Week 5 -- Huffman -- Team D
Week 5 -- Huffman -- Team D
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Network Infrastructure 1 Running header: NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE Network Infrastructure Upgrading and the Case of Huffman Trucking Delta 360: James (Will) Mason, Paul Bropleh II, Detricia Coardes, Alexander Rodriguez, and Michelle Walker University of Phoenix NTC 360 Stephen Omogbehin February 23, 2007 Network Infrastructure 2 Introduction to Huffman Trucking Huffman Trucking is a transportation company, operating at 4 sites nationwide. 1,400 employees work at the hubs, which are located in Bayonne, NJ, Los Angeles, CA, and St. Louis, MO; in addition, the corporate office and central maintenance facility for 800 road tractors exists in Cleveland, OH. K. Huffman, a native of Cleveland, OH, started Huffman Trucking in 1936 with one tractortrailer. World War II provided growth for the company, as the company assisted in the demand for carrier services in the transportation of goods from Midwestern factories to ports on the East Coast. Contract works exists between the U.S. Government and Huffman Trucking to this day primarily because of their loyal support during World War II. Huffman Trucking continued to grow from internal sales and the acquisition of five Eastern regional carriers. This growth has enabled Huffman Trucking to continue to be privately held. Due to this sustained growth Huffman has determined that an upgrade to the company IT infrastructure is needed in order to manage costs and remain competitive. First on the priority is the upgrade of the corporate networks, which exist at five sites throughout the United States. The current state of the network is a mismatched collection of protocols, topologies, hardware, and software usage by Huffman networks. Disparities exist between the plant side of the site and the office side of each site, while none of the sites works together to exchange information. None of the sites implement firewalls and only two of the sites run software to provide a barrier between the Internet and the corporate LAN. Other problems are evident with the existing network infrastructure at Huffman Trucking. Delta 360 will examine the current state of the network infrastructure of Huffman’s networks; examine the reasoning behind using the current network Network Infrastructure 3 topologies, protocols, and security measures; identify the various types of network protocols, topologies, and security measures, including the advantages and disadvantages of each; and the recommendations for the updating of the protocols on the Huffman enterprise. The Importance of Network Protocols “Protocols define the standards for communication between network devices” (Dean, 2000, p. 63). Protocols govern how networks communicate; without the use of protocols, data could not traverse a network because it would not know where to go or how to get to its destination. The most commonly used protocols include TCP/IP and IPX/SPX; other types of protocols include NetBIOS Enhance User Interface (NetBEUI) and AppleTalk. Network security depends on the proper usage of protocols within the network structure. Applications and hardware depend upon the OSI Model and the protocols implemented at each layer to properly transport data across the network. Identifying Protocols Huffman Trucking is using IPX/SPX protocols because it has Novell’s Netware network operating system 4.11 at its Missouri and Ohio offices. These protocols are supported by Novell. It is also using AppleTalk at its Ohio and Missouri offices because the Marketing Departments have seven MAC workstations performing graphics and design work. The California (office & plant), New Jersey (office), Ohio (plant), and Missouri (plant) locations are running TCP/IP. Apple Talk is a proprietary protocol suite that was developed by Apple Corporation. Data is moved as a datagram and particular protocols use particular datagram structures. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite, often referred to as TCP/IP. Using TCP, applications on networked hosts can create connections to one another, Network Infrastructure 4 over which they can exchange streams of data. IP is a dataoriented protocol used for communicating data across a packetswitched network. It is a Network layer protocol and is encapsulated in a Data Link layer protocol. IPX protocol performs networking addressing and network routing at the Network Layer. SPX protocol provides connectionoriented packet delivery at the Transport Layer. Rationale for the Adoption of Existing Protocols Huffman Trucking Company’s rationalization for the use of its network protocols; TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, and AppleTalk would probably be the applications and operating systems that are being run on its systems. These network protocols would also be suitable because the addresses of the different devices, such as routers, computers, timeservers, printers, Internet fax machines, and some telephones will have to be read. TCP/IP The Huffman Trucking Company is using TCP/IP at those specified locations because of the advantages that these protocols offer. TCP/IP is routable and supports just about all modern operating systems. TCP/IP is used as a traffic controller for large private networks. Should Huffman decide to expand, these protocols would be ideal for the purpose. TCP/IP connects dissimilar systems; this is a needed advantage for Huffman because it has different types of systems. TCP/IP provides a robust, scaleable, and crossplatform client/server framework. However, TCP/IP is costly and has undesirable sharing and behavior. Security concerns also occur in a TCP/IP network. TCP/IP is costly and has undesirable sharing and behavior. There are also some security concerns. According to Feinstein (1999), “TCP has lots of features you don’t need”; in addition, he states that “TCP has no block boundaries; you must create your own” (par. Network Infrastructure 5 4). Even though the NOS does most of the work in configuring TCP/IP configuration, administrators still have to configure the address of at least one network node (Doering and Simpson, 2001, p. 132). IPX/SPX IPX/SPX is fast, highly established and works with TCP/IP. These protocols enable file and printer sharing on Window operating systems. One advantage to using IPX/SPX is that nodes are automatically configured on the network, as opposed to an administrator having to configure at least one IP node on a TCP/IP network (Doering and Simpson, 2001, p. 132). One of the reasons Huffman is using them is because they are good for small to medium networks. IPX/SPX is not designed for enterprise environment and has no standardization of network numbers. In multiprotocol networks running both TCP/IP and IPX/SPX, Netware Loadable Modules must be implemented for the network to communicate with TCP/IP packets (p. 131). Netware networks running IPX/SPX also rely heavily on broadcast traffic for service advertising, router location, and network condition updates. Appletalk Originally developed by Apple to run on Macintosh workstations, Appletalk uses peerto peer networking to join PCs together on a network. AppleTalk was developed after the creation of the OSI model, so its layers coordinate with the layers of the OSI model to effectively route network traffic. An advantage of using AppleTalk is in the use of zones and the fact that an AppleTalk Zone is not restricted in naming convention, unlike TCP/IP and IPX/SPX. A disadvantage of the protocol is AppleTalk is not suited for large, internetwork environments. NetBEUI Network Infrastructure 6 Microsoft acquired NetBIOS from IBM and incorporated it in its Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, and Windows NT operating systems; Microsoft called it the NetBIOS Enhanced User Interface, or NetBEUI. NetBEUI “is a fast and efficient protocol that consumes few network resources, provides excellent error correction, and requires little configuration” (Dean, 2000, p. 82). However, NetBEUI can only support 254 connections and is not a routable protocol, because of the lack of a Network layer. Network topologies of Huffman Trucking When implementing a network, a person must understand where all of the components are placed in the proposed network. Understanding the topology, or layout of the network, is important in providing a solid network base. A topology is defined, according to Tomsho, et al, (2004), as “the basic physical layout of a network” (p. 619). However, how the nodes on the network communicate with each other is known as a topology, as well; this is known as the network’s logical topology. Huffman Trucking incorporates different topologies in its corporate network; for example, the topologies that exist at the different sites include Token Ring topology, star topology, and bus topology. The different topologies allow the different nodes on the network at each site to communicate through the physical components that compose the overall network. Bus Topology The bus topology is “by far the simplest and at one time was the most common method of connecting computers” (Tomsho, et. al, 2004, p. 49). A single cable segment connects all nodes of the network and provides a major flaw in using this topology. The networks in Huffman Network Infrastructure 7 Trucking that employ the use of the bus topology include the Los Angeles office network and the New Jersey office network. The advantages of the bus topology include its: 1) simplicity and reliability, 2) inexpensive cabling that is easy to work with and extend, and 3) uses cable economically because all nodes are arranged in a line. A hub or patch panel is often used to connect all of the network nodes; however, hubs and patch panels do not possess the ability to route the traffic to the proper node. Hubs only strengthen the signal and move the signal onto the rest of the network. The disadvantages of using a bus topology are 1) heavy traffic negatively impacts network throughput, 2) a problem with any cable halts network traffic, and 3) problems on the network are often difficult to isolate. The hub topology is one of the oldest and most reliable, yet the topology is not ideal for a busy networking environment. Ring topology The next network topology, of which the entire Cleveland network (office and plant) and the entire St. Louis network (office and plant) use, is the ring topology. The advantages of the ring topology include the fact that equal access is available to all nodes and steady network performance. The disadvantages outweigh the benefits and include: 1) network outage caused by single computer, 2) difficulty isolating network problems, and 3) adding and removing computers disrupts network operations. Star topology The need for the centralization of network information on servers led to the advent of the star topology. Clientserver architectures benefit most from this type of topology because of the centralization of network resources. The star topology is the most popular because it is “easy to Network Infrastructure 8 add new computers or modify the network” (Tomsho, et al, 2004, p. 61). In addition, network monitoring and management benefits from the centralization of network resources. Finally, a network outage is not caused by the failure of a single computer or cable on the network. Implementing a star topology requires more cable; more cable equals more cost in upgrading the network. The centralization of resources is also a disadvantage because, if a hub or switch fails, the entire network fails. Network Security: Examining problems and offering solutions Network security is more important today than at any time previously; networks move larger amounts of data (often secure date), hackers can gain access by various means, and even employees can compromise the overall security of the network. A company can tighten its overall security by ensuring that all corporate offices and plants possess the same type of networking protocols, network operating system (NOS), cabling, and network equipment. Huffman needs to examine the current state of its networks (both offices and plants), identify security needs, advantages and disadvantages of various security approaches, and recommend the optimal combination of cabling, NOS, protocols, and network equipment. The current state of Huffman Trucking’s network The current state of the network at Huffman Trucking is a mismatched array of NOS, protocols, cabling, and networking equipment. All sites use different cabling, topologies, and operating systems; this can cause problems with security because of the lack of similarity. Another problem existing at all sites is the lack of a physical firewall. The networks of Huffman Trucking contain no consistency. Only two of the sites contain Norton Antivirus Software, some Network Infrastructure 9 contain Cat 3 cabling while others contain Cat 5 cabling, old NOS are used at more than half of the sites, and the protocols vary from Novell’s IPX/SPX protocol to the standard TCP/IP. Some of the networks do not have firewalls to keep out hackers, while others contain either dumb terminals or Wyse terminals (smart terminals). The inconsistency in all of the above areas will lead to network breakins and infiltrations by the outside world. The only network that contains a measure of safety is the Los Angeles plant; the reason why is the implementation of the Star Topology, use of routers containing builtin firewalls, and Windows 2000 Server as its NOS. The next logical step is to address the issues on Huffman’s networks and combining the networks to form a strong, secure, and consistent network throughout the Huffman enterprise. What needs to be changed and why? One of the most important characteristics of solid IT infrastructure is consistency. The PCs that are the most antiquated should be replaced with models with faster processors and larger storage capacities; in addition, the PCs should all use Windows XP Professional as the standard OS. The servers must utilize at least Windows 2000 Server (if not Windows 2003 Server) in order to provide the most current security standards and networking protocols. Windows 3.1 and Windows 98 do not possess the capability of operating efficiently and securely on serverclient network architecture. The next change arises from the physical infrastructure of the networks. Cat 3 cabling supports data transfer rates up to 16 Mbps, according to Palmer and Sinclair (2003), while “Category 5e and Category 6 twistedpair cables are a popular choice for new cable installations because they have highspeed networking capabilities of up to 1000 Mbps” (p. 108). When gigabit standards come to fruition in networked environments, the cabling will support the current standards. The consistency of the connections between locations the Network Infrastructure 10 internet allows for efficient data and voice communications; in contrast, the use of AOL dialup at the California site, while utilizing a fractured T1 at the Missouri and Ohio plants does not allow for maximized data and voice transfer. Another issue with the existing network is the placement of the Web server at the California plant; compromised network connectivity and speed on the overall network exists because of the throughput level of the different offices and plants within the network. Since the various sites operate independently, an outage at a specific site will not impact the other sites; however, communications between the site that is down and the transfer of networked devices (such as servers) will be compromised because of the outage. Advantages of security feature implementation Many advantages exist with the upgrade of the Huffman Trucking. These advantages include the following: 1. Centralize user accounts, security, and access controls simplify network administration. This means that all controls reside on the server, rather than various pieces of networked equipment. 2. More powerful equipment means more efficient access to network resources. More processors exist on servers, which provides more computing power and allows multiple accesses to resources without compromising network speed. 3. A single password for network logon delivers access to all resources. This is through the use of Windows 2000/2003 Server and allows a user to belong to various groups, while only using one password for access to the resources he or she requires. 4. Serverbased networking makes the most sense for networks with 10 or more users or any networks where resources are used heavily. (Tomsho, Tittel, and Johnson, 2004, pp. 13 – 14). 5. Cat 6 cabling allows for throughput speeds that exceed Cat 3 cabling. This type of cabling is also recognized for use on Ethernetbased, Star topology networks. 6. Use of Windows XP Professional allows for the users to communicate efficiently on the network and allows different sites to communicate with issues with compatibility. In Network Infrastructure 11 addition, XP Professional is still supported by Microsoft through the use of its Windows Update feature. The use of a Star Topology, Ethernetbased, Windows 2000 or 2003 Server environment provides Huffman with security against hackers. The use of Cat 6 cabling not only provides more throughput on the corporate network today, but will provide scalability to the network when 1Gbps throughput is achieved on corporate networks. Windows XP Professional also provides various levels of security to complement the use of Windows 2000 or 2003 Server. However, with the advantages of upgrading the network are the disadvantages of utilizing certain features. The disadvantages of security features Network administrators find numerous reasons to implement many security features on their networks; however, disadvantages to certain features that should increase security possess disadvantages. Many points on a network exist that may be compromised by an internal threat or a hacker. The network would be unusable if the server failed, especially when the server is the central node in the Star topology. An increase in expenses is incurred through the use of complex, specialpurpose server software. Cat 6, while providing the best shielding from outside electromagnetic interference, is not immune from someone physically patching into the cabling; the only type of cable that is totally secure is fiberoptic cabling. Windows operating systems are not completely immune from security threats because hackers can exploit problems within Windows code to illegally access PCs and possibly servers. Problems with serverbased networks are a negligible risk, as serverbased networks are more secure than peertopeer Network Infrastructure 12 networks. Also, the type of cabling provides security from electromagnetic interference (EMI), and the protocols also provide a measure of security at all levels of the OSI Model. Recommendations for the network at Huffman Trucking Upgrading each site’s Internet uplink to a fully functional T1 line is the first step, if the site has not already converted to this type of connection. The bandwidth of a T1 line will provide continuous communication between sites, as well as the tracking system and its relational databases. A CSU\DSU modem will convert the analog T1 lines into a digital line for the Firewall. A Cisco Pix firewall will be placed at the border of each site to protect it against any unauthorized users or unwanted traffic. Two separate network interface cards (NICs) on the Pix will connect to two Cisco 3725 routers. The new backbone has been designed to provide maximum uptime for the organization by providing duel paths for data to take. These two routers will be interconnected, and using a hot standby routing protocol (HSRP). HSRP allows one of those routers to be labeled as the primary and the other a secondary. The primary handles all traffic until (for any reason) it goes down. In that situation, the secondary (which is constantly pulling a current configuration file from the primary) would realize that the primary is down, load the primary server’s configuration (IP addresses and all) and begin passing traffic, leaving little or no downtime. At this point the infrastructure breaks into two directions. The first is a duel (fully redundant) path to user workstations, printers, IP phones, UPC/RFID Transponders, etc. This path interconnects two Cisco 48 port 2950T switches. The second path from the routers points to the sites server farm. This path was also designed for duel functionality, utilizing two Cisco 24 port 2950s. Each server in the server farm will have two NICs. One will be the primary (active), connected to one 2950, and the other will be a failover Network Infrastructure 13 NIC connected to the other 2950. Adoption of this method of networking minimizes downtime. The type of servers in the server farm will depend on whether the site is the corporate headquarters or just a manufacturing site. The headquarters in Cleveland will have the following servers: Network Attached Storage (NAS) Large Oracle Database File and Print Server Exchange Server Corporate Web server (User tracking) Category 6 Shield Twisted Pair cabling will connect all devices in the new infrastructure to one another. The extensive research of the various networking protocols gives us the confidence of recommending TCP/IP as the protocol utilized throughout the Huffman network. TCP/IP is fast becoming the most popular network protocol because of its low cost and it ability to communicate between a multitude of dissimilar platforms. It is a de facto standard on the Internet and is commonly the protocol of choice for LANs. Configuration is extensive but can be offset by the use of Microsoft network operating systems, such as Server 2000/2003 and XP Professional. With the extensive research into the various topologies, Delta 360 recommends the transition of the different sites over to the star topology. The addition of more network nodes will not disrupt the network and maintenance is simple. Fault tolerance is placed on such a topology, to ensure that the nodes are properly routed in the case of an outage. In addition, one of the sites already implements the star topology, which makes upgrades as easy as replacing cabling and replacing hubs with switches and routers. Network Infrastructure 14 Figure 11: New backbone and network infrastructure for each site of Huffman Trucking. References Dean, T. (2000). Network+ Guide to Networks. Boston: Course Technology. Doering, D. & Simpson, T. (2001). Novell Netware 5.0/5.1: Network Administration (Enhanced Edition). Boston: Course Technology. Feinstein, A. (1999). TCP vs. UDP for file transfer. Retrieved February 24, 2007, from the website: http://wwwmae.engr.ucf.edu/~ambrose/ Network Infrastructure 15 Lanno, S. (2007). Fundamentals of Networking. Retrieved February 24, 2007, from the website: http://www.brazosport.edu/~slannen/netess/chap13.htm Palmer, M. & Sinclair, R.B. (2003). Guide to Designing and Implementing Local and Wide Area Networks (2 Ed.). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix, Week One, Resource, NTC360 – Network and Telecommunications Concepts Website: https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp th Tomsho, G., Tittel, E., & Johnson, D. (2004). Guide to Networking Essentials (4 Ed.). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix, Week One, Resource, NTC360 – Network and Telecommunications Concepts Website: https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp Wikipedia. (2007). Local area network. Retrieved February 24, 2007, from the website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_area_network
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