requirement analysis as it is developed to serve the needs of estimated user capacity. At any given instance of network life, it can only host a fixed number of client connections effectively. In case of the connection count exceeding the maximum network capacity, the network will become high traffic unit and there will be collisions in network resulting in bad network performance. Based on the user capacity data, use of components like network router can be determined.
- Security: In modern scenario, security of the network is one of the most sought-after aspects of the network as networks are now storing sensitive information about customers such as personal details and credit card info. In a network that is not having any encrypted data transmission technique employed or any authentication process to enter the network, data stealing is much easier and non-traceable. The security of the network can be verified and based on this info, network configuration can be assessed.
- Reliability: Reliability of the network provides details about the rate of failure of the machine. A network needs to be highly reliable to provide consistent quality services to its users. For more reliable network connection, the components of the network should have extremely low rate of failure. A higher rate of failure suggests use of older components in the network or a bad configuration.
For a network system in any organization, software packages function as essential components of the network configuration. There are a number of different software packages that are present in a network design as listed below:
- An Operating System: OS is the most prominent software installed on any system. It handles the tasks like user authentication, resource allocation, memory management, and interface provision for the user.
- A software backed firewall may also be installed on the server system to prevent the malware attacks.
- A database management systemwith a query system to retrieve information from the database based on different kind of parameters.
- A database system to store the data in a well-sorted manner for easier retrieval and better collaboration.
Development of a well-designed network management system requires efficient planning phase of the network. The planning process of a network system is the basic foundation of it, based on which the network is established. The planning phase of the network design focuses on the requirement of the network and also defines the specification of the network based on the requirements. A planning process consist of several aspects of the network system such as the hardware component specification, the software packages required, user capacity of the network, budget limits for the network configuration.
The network system implemented in the company is to facilitate the productivity of its employees by allowing a better communication model and a network based collaboration system. The network system installed in the company is following SNMP protocol for the management of the network. The aim of the network system is to be defined before the network starts developing. The aim of network also assists in finding the network configuration. The objectives of establishing the network system are as followed:
- Data integration in the network of the company to provide updated data simultaneously to all employees.
- Better collaboration among the employees of the company based on which they can make more sound decisions.
- Adding network based authentication to ensure the higher security in the network preventing data theft.
- The network also enables the organization to have a hierarchical model of access control.
- Easy transfer of files between the computer systems in the network. FTP protocol is generally installed in various organization’s IT networks for the purpose of easy file sharing.
The network diagram
IIS, also known as Internet Information Services are kinds of web systems that utilize Windows NT. These are quite extensive to network protocols such as NNTP, SMTP, FTP, FTP, HTTPS, and HTTP.
According to Apache HTTP system, the following characteristics of IIS have been provided:
- This gives the STP Sports the consent to enable the process of authentication. Through this FTP feature, non-sensitive files can be accessed and used by people without having authenticated passwords and user ids.
Network Security Components
With the creation of a web system, it is necessary to put it into test taking into account the real life scenario. A number of tests need to be put into effect for evaluating the application and effectiveness of the web system. They are:
- Vulnerability Scan Methods: This seek for security and prefers it over anything else; in this type, the need for a security software is paid more emphasis upon. Apart from this, there is a need to locate the host machine and after doing so, Office Scan can be installed.
- Manual scan: This is an on-demand process and is conducted manually.
- DHCP Scan: here, scan is done only when a request has been made to the DHCP asking for IP address.
- Scheduled scan: This is a periodical process which can only start which is set up by the administrator.
Penetration method: This is very effective when it comes to monitoring the security process of the system. Through this, one can analyse a system completely. This is wholly focused in checking up the security process of a web application.
Layered Network Architecture
There are two layers present in the STP Sports Club when it comes the turn for network system. Out of these two, the first is stated as Ms Security Access which is likely to monitor the authenticated information of the user as he/she tries to fill in the details for logging in. After, the second layer comes into play which checks the kind of user account.
For example- a user fills up the details to login in the web system which would require both, username and passwords. Firstly, the MS Security Access matches the filled up credentials with the ones stored in the database and verifies the validity. Now, as he is allowed to enter in the system, the testing process is already being done with by IIS services. This checks the privileges that the user is entitled to and assigns the entitled rights to the user.
Establishing a network for an organization requires a good deal of efforts and time. The overall process of developing a networking system is complex and consists of various designing phases. Once the network is developed, it is essential for the IT department of the company to regularly monitor the network for malware, malfunctioning and faults. Any future modifications in the network or maintenance of it requires having throughout knowledge of the network design and components used. This is the main purpose of developing a detail documentation of the network establishment. The documentation provides information about the network configuration and components for future purposes of maintenance and upgrading at STP Sports.
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