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You will work independently as you document the Richardson School District LAN and WAN designs by creating a portfolio.

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
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CASE STUDY

You will be applying what you have learned to the Richardson School District Network Design Project. The fictional Richardson School District is located in Richardson, Texas. The school district is in the process of designing and implementing an enterprise-wide network, which will include LANs at each site and a wide-area network (WAN) to provide data connectivity between all school sites.  You have consulted with teachers, students, administrators, and staff members to determine need, mission-critical data and operations, availability, and future plans.

Objective: To apply your networking knowledge to a real-life example and to help you review concepts integral to the CCNA Certification Exam.

Outcomes: You will work independently as you document the Richardson School District LAN and WAN designs by creating a portfolio. 

LOCAL AREA NETWORK (LAN)

Richardson School District Project Task: User Requirements  

You will begin studying the Richardson School District Network Design Project. You will be assigned one school site. You need to complete the following tasks: 

1. You will be assigned one school site. 

Richardson School District Project Task: User Requirements, Site Maps, Handling Graphics 

You will continue studying the Richardson School District Network Design Project, focusing on the LAN requirements. You should begin work on your school site wiring diagrams (physical topologies). You need to complete the following tasks: 

1. Familiarize yourself with the LAN sections and User Counts. 

2. Begin working on your site wiring diagrams

Richardson Project: Designing the Network 

You will begin the process of designing the LAN at your specific site within Richardson School District WAN. As concepts and requirements are introduced, you will be able to apply them in your network design. You will need to make sure to address the following requirements:

The LAN is meant to serve different "workgroups" of staff members and students. This logical division will require the use of VLANs and will be a major design decision. For example, VLANs should be used to secure the administrators' machines from the students' machines. 

Access to the Internet from any site in the school district, via the District WAN, is also an integral part of this implementation. 

Because this network implementation must be functional for a minimum of 7-10 years, all design considerations should include at least 10x (times) growth in the LAN throughput, 2x (times) growth in WAN throughput, and 10x (times) growth in the District Internet connection throughput. 

A minimum of 100 Mbps to any host computer in the network and 1000 Mbps to any server host in the network is required. 

Routed protocols may be implemented in the network: TCP/IP.  

Richardson Project: Server Placement and Function 

You should categorize all file servers for the Richardson School District as enterprise or workgroup types, and then place servers in the network topology according to the anticipated traffic patterns of users and according to the following functions:

DNS and E-Mail Services - Each district hub location should contain a DNS server to support the individual schools serviced out of that location. Each school site should also contain a host for DNS and e-mail services (that is, a local post office) that will maintain a complete directory of the staff members and students for that location. 

The Administrative Server - Each school site location should have an administration server for the student tracking, attendance, grading, and other administrative functions. This server should run TCP/IP as its protocol suite and should be made available only to teachers and staff members. 

Application Server - All computer applications will be housed in a central server at each school site location. As applications such as Word Processing, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. are requested by users, these applications will be retrieved from the application server.  This will provide district support staff with an easy and efficient method for upgrading applications without having to reload new software on each computer in the district network.  This server will use TCP/IP as its OSI layer 3 and 4 protocols and will be made available to anyone at the school site. 

Other Servers - Any other servers implemented at the school sites should be considered departmental (workgroup) servers, and should be placed according to user group access needs. An example would be a server running an instructional application for a specific school site. 

Richardson Project: Determining Network Traffic Load 

You need to determine the network traffic load for the Richardson School District before developing a network structure and acquiring hardware. Additionally, when analyzing the district's technical requirements, you should estimate the traffic load caused by applications in packet size (for example, you need to estimate the size of files in bytes per second needed to be transmitted over the network).

Certain types of network use can generate large volumes of traffic and, therefore, can cause congestion, including congestion of the following: 

Internet access 

Computers loading software from a remote site 

Anything that transmits images or video 

Central database access 

Department file servers 

You should estimate worst-case traffic load on the network during the busiest times for users and during regularly scheduled network services, such as file server backups. 

Richardson Project: Speed and Expansion 

For the Richardson School District network, you need to build the Layer 1 components of the district network with speed and expansion capabilities. As you know, the physical layer controls the way data is transmitted between the source and a destination node. Therefore, the type of media and topology you select helps you determine how much data can travel across the network and how quickly.

Richardson Project: Catchment Areas 

Determine the number of horizontal cable runs to each room that the MDF or IDF will be servicing in its catchment area. 

Richardson Project: Connection Speeds 

In the Richardson School District network, the vertical cabling should carry all data traffic between the IDFs and MDFs. Therefore, the speed of this connection should be designed to be the fast link in the network. This link should be at least 1000 Mbps.

Richardson Project: LAN Wiring Scheme Requirements 

As you're planning the wiring for the sites of the Richardson School District network, you need to take into account certain LAN requirements related to user access, segmentation, infrastructure, cabling, MDFs, and IDFs. Therefore, you should address the requirements described here when designing the network.

Requirement 1 

Two LAN segments need to be implemented in each school site and the district office. One LAN needs to be designated for student usage and the other needs to be designated for instructor/administration usage. 

Requirement 2 

The LAN infrastructure needs to be based on Ethernet LAN switching, which will allow for a migration to faster speeds (that is, more bandwidth) to the individual computers and between MDFs and IDFs without revamping the physical wiring scheme to accommodate future applications. The transport speeds need to be at a minimum Ethernet 100BASE-TX, 100BASE-FX or higher.

Requirement 3 

Horizontal cabling needs to be Category 6 UTP and needs to have the capacity to accommodate at least 100 Mbps. Vertical (backbone) cabling needs to be fiber-optic multi-mode cable. The cabling infrastructure needs to comply with TIA/EIA-568-A/B and/or TIA/EIA-569 standards. 

Requirement 4 

In each school site location, an MDF room needs to be established as the central point to which all LAN cabling will be terminated. This will also be the point of presence (POP) for the WAN connection. The IDF should service its geographical area, and the IDF should be connected directly to the MDF in a star or extended star topology. 

 

 

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