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Network Design Proposal

Prepared for:

University of Maryland University College

Prepared by:

I. Physical Network Design

A. Network Topology

Business Needs

University of Maryland University College required a facility that will provide the tools students need to properly complete the required full time workload. A recent expansion that includes a library, office space, computer labs and classrooms will provide this capability and enhance students learning potential.

Proposed Topology

I am proposing the use of physical and logical star topologies when planning the facility network. Although the star topology is more expensive due to the increased number of network devices used throughout the network, it is easy to install, configure and allows for expansion and ease of removing devices with no disruptions. To meet the network requirements for the new facility I will be using the following infrastructure equipment;

Cisco 4331 series router; ~$1500.00 each

Fortinet FortiGate-90D; ~$1500.00 each

Cisco WS-C2960X-48TD-L Catalyst 2960; $1700.00 each

CISCO WS-C2960X-24TD-L Catalyst 2960 $1270.00 each

Cisco WAP321 Wireless Access point $310.00 each


After a thorough review of the different topology types I came to the conclusion that the star topology will best suit the facility needs. This topology allows the configuration and management or each of the required networks independently of one another and provides the ability to grow if needed. Due to the size and layout of the building the other topologies did not seem to be a good fit. Many of the other available topologies are out dated and would not be a wise implementation in this case. For example, the ring and bus topologies are very inefficient with the way traffic travels throughout the network are difficult to implement on a large scale.[9]

To support this implementation of a star topology I have selected devices that will be capable of handling the amount of computer systems on the network and will include room for growth.

B. Network Media

Business Needs

The new UMUC facility requires at least a 40 Mbps as well as a backbone that can handle classroom instruction and browsing. There is a minimum of 200 computers and 7 servers that will be used throughout the building.

Proposed Network Media (include network wiring diagrams)

I propose to use Cat-6a cable and fiber cable throughout the building. See diagram for specific details.


The reason for using Cat-6a cable instead of the other available types is to reduce the overall cost of buying cabling because it is the most current version on the market currently and we will not have to upgrade for some time. Cat-6a allows for high speed connections between switches and servers and ultimately reduces latency for the end user due to its ability to eliminate crosstalk more efficiently [7]. Fiber will be used for any connections between access switches and the core switches in the server rooms to cut down on latency across long distances.

C. Network Devices

Business Needs

In order to handle the amount of workstations throughout the building the facility will need more network devices to extend the network. The length of the building is a primary factor in this as any category of Ethernet cable cannot span the entire length of the building.

Proposed Network Devices

The network devices I propose to use are commercial grade hardware that is reliable enough to handle large amounts of traffic.

The Cisco 4331 Router is a powerful device that can provide twice the minimum throughput required in the facility. This device supports all current routing protocols to include IPv6. This will be used as the primary boundary device for the facility and will allow for interconnectivity to the rest of the campus. There will only be one of these devices in the first floor server room. [1]

The Cisco Catalyst 2960 series switches have layer 3 capabilities which will allow us to separate the building into the many required networks. Using 24 and 48 port switches will allow the expansion or additional seats added to classrooms as well as allowing cables to be run for the offices on each floor. There will be nine of 2960 series 48 port switches throughout the building, one in each classroom and server room and one in the student computer lab. There will be one 2960 24 port switch in office #5. [3]

The Cisco WAP321 Wireless-N Access Point will provide the facility with the required wireless networks. This device has clustering capabilities and allows roaming between devices on 802.11 B/G/N. It can support up to 32 WLAN users at one time and can handle up to 300Mbps throughput which is more than what is required. One of these devices will be on each floor. On the First floor in office #4 and second floor in office #3. [4]


I used these devices because they can handle the large amount of traffic that will be traversing the network at any given time. They have room for growth as well as many features that allow for better QOS on the network.

D. Network Security Devices

Business Needs

This UMUC facility will have a lot of information being sent in and out of the network and requires adequate security to protect all users of the network.

Proposed Network Security Devices

The security devices I propose are commercial grade devices with capabilities to protect the network traffic and information sent by users;

The Fortinet Fortigate 90D is an all around great device for network security implementation. It includes firewall protection, intrusion prevention, VPN capability and web filtering to name a few. The device allows a maximum of 3.5 Gbps throughput which is more than enough. All of these capabilities in a small form factor that will fit on a shelf in the server room on the first floor. [2]


This device will provide the necessary security posture while saving money for the university by not having to purchase an entire security suite of tools.

E. Computer Systems

Business Needs

The University will need workstations for the classroom labs, student computer lab, library, and faculty offices. They will also need one server in each of the classroom labs for the instructors to use during lessons. Having these systems are essential for the success of this facility.

Proposed Computer Systems

The Dell PowerEdge T430 servers have a desktop form factor that will fit into the closet of each classroom computer lab and provide all the necessary power that a standard server would. We will need six of these systems. [6]

The Dell OptiPlex 9030 All-in-one will provide the necessary power to students and faculty in all areas throughout the facility. We will need a minimum of 201 of these workstations. [7]


Due to the lack of space in the classroom closets the desktop server form factor will allow us to provide services to the students with no latency drawback. The All-in-one form factor for the workstation computers will prevent the need to also purchase monitors for each system.


[1]"Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers - Products & Services", Cisco, 2016. [Online]. Available: . [Accessed: 12- Mar- 2016].

[2]FortiGate/FortiWiFi® 90D Series, 1st ed. Fortinet, 2016.

[3]"Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches - Products & Services", Cisco, 2016. [Online]. Available: . [Accessed: 12- Mar- 2016].

[4]"Cisco WAP321 Wireless-N Access Point with Single Point Setup", Cisco, 2016. [Online]. Available: . [Accessed: 12- Mar- 2016].

[5]Cisco Enterprise Campus Infrastructure: Best Practices Guide, 1st ed. 2013.

[6]P. Server, "PowerEdge T430 Tower Server", Dell, 2016. [Online]. Available: . [Accessed: 12- Mar- 2016].

[7]"OptiPlex 9030 All-in-One Desktop with Optional Touch Screen", Dell, 2016. [Online]. Available: . [Accessed: 12- Mar- 2016].

[8]"What Kind of Ethernet (Cat-5/e/6/a) Cable Should I Use?", , 2016. [Online]. Available: . [Accessed: 12- Mar- 2016].

[9]"Network topology", Wikipedia, 2016. [Online]. Available: . [Accessed: 12- Mar- 2016].


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