Cabling Specifications •1000Base-T Networks in each office. oThe 1000Base-T network will allow for more room for expansion over the more commonly used 100Base-T network. We will use this since these are new networks and there is a good chance we will need this expansion room in the future. oThe 1000Base-T networks will run over Category 6 Ethernet cabling using four twisted pair of wiring because the 1000Base-T network requires this. Again, Category 5 cable is more commonly used, however, these being new networks; we want to use the better and more expandable utilities so that they do not need to be redone anytime in the near future. The four twisted pair of wire in the Cat. 6 cable will be STP, or shielded twisted pair. The shielded wire will be less susceptible to electrical interference from other wiring or equipment near where it is ran (University of South Florida, 1997-2009). oThe Cat 6 cable used for these networks cannot exceed 100-meter (328 ft. ) lengths in each segment. If longer sections are used, data loss starts to occur. oRJ-45 connectors will be used for all connections in each network. Local Area Network (LAN) Topologies
After recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each type of network topology, I have chosen to use the star model for the topology in each of the offices for the company. This topology will allow the networks to effectively connect all the equipment that each office will need. The office employees will be able to connect to their fax machines to connect to customers and other employees and management, printers to more effectively do their jobs, and other computers for data they may need for their work.
The star topology is cost effective because all of the nodes, or nodes, on the network are all connected together by a hub. The hub routes data from one node to its intended destination. Most of the cost of the star topology is in the cable since each node has its own cable connecting it to the hub (University of South Florida, 1997-2009). The Cat 6 cable used for these networks is more expensive than the more commonly used Cat 5, however, the extra cost should be worth the expense when it comes time to expand the network with newer and faster equipment.
The star topology is also easily managed because of the fact that there is only one connection per node. Each computer on the network is only connected to the hub and not to any other computer or even directly to a printer or fax machine. The printers and fax machines are also only connected to the hub. The hub will route data to and from the printer and fax utilities so that they can be shared on the network with several users instead of them being dedicated to only one computer. In addition, when computers communicate with each other on these networks, they will communicate through the hub as well.
Troubleshooting a star topology is simpler than some other topologies because of the ease of finding the problem when one arises. If there is a problem with a computer, connector, or cable, the problem is easy to find because when they go down they only effect the connection they are connected directly with. There is no need to go around the entire network testing cables and equipment, because the place in which the problems are showing up is the place the malfunction has to be located.
This topology will cut back on down time for the network and will cut back on the time the IT department needs to be out working on things when they go wrong. Adding equipment to the star topology is as easy as it gets. As before, each computer, printer, fax machine, or any other piece of equipment is connected directly to a hub and nothing else. Therefore, when adding a piece of new equipment, all that needs to be done is adding the cable needed to connect the new machine and it is ready to use.
The same goes when replacing a defective or outdated piece of equipment. The old only needs be unplugged and the new plugged in. This makes updating printers and other shared equipment very easy to do and much less time consuming. Comparing Topologies When compared to the other topologies available, it is easy to see why the star model is the best choice for this given situation. For example, the ring topology is much more complicated to troubleshoot. In the ring topology, each node on the network is connected to at least two other nodes on the network.
The data in the ring moves around the network in a circular fashion and has to travel through all the nodes connected between the sending node and the receiving node. This means that if any of the segments of cable, connectors, or nodes on the network are malfunctioning, the whole network is down and cannot function until that one segment, node, or connector is fixed. The star topology is simpler than the tree topology since the tree is simply several star topologies networked together into one larger and more complicated topology.
One problem with this topology is that if a connector or cable goes bad one entire star segment can be down. In addition, if the star topology is more expensive when it comes to cabling, then the tree topology is much more expensive because it uses much more cable. Another choice would be the bus topology, which is simply outdated itself. The bus topology is unreliable and is not use in most locations today due to this fact. The bus topology is somewhat like the star, however, because all the nodes on the network are connected to the same thing, but that one thing is a cable and not a hub, which is more versatile and more reliable.
In Conclusion The star topology should prove to be the most effective choice of the other topologies discussed above. It will cost more due to the cabling choices, but these choices should eventually save the company money in the end when the time comes to invest in newer and faster office equipment. The choices made in the above sections should prove to be choices that will keep the network current for years to come, even when big changes are being made to the technical world.