Introduction to Corporate Networks Growth Scalability and Congestion

NOTE Each chapter begins with a case study. The case study provides context for the topics dealt with in the chapter. The case study may be referred to throughout the chapter in an effort to further explain the technology, and the case study will also sometimes be revisited in the "Scenarios" section at the end of the chapter.

Use the case study to focus your attention. In this way, you will learn the details more easily as you solve the problem presented at the beginning of the chapter. The concrete framework that the case studies provide should help you retain the theories throughout each chapter.

The company Pedopodgy, which is a private college, realized the need to network the central administrative offices five years ago. The initial network comprised of 45 PCs, 5 print servers, and 1 file server. It was a NetWare network, running IP. The administration at each of the five campuses was added two years later. Last year, the company provided Internet access for each student, with Internet connectivity accessed through corporate headquarters.

The network has grown considerably in the last five years. This growth has been in both end nodes and complexity. In end nodes alone, the network has grown from 45 PCs, with the 5 print servers and 1 file server, to more than 500 PCs connecting to 30 print servers and 20 file servers.

Everyone is complaining. The network is unreliable, unresponsive, and difficult to use, and there have been several security break-ins. The main problem is that the network has exceeded its original design, and the infrastructure of the network can no longer handle the volume of traffic generated. The IT department is being besieged by angry users.

This type of story is very familiar. Every network consultant has heard a variation of it a thousand times, and you can hear versions in conversations on the bus, the train, or the ferry.

This chapter addresses the problems seen in this case study. It identifies the key requirements of a network and illustrates how a structured design can simplify and help in the management of the network. This chapter also explains how excessive traffic on the network can thwart user needs and shows some of the ways that network traffic can be alleviated.

In designing a network, it is important to identify the key requirements of the network. Although any network will have the same core requirements, the business needs of a specific organization can elevate a particular network requirement above another.

As seen in the case study, a network that is inadequate to the needs of its users does not only frustrate the user base, but it also affects the organization's capability to function.

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