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A Proposed Networking Solution

for the Computer Laboratory at

Aritao National High School

Submitted by
Eric Bosque
Saniata Carnate
Viennie Sol Parias
Ednalyn Talania

in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements in

Computer Networking and Security

Submitted to
Engr. Carina S. Mallillin

March 2008

Background about Computer Networking

A network, in simplest terms, is the connection of two or more

computers to allow sharing of files and resources. A computer network is
vital to any business that wishes to stay competitive and cost effective in
todays high-tech world. Having a network is not as costly or troublesome as
some may think, and actually saves money in an office environment by
sharing printers, programs, databases, documents and schedules to name a

Networks are already all around us and provide many benefits.

Technologically, you might have a network in your home which enables you
to share the resources of multiple computing devices with others. The
significance of information is growing rapidly in the operations and
communications of companies, public authorities and private individuals. The
ongoing development of data communications technologies that facilitate a
more diversified and efficient utilization of the internet and other data
networks is increasing interest towards the use of internet. Information and
communications are two of the most important strategic issues for the
success of every enterprise. Today nearly every organization uses a
substantial number of computers and communication tools they are often
still isolated. There are some cases that they still do not communicate and
much needed information cannot be readily accessed. To overcome these
obstacles in an effective usage of information technology, computer
networks are necessary.

Computer networks can manage to put down the barriers between

information held on several systems only with the help of networks on a
borderless communication and information environment be built. Computer

networks allow the user to access remote programs and remote databases
either of the same organization or from other enterprises or public sources.
Besides this major reason, there are other reasons as well why a computer
networks is important: cost reduction, high reliability and greater flexibility.

Networks are vital to the business use of computers. If a single

computer can make anyone productive with the standard software such as
word processing, spreadsheets and others then interconnecting multiple
computers to a network by bringing individuals and data together can
increase productivity and improves communication. Networking involves
connecting computers for the purpose of sharing information and resources
such as data sharing, device sharing and even application sharing. These
benefits that networking provides will surely save money for it lowers
administration costs and increases efficiency, saving time in controlling
software. Networking also makes installation of software applications a lot
more efficient since it lessens the time in going from one unit to another just
to install the same application.

Statement of the Problem

In order to have a clearer view of the objectives, the researchers want

to give solutions to the following problems commonly encountered in the
laboratory room.

1. The checking of laboratory works takes time because the teacher

needs to check the diskettes one at a time and diskettes are also
known to be an unreliable storage device for important files because of
their proneness to damage.
2. The applications are limited to what is only being installed in the
computer file sharing is not possible.
3. Students will have to buy diskettes every time they finish their work.
4. The computer teachers find it hard to teach other applications because
the computers do not have the capacity to handle larger applications

and at the same time, software installation is done manually from one
computer to another.

Objectives of the Research

This research will benefit the school if they will pursue their plan to
connect their units in a network.

This research will serve as a basis regarding the cost and the design of
their network set up.

It will particularly benefit the teachers especially the one who handles
Computer subjects in checking the works of his/her students and to manage
the whole laboratory more efficiently. Setting up a network in their computer
laboratory will also encourage the school administration to give much
attention in expanding their laboratory units in order to cater to students
who also want to have knowledge in using a computer.

This research will let the students know the advantage of networking
and for them to have more interest in using a computer.


Existing Layout of the Computer Laboratory

Before delving into the to the groups proposed networking solution for
the computer laboratory of Aritao National High School, let us first examine
the current or existing setup of the schools computer laboratory. If you get
inside the computer laboratory of Aritao National High School, you will
immediately notice that it conforms to the typical Dep-Ed specification of
public school buildings.

Figure 1: Existing layout of Aritao National High School's Computer Laboratory

Figure 1 basically depicts the current layout of the computer laboratory.

There is actually no existing network setup in the office. It means that no
sharing of resources is being implemented among the computers. Transfer of
data is done by copying files to USB flashdrive and then moving those
flashdrives to the applicable computer unit. If, for example, a student would
like to print his output to the printer and his computer isnt physically
connected to that peripheral, he will have to copy his document to a diskette
and then insert that disk to the particular computer with the physical
connection to the printer. Imagine if all of the students need to print his or
her file. This process can really become very tedious.

Figure 2: Actual picture of the computer laboratory

There are currently nine (9) computer units available for the teachers.
The ratio of computer to students is currently 1:1. The computers are used
for office applications such as word-processing applications and other
educational programs.

Figure 3: Another actual picture of the inside of the computer laboratory

Each of the existing computers has one and only one of the following

# of PC Processor Memor Operating LAN/Ether

with this y System net Card
Specificatio (RAM)
AMD 96 MB Windows XP present
Sempron Professional
1494 MHz
AMD 224 MB Windows XP present
Sempron Professional
AMD 224 MB Windows XP present
Sempron Professional (5.1,
Processor Build 2600)
3000t, MMX,
3D Now
Intel Pentium 62 MB Microsoft Present
III, 450 MHz Windows 2000
(5.0 Build 2195)
AMD Duron 128 MB Microsoft Present
Processor MMX Windows 98
3D Now, 1200 (4.10, Build
MHz 2222)
Intel Pentium, 32 MB Microsoft Window Present
MMX 98
Intel Pentium III 56 MB Microsoft Present

Windows 98
Intel Pentium III 62 MB Microsoft Present
Windows 98
Table 1: Specifications of the existing computers


The Transmission Medium for the Proposed Network

It is fortunate that all of the computers in the laboratory have its own
Ethernet or LAN card which means that no additional cost for buying new
network interface cards will be needed for these existing computers. These
Ethernet cards will be connected to the network switch using UTP cables
(also often called Ethernet cables) crimped with RJ45 on both ends of the
cables. The network switch and router will also be connected together using
the same cable specification crimped with RJ45.

Figure 4: UTP Cable

The UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pairs) Cable shown in Figure 5 is the most
common cable used in computer networking and is also found on telephone
systems. It has a high degree of flexibility as well as rugged durability. The
group chose to utilize this type of cable over other alternatives due to its
ease of installation and affordability. It is also more than reliable enough for
the type and size of the computer laboratory of the school.

Figure 5: RJ45 connector/jack

The RJ45 is more appropriately called the 8 Position 8 Contact

(8P8C) modular plug and jack shown in Figure 6. It is a communications
connector also commonly used in Ethernet. It is what will enable the UTP
cable to physically attach to the networks devices. This is needed to connect
the different network devices together such as the NICs to switch and the
switch to router.

The wiring and pin assignment should conform to the TIA-T568B order
of connections on the table below. This order of connection should make the
cable a straight cable that is needed when connecting NICs to the

Pi T568 T568 Wir T568A T568B Pins on plug face

n A B e Color Color (jack is reversed)
Pair Pair
1 3 2 Tip
white/gree white/oran
n stripe ge stripe
2 3 2 Rin
g green solid orange
3 2 3 Tip
white/oran white/gree
ge stripe n stripe
4 1 1 Rin
g blue solid blue solid
5 1 1 Tip
white/blue white/blue
stripe stripe
6 2 3 Rin
g orange green solid
7 4 4 Tip
white/brow white/brow
n stripe n stripe
8 4 4 Rin
g brown solid brown solid
Table 2: T568A and T568B Wiring

To conform to TIA-T568B, the pin1 of the RJ45 should correspond to

white/orange, pin2 should correspond to orange, pin3 to white/green, pin4 to
blue, pin5 corresponds to white/blue, pin6 to green, pin7 to white/brown, and
pin8 to brown.

Other Needed Equipments for the Proposed Network

Network Interface Cards (NIC)

Each of the computers in the laboratory is required to have its own NIC
(also called LAN card). A network interface card (NIC) is a computer
circuit board or card that is installed in a computer so that it can be
connected to a network. Personal computers and workstations on a
local area network (LAN) typically contain a network interface card
specifically designed for the LAN transmission technology, such as
Ethernet (thats why its also called Ethernet card) or Token Ring.
Network interface cards provide a dedicated, full-time connection to a

Figure 6: The Network Interface Card or NIC (also called LAN Card)

Network Switch

The network switch (or simply switch) will serve as the networks
central hub. It is a computer networking device that connects network
segments. For Aritao National High Schools Computer Laboratory, the
group considered a 24-port switch which would be enough to cater to
the current number of computers and even to additional computers in
the future.

Figure 7: Network switch

A detailed specification of the switch that will be used can be found on

Appendix of this paper.

Network Router

The switch would have been enough if we are only concerned with
creating a local area network but since we are also considering the
need to access a WAN or a wide area network (the Internet is the most
well-known WAN), the router comes into place. The router for the
proposed network is intended for internet connectivity.

Figure 8: The router for the network

For a more detailed specification of the router, check the Appendix of

this paper.

Crimping tool

It is a tool designed to crimp or connect a connector to the end of a
network cable or phone cable. For our particular use, network cables
will be created using a crimping tool to connect the RJ-45 connectors to
the end of the UTP cable. Figure 10 shows an example of a crimping
tool for RJ45 connectors.

Figure 9: A Crimp Tool for RJ45 Connectors

Software Needed for the Computers on the Network

Computer software is a general term used to describe a collection of

computer programs, procedures and documentation that perform some tasks
on a computer system. The computers in the laboratory will basically have
the following software installed on each.

Operating System

An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the resources

of a computer. It is the software that controls the operation of a
computer and directs the processing of programs. It is the environment
on which all other applications (be it a word processor or a web
browser or other applications) run on top of.

The two most popular categories that an operating system may fall
into are Client OS and the Server OS. The most popular client OSes
(also called desktop operating systems) for the PC (personal computer)
are: the Windows XP and Linux (particularly Ubuntu Desktop Edition).
The most popular server OSes are Windows Server 2003, Windows

2000 Server and Linux-based server operating systems like Red Hat,
SUSE Linux, and even Ubuntu Server Edition.

Further discussions about operating systems and the ones suitable for
the computers for the proposed network can be read on the
succeeding chapter.

Office/Productivity Applications

Like the Windows operating systems that are already present in the
existing computers, Microsoft Office Applications are also already

The Microsoft Office suite contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others.
An alternative to Microsoft Office is the productivity suite called which basically offers the same functions and
applications as the former but can be used freely without any licensing
costs unlike that of Microsofts product that tend to be expensive.
These suites contain programs used for word processing, spreadsheets,
presentations, graphics, databases and more.

Web Browser

A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display

and interact with text, images, videos, music and other information
typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or
a local area network. Text and images on a Web page can contain
hyperlinks to other Web pages at the same or different website. Web
browsers allow a user to quickly and easily access information provided
on many Web pages at many websites by traversing these links.

Popular web browsers include: Internet Explorer which also comes

built-in the windows operating system, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. All
this browsers cost nothing to use.

The proposed network would be having an internet connection that is
why these web browsers would become part of the usual programs
that the students would be using in the future in their classes
assuming that the school would pursue this proposal.

Internet Service Provider

An Internet service provider (abbr. ISP, also called Internet access

provider or IAP) is a business or organization that provides consumers or
businesses access to the Internet and related services.

In the province, there are currently two popular internet service

providers: Smart and Digitel. For the proposed network, the group suggests
the Smart Bro because the companys service is more affordable and yet
remains as reliable and as fast as the service provided by Digitel. Further
description of SMARTs internet service can be read on this papers appendix.


The Topology for the Proposed Network

Topology refers to the way in which the network of computers is

connected. There are various types of network topology each with its
advantages and disadvantages. For this particular computer laboratory, the
group believes that the best topology for it is the STAR. It has the best
balance when it comes to cable requirement, reliability, ease of installation,
ease of troubleshooting of problems, and network expandability.

Figure 10: The proposed STAR network topology for the computer laboratory

As Figure 10 suggests, all the computers in the computer laboratory

would be connected to a network switch as their central hub. The network
switch is in turn connected to the network router. The router in turn would be

used to connect to an internet service providers line. This setup will enable
the computers to share resources like files and printer. The computers could
also share the same internet connection which means each could have an
access to the World Wide Web provided that the network and internet
settings had been properly set-up.

In a star network topology, the network can still function even if one or
more computers fail, break-down, or are simply turned-off. This is really
advantageous since all the computers need not be running all the time just
to access a part of the network. Only the computers that need to access
and/or be accessed has to be running for proper sharing of files and
resources to take place.

The Proposed Network Architecture/Model

The network architecture that the proposed network can be modeled

into is either Centralized (Client-Server) or Workgroup (Peer-to-Peer).

Centralized or client-server architecture is ideal for networks with more

than 10 computers. It is composed of two types of nodes: the client and the
server. The server is that one computer that manages or controls access and
resources to guarantee that only those clients with the appropriate
permissions may access and change data. The client computers are the ones
used by the students where they run applications or where do their lessons
or activities in class. This model is also easier to secure and manage.

Figure 11: An example of a client-server network

Peer-to-peer (abbreviated as P2P) or workgroup is a type of network in

which each computer has equivalent capabilities and responsibilities. This
differs from client/server architectures, in which some computers are
dedicated to serving the others. Peer-to-peer networks are generally simpler
when it has 10 or less computers but the network becomes harder to
manage as it grows more than that number.

Figure 12: Simple diagram of a P2P network

Since there are already 17 computers in the computer laboratory, the

groups proposal is to utilize the client-server model. This model offers better
security and manageability. The client-server model becomes even more
suitable for Aritao High Schools computer laboratory as it grows from 17
computers now to more than 22 computer units five years from now. The
school plans to procure at most one computer a year using the computer
laboratory fees of their students. Indeed, this number of computer dictates
the use of the client-server model.

Further Discussion on the Operating System to be Used

Due to the reasons above, the need for a server operating system
arises. None of the existing computers so far has a server operating system
installed. This leads to the groups recommendation for the school to acquire
at least one server OS for the computer unit that would act as the networks

server. As already discussed in the previous section, there are various server
OSes to choose from. The group recommends a Linux-based server operating
system among the rest. A cost-benefit analysis regarding this can be read on
the succeeding discussions.

Applying the Network Topology and Architecture

If the proposed network topology and model is applied on the existing

physical layout of the room, the computer laboratory would closely look like
the one in figure 13.

Figure 13: The proposed network topology if implemented in the computer laboratorys
existing layout.

With this setup, the following materials with corresponding costs are
estimated to be needed:

UTP Cable length (factor of safety considered) = 92 meters @ 10

RJ45 Jack (factor of safety considered) = 45 pieces @ 4 pesos/piece
RJ45 Crimping Tool = 1 piece @ 360/piece
Linksys SR224 24-port Switch = 1 unit @ 4520 pesos/unit
Linksys BEFSR41 4port DSL Router = 1 unit @ 1820 pesos/unit

Assuming that the school would like to have its own internet
connection, the following additional cost is required (considering a 5 year

SMART Bro Plan 999 = 60 months @ 999 pesos/month

The existing computers already have operating systems featuring the

Windows Client Operating Systems with different versions and a summary
could be seen on table 2 of the succeeding chapter. The currently installed
OS on each computer would suffice for the client node of the client-server
network model. For the server node, the group proposes the use of Linux-
based Server Operating System against the popular but proprietary and
more Windows Server.

Windows Server2003 = $999 dollars/license or ~45,000 pesos/license

Ubuntu Server Edition (Linux-based OS) = free

The money in purchasing a license of the Windows Server could be

appropriated for the purchase of 2 to 3 computers instead. The need for
more computers in the laboratory (considering that the ratio of users to
computers is 4:1) outweigh the need for the proprietary server OS and add to
that the existence of a free alternative really makes our group to lean
towards the latter. Although some may argue that the Linux-based Server OS
is more difficult and complicated to use than the Windows-based operating

system, even the cost in training the staffs or computer teachers for this
cause is still way cheaper. Our assumption is that a Linux Server
Administration Training program would cost:

Linux professional training program for teacher = ~10,000 pesos

If the proposed network topology and network model has to be

implemented on the current and existing laboratory setup, the cost to
network the room would amount to (consider the items in boldface above):

Cost to Network plus Internet Connectivity plus Teachers Training =

~77,740 pesos

Future Considerations

According to the instructor in charge of the computer laboratory, Aritao

National High School does its best in investing for new computer units that
would be used by their students. The instructor said that the school tries its
best to purchase at most one (1) computer unit every year. If the group may
suggest, the following specifications (according to the groups research)
offers the best performance/cost ratio as far as school or educational usage
is concerned:

Processor: Intel Celeron D 347 (3.06G) SC

Motherboard: Foxconn P4M800P7MB-RS2H VIA P4M800 Chipset
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (OEM)
Productivity Suite: Open Office (Full Version with CD)
Video Card: Integrated Video
Memory: 512MB DDR2 667MHz Memory w/ Lifetime Warranty
Hard Drive: 80GB 7200RPM Hard Drive SATA2 3gb/s 2X faster
Optical Drive: 52x/32x/52x CD-ReWriter Drive
Media Drive: 1.44 Floppy Disk Drive
Monitor: 15" Qube CRT Monitor Low Radiation
Power: Surge Protector
Mouse: PS2 QUBE Optical Mouse (w/o Mouse Pad)
Keyboard: Qube Multimedia Keyboard
Speakers: USB 900W MultiMedia Speaker System

Casing: Qube Ultimate Chassis - Silver w/ 600W PSU & Hi Def. Sound
Support (Only at Qube) + Blue LED Light Exhaust Fan
Power Supply: Built in
Price: P 16,000.00

In five years time and if the school could stick to its commitment in
purchasing one computer per year, there would be five (5) additional units
for laboratory use. If they would stick to the groups recommended computer
specifications, it would cost the school:

Complete Computer Set = 5 units @ 16,000 pesos/unit

Adding five additional computers to the computer room would

necessitate the revision of the existing layout of the laboratory. The group
suggests the following changes shown in figure. The figure also shows the
proposed network topology (STAR).

The total cost to network the laboratory plus internet connectivity (5 years
subscription) plus teachers training Linux Server Administration plus the
procurement of additional computer units (all in 5 years) all amounted to
~158,135 pesos:

UTP Cable length (factor of safety considered) = 127.5 meters @ 10

RJ45 Jack (factor of safety considered) = 55 pieces @ 4 pesos/piece
RJ45 Crimping Tool = 1 piece @ 360/piece
Linksys SR224 24-port Switch = 1 unit @ 4520 pesos/unit
Linksys BEFSR41 4port DSL Router = 1 unit @ 1820 pesos/unit
SMART Bro Plan 999 = 60 months @ 999 pesos/month
Ubuntu Server Edition (Linux-based OS) = free

Linux professional training program for teacher = ~10,000 pesos
Complete Computer Set = 5 units @ 16,000 pesos/unit


The computers in Aritao National High School are currently not

networked. This paper presented the advantages of networking the schools
computer laboratory.

This paper proposed to network the computers in Client-Server

network architecture utilizing the STAR network topology. It also contained
the details of the hardware, software, and other necessary components to
successfully implement the groups proposal.

The group came up with


SMART Bro Plan 999

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Linksys SR224

With its advanced switching technology, the Linksys 24-Port 10/100

Switch will boost your network performance with much more than just full
duplex data transfer and dedicated bandwidth. It features non-blocking, wire-
speed switching that forwards packets as fast as your network can deliver
them. Also included are Address Learning and Aging to prevent data transfer
errors and Data Flow Control to help prevent packet collisions.

You have several installation options. The Switch's compact size fits
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the way. If your network equipment is in a rack, install it using the included
rack mount brackets.

No matter how intensive your network demands, the Linksys 24-Port

10/100 Switch has speed, flexibility, and reliability that you can count on.

Model: SR224
Standards: IEEE 802.3, 802.3u
Ports SR224: 24 10/100 Mbps RJ-45 ports
Cabling Type: Cat5 or better
LEDs SR224: System, 1 through 24
Security Feature: Security Slot
Dimensions: 11" x 1.75" x 9.45"
W x H x D: (279 x 45 x 240 mm)
Unit Weight: 0.94 lbs (0.425 kg)
Power: SR224: 3.3V/5A
Certification: FCC Class B, CE
Operating Temperature: 32 to 104F (0 to 40C)
Storage Temperature: -40 to 158F (-40 to 70C)
Operating Humidity: 20 to 95%, noncondensing
Storage Humidity: 5 to 90%, noncondensing

Linksys BEFSR41

Think of the EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 4-Port Switch as a kind

of "splitter" for your Internet connection. Just connect your DSL or Cable
Modem to the Router, and all the computers in your household can share the
Internet -- all at the same time. The built-in 4-port switch lets you attach four
local PCs directly, or daisy-chain out to more hubs and switches as your
network grows.

Once your computers are connected to the Internet through the
Router, they can communicate with each other too, sharing resources and
files. All your computers can print on a shared printer connected anywhere in
the house. And you can share all kinds of files between computers -- music,
digital pictures, and other documents. Keep all your digital music on one
computer, and listen to it anywhere in the house. Organize all of your
family's digital pictures in one place, to simplify finding the ones you want,
and ease backup to CD-R. Play head-to-head computer games within the
household, or against Internet opponents. Utilize extra free space on one
computer when another's hard drive starts to fill up.

It's all easier than you think -- the included Setup Wizard takes you
through configuring the Router, step by step. The Router can act as a DHCP
server for your network, so your PCs are configured automatically. Universal
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of your computers.

With the EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 4-Port Switch at the heart
of your home network, you don't need to be a networking genius to share
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Model Number: BEFSR41

Standards: IEEE 802.3 (10BaseT), IEEE 802.3u (100BaseTX)
Ports: Four 10/100 RJ-45 Switched Ports
LED Indicators: Power, Ethernet, Internet
OS Support: Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
Network Protocols: TCP/IP
Dimensions (W x D x H): 186 mm x 154 mm x 48 mm (7.32" x 6.06" x
Unit Weight: 11.04 oz. (0.32 kg)
Power Input: External, 9V AC, 1000 mA
Certifications: FCC, CE
Operating Temp.: 32F to 104F (0C to 40C)
Storage Temp.: -4F to 158F (-20C to 70C)
Operating Humidity: 10% to 85%, Non-Condensing
Storage Humidity: 5% to 90%, Non-Condensing