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Thread: network design

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb network design

    hi everybody ,

    i have asked to design a network for a 5 storey university building...each floor has got a min of 25 computers to a max of 500 computer....in this case where can i place the server/servers ...in which floor..

    can i design in this way like i connect the servers to 5 routers which are located in each floor...and these router in each floor are connected to 2 or 3 switches depending upon the number of computers...and these switches are connected to the computers...can i design a network like this..will this be an effective design..

    or which network will be better one wired or a wireless one...

    thank you very much for ur replies in advance have a gud day..

  2. #2
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    What ill the network be for? Who will be using it? Is there any existing infrastructure you can use or need to connect to, or is this from the ground up? Will you need to have an internet connection? Saying between 25 and 500 computers per floor is really of little to no help. You need to get a more solid idea of how many users need to be supported. 25 users times 5 floors is only 125 computers. 500 per floor comes out to 2,500. Pretty big gap there, and it needs to be narrowed down to maybe a couple of hundred.

    Where to put the server/servers physically? That doesn't really matter. They don't even need to be on the same property, as long as you connect them into the network somehow you are fine. What will they be used for? This is a key consideration. Do you have any existing servers that you can locate new ones with? Setting up a proper server is a lot more than just ploping the box down somwewhere. You need special electrical setups, fire supression, secured access physically, etc. If you can put it somewhere that is already setup properly as a serve room then you can save a lot of time and money.

    Basic idea though would be a single router (or multiples if you want/need HSRP or the like) and then a switch closet on each floor. Each floor gets a switch that can handle the number of ports needed (see this is why you need to nail down a smaller range) and then that connects down into a central switch. The central switch then connects to a router and that to the internet. or if you have an existing network then you can lose the router and just connect the network to your central switch. You will need to consider things like VLANs, and how routing will be handeled too.

    As far as wired vs. wireless, well it really depends. What type of computers are you going to be connecting? If you plan on having all laptops then wireless gives more freedom but security becomes a bigger problem. If all desktops then there is no reason for having wireless really. if it is a mix then you might want to consider doing both. There is nothing wrong with having a wireless network available in some areas and then wired in others.

  3. #3
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    It sounds like you may be new to this type of design. Just to quickly answer your questions...and probably mention the same things Eric did.

    Multiple routers are not required. Instead look at a layer 3 switch for each floor. This will allow the switch to do some routing if needed. You'll probably want to create some VLANs to help segregate the traffic and make managing the IPs easier.

    Where you put the servers doesn't matter as long as they are connected to the network with sufficent bandwidth.

    It sounds like there could be a good bit of use (you mention 500 users on a floor). Be sure you take into account the bandwidth on the switch(es) backplane. This is critical.

    Wireless will not match the speed of wired. There is also the security required with wireless. The only reason I would look into wireless is if you have laptop users that needed to move around.

    As far as equipment vendors, Cisco. If you call them, they can help you plan your network.

    Best of luck. There's ALOT to consider when planning a large network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addict View Post
    Multiple routers are not required. Instead look at a layer 3 switch for each floor. This will allow the switch to do some routing if needed. You'll probably want to create some VLANs to help segregate the traffic and make managing the IPs easier.
    I don't really necessarily agree with this bit of information. While a doing multilayer switching at each floor would be good it isn't necessary. You could just as easily (and it would be a lot cheaper) to setup a single MLS at the distrobution and use Layer 2 access switches. So this would be like a basic layer 2 switch at each floor with a large enough port density to accomodate all users, and a good Multi Layer Switch at a central point that all of these other switches connect into, and then this switch connects out to the rest of the network or a router and the internet.

    Getting in touch with someone who works with Cisco is good advice. I do Cisco work, and in my experience the vendors are a valuable source of information. If you know what you are doing they can offer a good check on your plans to make sure they will work as you want. If you don't know much about networking they will often offer as a service (for extra payment of course) to totally design and setup your network. On a project of this size you should also be able to get directly in touch with a Cisco rep for your area and get more input and advice.

    One thing I would really strongly recommend, it seems like this project might be a bt over your head. Setting up such a large scale network isn't an easy undertaking. There are a lot of considerations and basically none of the equipment that would be needed is plug and play (or cheap). Don't be afraid to reach out to your vendors and contacts locally for all of the help that you need, or to just bid the project out to somebody who can do it properly. I don't really think it is possible to get this done properly through some help on a forum, you need people to do site surveys and really look into every faect of this. Just doing the design end of things is likely a days worth of work.

  5. #5
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    Thank you very much for all ur replies buddies

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    Im not going to implement this project in a real time ..my lecturer has asked us to submit a design report...sterday i have submitted my report..i dont have any experience in networking but i want to know how the designers design the network...the step by step designing part...what are the things they consider..the information which i have given about the building is a layman's view...My lecturer has given the layout of the building and the users of the rooms...from that i got the following information ..

    It is a university building which has 4 floors + ground floor + basement. The basement , ground ,first ....fourth floor has got 20 , 40, 60 , 125 , 65 , 160 computers respectively. The basement has the rooms for office purposes. The entire ground floor has got rooms for offices of student affairs and Office of facilities management. The first floor has the offices of the academic staff and support staff along with two classrooms. The second floor has got a computer laboratory which has almost 90 computers and offices of support staff. The third floor has got the offices of academic and research staff. The fourth floor has a laboratory of 115 computers and remaining are staff room computers. This is the information she has given for us.Our lecture have asked us to assume about the applications used by the users.

    Im interested in network designing ...to learn about that i need ur help...it will even be better if u tell about any course which deals with network designing...

    Thank you very much in advance for ur replies

  7. #7
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    That's a large network you're talking about there. Without going into much detail, here's an outline of how I would move forward.

    I would place Layer 2 switches that are VLAN-aware on each floor. With that many computers, you may have to stack a few switches on each floor.

    Then I would configure a VLAN for each floor, but only for organizational purposes and limiting the broadcast domain. You would still allow each VLAN to communicate with each other. A Layer 3 switch at the top of the network topology would handle the VLAN routing and the connection to the backbone.

    As others have said this is an extremely large undertaking for a beginner. I'm not trying to insult your intelligence or anything of the sort. There are many factors that must be considered when planning a network, and a thorough knowledge of the available networking components and their operating functions is an absolute must.

  8. #8
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    what are the main factors that you take into consideration when implementing
    a large network such as this on rpe? (yes im very new to networking id just like some insight as to how the whole thing goes down)
    oh soz vinolia didnt mean to jack your thread

  9. #9
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    Like I said in my first post--you have to know the basics about the various networking equipment available on the market. Once you know the difference between a Layer 2 and a Layer 3 switch, etc., you can take the circumstances you're faced with and apply your knowledge to those circumstances.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chojin View Post
    what are the main factors that you take into consideration when implementing
    a large network such as this on rpe? (yes im very new to networking id just like some insight as to how the whole thing goes down)
    oh soz vinolia didnt mean to jack your thread
    Simply put, you need to consider everything. Such as what traffic will be going over the network. What will happen if a few packets are lost (TCP for viewing websites is no big deal, but if you are doing VOIP it is a huge deal). Will you need any POE?

    You really need to closely look at every aspect from OSI layer 1 on up to Layer 7 and make sure it will suport the current and any future needs. Also considering redundancy to deal with equipment failures and what sorts of uptime are required.

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