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Hardware, Software Systems and Networks II

Submitted by
Fazaal Naufer (CB002873)

Submitted to
Mr. Balachandran Gnanasekaraiyer

Module Code
CE00382-2

Intake Code
HF09B1COM

Assignment Title
Individual Assignment

Due Date
12th October 2010

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Acknowledgement

I would like to thank our HSSN lecturer, Mr. Balachandran Gnanasekaraiyer for his support and guidance. Without his valuable guidance, all my efforts could have been short-sighted.

I would like to acknowledge and extend my heartfelt gratitude to my seniors and friends who willingly lent a helping hand whenever required.

I also owe quite a lot to my family who has provided me with good education and a chance to fulfill my career objectives.

Finally, I am responsible for any mistakes in this assignment.

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Table of Contents
1.0 1.1 Problem Analysis ................................................................................................... 5 Requirement Specification.................................................................................. 5 Direct Requirements .................................................................................... 5 Indirect Requirements .................................................................................. 6

1.1.1 1.1.2 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 2.0 3.0 4.0 4.1 4.2 5.0 6.0 7.0 7.1

Research on Requirement Specification ............................................................ 7 Assumptions ..................................................................................................... 15 Scope ............................................................................................................... 16 Scope Limitation ............................................................................................... 16 Evaluation ............................................................................................................ 17 Conclusion ........................................................................................................... 22 Diagrams ............................................................................................................. 24 Overall Network Diagram.................................................................................. 24 LAN Diagram .................................................................................................... 26 References .......................................................................................................... 28 Bibliography ......................................................................................................... 29 Appendix .............................................................................................................. 31 Gantt Chart ....................................................................................................... 31

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List of Figures

Figure 1 - ICT Resources Network Diagram .................................................................. 24 Figure 2 - Local Area Network Diagram......................................................................... 26

List of Tables Table 1 - Types of Internet Connections ........................................................................ 10 Table 2 - Advantages and Disadvantages of network Architectures.............................. 18

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1.0 Problem Analysis
The core requirement of the company is to make sure that all its branches in the strategic locations as well as the local office are well networked in order to maintain a worry-free communication among its subsidiaries. Therefore, this would enable users of the organization to access information regardless to the geographic area they belong to. Additionally, network should be cost-effective, fast, and most importantly should include high privacy in communication.

1.1 Requirement Specification

1.1.1 Direct Requirements
Network Architecture within the local building

y

o Implement a network solution for the local 3-storey building consisting more than 30 employees.

o Identify the types of machines and the number of components required for the 3 storey building.

y

Connecting the 3 strategic locations with the local building

o Connect the company¶s 3 strategic locations using a cost-effective and scalable network.

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1.1.2 Indirect Requirements
Internet Connectivity

y

o The company should have internet connectivity that enables users to complete various tasks online and share data among various branches.

y

Security and Privacy

o The communication among the network within the organization and the 3 strategic locations should maintain a high level of privacy and security.

y

Transmission Media

o Define the most suitable transmission media for the appropriate networks.

y

Backup

o There should be a mechanism in which the network should be robust and make sure alternative paths are always available.

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1.2 Research on Requirement Specification

Network Architecture within the Local Building

Peer-to-Peer In this type of architecture, two or more computers (nodes) share common resources such as hard disks, printers with each other in the network. There is no restriction in accessing data as each and every node in the network is capable of communicating directly. Due to this, the information is considered to be decentralized which is totally the opposite of the Client-Server Architecture. This is more suitable for small and inexpensive network solutions. As per the security concerned, each of the nodes maintains its own security which could be difficult to maintain when an organization looks for expansion.

Client-Server Architecture The nodes in this type of network are connected to a centralized dedicated machine and are controlled by it. All protocols and security measures are defined by the server which also defines the rules on the specific network. This also provides faster communications among the networks and all tasks carried out in the network can be tracked since all processes such as printing and web requested should go through the fileserver. The maintenance of the network becomes very easy since the applications used by the client machines are stored in the fileserver. Therefore upgrades and installations need to be done by the network administrator only in the fileserver which in result upgrades all the connected machines simultaneously. If a two clients needs to communicate with each other, this also takes place through the fileserver which receives specific messages and gets routed accordingly.

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Connecting the 3 strategic locations with the local building

For this specific purpose, there are several options that would cater the requirement. The following are few of the available mechanisms.

Leased Lines Leased Line is a method in which communication lines are rented for private use. It can makes use of copper wire, radio links or optical fiber to provide data communication and supports a huge number of simultaneous users using a dedicated line between two points. The costs for the leased lines vary based on the distance, speed and the bandwidth. The users get an all-time up connection without any drop in the speeds of communication. Therefore if a company purchases a 128kbps and the average usage is 64kbps, the cost would be the same. The cost for implementation and maintenance is considered to be very high as the distance increases. Additionally, the addition of a new branch or building to the network could cause a lot of difficulties in upgrading the network.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) VPN is one of the most upcoming and cost effective ways of securely transmitting data which makes use of a public telecommunication infrastructure such as the internet to enable individuals and remote offices to access information. By this mechanism, it eradicates the high cost of owning private systems and leased lines but the availability and performance highly depends on external factors which may not be under an organizations control. It does not have any extra implementation cost while it is considered to be reasonably secured during the communication process of two private networks.

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There are few techniques in which VPN could be configured: o MPLS VPN Network Connectivity This is an end-to-end circuit technology which is known as multiprotocol as it integrates several protocols such as IP, Frame Relay and ATM protocols. It allows the switching layer to forward most of the packets rather than the routing layer (L3). It also enhances the service by providing network administrators to define specific paths that the traffic would take and additionally it allows to "set performance

characteristics" to groups of traffic thus improving quality of service. (Das. M, n.d)

o IPLC Connectivity IPLC, a point-to-point private line used to communicate between networks that are dispersed throughout the world is an alternative to MPLS which uses complex computations in order to choose the quickest path to route the data "based on the destination IP". It makes use of the layer 3 in order to establish paths of delivering data. It is considered to have some drawback when compared to MPLS, when setting performance characteristics and administration tasks. (Das. M, n.d)

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Internet Access for the local building

There are numerous ways of implementing a Internet Connection for the building as mentioned in the table below:

Connection Type Dial-up

Description

Downlink Speeds

Uses a modem connected to the pc and 2400bps to 56Kbps dials using the telephone line. Cheap solution but a unreliable connection.

ISDN

Uses telephone line to send voice, data 64 Kbps to 128 Kbps. and video. Faster than dial up.

DSL

Connected via a modem or router. Up

to

24Mbps

Requires a telephone connection but (ADSL2+) does not interfere with it. Very reliable and easy to set up. Wireless Uses radio frequencies to connect to the Up to 1Gbps internet. An always up connection and delivers to a greater distance. Satellite Speeds depend on the location. Most Up to 1Gbps expensive solution for the cost of the connection as well as equipment. Very useful in rural areas. Table 1 - Types of Internet Connections (Turpen. A, n,d)

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As per the above table, there are several factors that should be considered in selecting the appropriate type to suit the desired requirements. Few of the main factors are:

Speed This is one of the key factors that could affect the efficiency of an organization. The speed should be sufficient enough to cater the everyone in the network. Therefore, the speed should be at an acceptable rate even though it would be distributed among a number of users. Even though a connection that supports high speeds has been chosen, there are several categories within them with a variety of speeds.

Availability/ Coverage There are number of possibilities that a desired type of connection would not be available to a specific area due to various reason. Therefore it should be checked and clarified via the ISP before the service has been purchased. Additionally, it should be identified if it could cover the desired area as well.

Cost According to table 2, the various categories belong to different cost structures. The cost depends mainly on the technology, devices used and especially the speed it provides. Based on the operations using the internet and the amount of users, the connection would vary. Some types charge according to the usage while others are charged on a fix fee regardless to the bandwidth used.

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Transmission Media

There are several types of transmission media that could be used in networking. These are classified as Guided and Unguided Media. Selection of the transmission media would depend on various factors such as the geographical location, distance limitations between the nodes, cost and the speed. The following table consists of various transmission media and its various qualities.

Twisted Pair

These are one of the oldest cables that have been used in telecommunication which makes use of insulated wires twisted together in order improve efficiency by reducing cross talk and the ³noise generated by adjacent pairs´. (Cisco Systems Inc., 2003) When two cables placed close to each other, the equally opposite magnetic fields within them tend to cancel each other out. Therefore by the use of twisting the cables, it overcomes the ³cancellation effect´. (Cisco Systems Inc., 2003) There are two types such as Unshielded (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables. The latter protects and adds security by the metallic foil wrapper. Each pair is wrapped and all of the pairs are wrapped by a universal cover such as a metallic braid or foil. Even though STP gives more protection, it may cost more and installation could be complicated.

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Coaxial Cable

These consists a single wire surrounded by a conductor. The wire is made of two conductors in which one is copper. This consists of another outer wire which is wrapper by metallic braid which helps reduce the outside interference. Coax cables work at similar speeds such as twisted pair and supports from 10-100Mbps but can be cabled over long distances (up to 500m) than the twisted pair which supports only 100m. Additionally, it is quite expensive per unit when compared with twisted pair cables. (Austin. A, 2009) Wireless Communication

This type of communication belongs to the Unguided category which makes use of Radio Frequency or Infrared Frequency to transmit data among networks. Therefore, in order for a computer to receive the signals, the machine should have an adaptor installed. Since the signals are electromagnetic waves, it does not require an physical medium to travel as it could travel in the vacuum through a medium of air. (Cisco Systems Inc., 2003).

Wireless connections are used mostly in the following scenarios: y y y y Connecting to the internet via the mobile phone Home or business connection via satellite A network within two handheld devices Use of wireless devices such as keyboards and other devices

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Fiber Optic Cables

These are the most expensive type of cable used in data communication which is thinner than the human hair. It is made out of glass and makes use of light signals to transfer data across the cable. It is also considered relatively very fast as light signals move at a greater speed with higher capacities. It is less prone to signal attenuation when compared to copper cables and as a result, requires only less power since it does not require high-voltage transmitters. (Freudenrich, C, 2008) And this is considered to be one of the most clear communication mediums; while it also bears a huge sum of investment for maintenance and upgrades.

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1.3 Assumptions

Locations: Headquarters ± Malaysia, Kuala Lampur. Other Branches ± Sri Lanka, Colombo. Thailand, Bangkok. Indonesia, Manila. Existing Network: There is no existing network available. Number of users and Priority Levels: All strategic locations have around 35-40 employees. And there are 3 departments namely IT, Sales and HR in the local building. There is no special priority regardless to the Network Administrator in the IT department. Data types: Common types of data would include excel files, account information, reports and web pages. Majority of the data would be text and images with a small amount video and voice communication. Data sources: Data will be sent and received from all strategic locations. Data will be produced by applications from Windows XP and Vista 32 bit. Applications such as Microsoft Office packages and other accounting packages will be used. Note that the network won't be accessible by the outside. Load Variation: Most traffic would be generated during the morning between 8.00am to 5.00pm on weekdays and from 9.00am to 2.00pm on Saturdays. Traffic is minimal in the night and during Sundays. Therefore the network should cater the needs of the peak times and avoid any complaints from the user. Security: A firewall will be used in order to prevent unauthorized access while each and every user will be given an username and password that provides some limitations as well. Budget: Not specifically mentioned. Considered as high budgeted project that could cater all requirements of the company as mentioned.

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1.4 Scope
The scope of this thesis would adhere to specific areas of the requirements. The following are the areas that would be covered in this report. y The Local Area Network(LAN) and the internet connectivity within the local building located in Malaysia. y The network solution to make sure all 4 buildings could communicate via a secure network with privacy and security measures included. y A way to provide a backup solution in case a network segment goes offline in the local building. y A centralized network architecture that enables all the machines to be controlled by a single server. y Controlling web traffic within the local building and imposing restrictions to improve quality and the bandwidth. y Limiting access and adding restrictions for user interaction with other departments.

1.5 Scope Limitation
In contrast to the above scope, the below mentioned won't be discussed in this report. y y y y The LAN and the Internet Connection solution of the 3 strategic locations. A VOIP system that enables the employees communicate among departments. Enabling users to login remotely to the network. Mechanisms to control mail servers.

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2.0 Evaluation
Network Architecture

ICT Resources has a 3 storey building which has total 35-40 employees. The network should be easily upgradable, ability to fix problems efficiently thus improving the productivity without interfering with the daily-basis tasks. Additionally, it should be able to control and monitor the tasks in the network in order to measure the key performance indicator and the efficiency of the network.

As described, the peer-to-peer architectures is less costly and easy to implement for small networks. It also provides sharing of data among all connected nodes and is also able of having backups of all nodes among each other which is a way to prevent damages as a whole. And security wise, it has almost no security as anyone could access information if they are connected to the network. Therefore this may suit more to small businesses with a low budget with less than 10 employees who will need share data equally among each other.

On the other hand, the Client-Server architecture is capable of managing a collection of computers connected to network from a single centralized device. This also helps track each and every task carried out in the network. As the implementation cost is very high this may not be cost effective for smaller group since it has hardware as well as software costs. The factor that matters the most is the highest security that is provided. The centralized server could be configured so that different users are give different authorizations and privileges thus improving security as well as control. Therefore, for a company looking for the best solution in terms of control, security and efficiency; this type of architecture will suit the most even though the cost may seem to be relatively higher. 17

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Advantages and Disadvantages of the two Network Architectures
Peer-to-peer Advantages Less Expensive and easy set up No need of an administrator Backing up in other pc¶s Shared peripherals Client-Server All tasks can be tracked Centralized Data Configurable Security & Control Easily scalable Hardware and Software are optimized centrally for multiple users

Disadvantages Lack of security and control Cannot trace the network No centralized administration Difficult to expand Slow performance as all nodes act as Clients and Servers Difficult to upgrade and maintain

Expensive to setup Requires a dedicated server Expensive to maintain

Table 2 - Advantages and Disadvantages of Network Architectures

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Internet Connectivity

As per the latest advancements, there are so many alternatives available for internet connection. Speed and bandwidth has been an issue in using internet for the past few years. Users tend to use a lot of resources online such as streaming videos, VoIP, images and other sorts of high-bandwidth content. Even information sharing has advanced to the extent which thousands of megabytes are transferred on a daily basis in the corporate world.

The most widely used internet connection are either based on ADSL, Broadband or other wireless technologies such as Wi-Max. ADSL and Broadband are widely used in homes and small business that is capable of supporting general user needs. Wi-Max is mostly used in organizations that requires a greater coverage to a large number of users. The cost varies based on the type and package and few other factors. These technologies require additional hardware for implementation.

When the term leased line is used, many get the interpretation that it is very costly. But, the most important feature of a leased line is that it is always up and provides the maximum bandwidth and equal speeds for both uplink and downlink unlike ADSL and Broadband which has different speed for downlink and a relatively lower speed for uplink. Additionally, leased line are very reliable and provides the highest security since the line belongs to the organization as a whole. Another misinterpretation in the concept of leased lines are that it is only using copper wires. Leased lines could be a dedicated connection using Radio Links (Wi-Max) or Optical Fiber as well.

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Transmission Media

Similarly to the other aspects, selecting the best type depends on various factors. The main emphasis should be the distance and the data rate. There are limitations of distance in guided transmission types such as copper cables and twisted pair cables while some unguided mediums such as radio links require transmitters in order to regenerate the signals for greater distances. When comparing guided media such as fiber optics and twisted pair, we could identify some pros and cons in each of them.

Twisted pair cables are relatively cheap and easier to implement. But it has limitations in the length of the wires. Additionally, it may be impractical to run cables around computers of big networks which could also result in bandwidth inefficiencies. Regarding security concerns, these could face problems due to inexpensive devices used.

Optical fiber is considered as the most secure and efficient modes of guided media. As it delivers data in digital signals via light , the process is much quicker and reliable over distant networks. The major drawback of optical fiber is its cost of the implementation and maintenance as well as the components. But due to the rise in the use of this technology, the cost seems to be falling apart in the long run.

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Wireless transmissions are mostly considered when it is quite unrealistic to lay cables. These make use of microwave, radio or infrared signals in order to communicate among stations. One of the major drawbacks are the limited spectrum provided by these mediums. For example, setting up Wi-Max could be a wise decision to cover up a large network area if the location is somewhat close to a base station of the ISP. Therefore it would be one of the best ways to implement large networks in urban areas. But availability becomes a problem when considered in rural areas where most factories and warehouses are located. One of the best features in these is that you could freely reallocate your device without an additional cost while the down time is low. Additionally there won't be any disturbance to the network when a new device is connected which is an important factor for an office environment.

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3.0 Conclusion
In this report, a local network solution, internet connectivity as well as a solution that could connect the company with its branches located in different countries was to be presented. It was found that there were several technologies and mechanisms that were available in order to achieve the core requirements as well as the indirect requirements. Each of these technologies and its pros and cons were presented and compared among them.

For the local area network, it was discussed that a peer-to-peer was a easy-to-install and less costly solution to implement. However, ICT Resource Malaysia has a 3-storey building that consists of 40 employees, and they also look forward to future expansions. Therefore the client-server architecture would be the best solution that could cater all their needs as it is quite easy to expand and control the network from a centralized location. As in for the transmission media for the LAN, it was found out that there were similar categories with various sub options available among them. Coaxial cables could help connecting over longer distances while it also had a secure covering to reduce noise. Since the office would require around 40 computers and other devices to be networked, coaxial cable would be too bulky to maintain the space. Therefore shielded twisted pair cables of would be a better option in order to provide a secure and reliable service for a network across 3 storey's of the building.

Another requirement of this study was to identify the most suited internet connection for the local building. ADSL could be considered as an internet option since its availability is relatively high while it could also be a cheaper than other options available. Regardless to the cost, however, with the availability of leased line wireless internet connectivity, choosing Wi-Max would be the best and cost effective solution that could cater all the in-house needs. It also suits an office environment with a plan of expansion and a dedicated bandwidth for a number of users. It allows mobility and to connect to the 22

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network within the range of the connection using portable devices as well, while the wireless technology would eradicate the problem of unnecessary cabling and thus help to easily install and include many users. Therefore, a dedicated 2Mbps Wi-Max connection would be suitable for this organization with a backup connection of 1Mbps ADSL.

As per the secure transmission among the 3 strategic locations, it was discussed that leased lines were the most reliable because it was an fully dedicated line between the strategic locations. But it would impractical to lay down cables for 3 countries located at a great distance. Additionally the cost of addition of a new location would create a huge problem in the infrastructure. However there were few alternatives in Virtual Private Networks which makes use of the internet to securely transfer data. Under VPN, the IPLC technology is would be a cost effective for a point -to-point connection across to branches when compared with MPLS. It also enables to manage and prioritize your traffic due to the private line. But if a new node is to be added, the cost is clearly expensive. Since ICT Resources look forward to future expansions, MPLS would be the best solution to go with since it can make use of a fast reroute feature with QoS. MPLS also overcomes the leased line drawbacks since leased lines need to connect to all points in the network individually. And MPLS makes use of lesser hops and improves the performance as well.

In order to create a secure, reliable and a fast network, the above justifications and consideration should be taken in to account and implemented which would as result bring in productivity and efficiency and as well as enable ICT Resources to gain a good place in the industry.

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4.0 Diagrams
4.1 Overall Network Diagram

Figure 1 - ICT Resources Network Diagram 24

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According to Figure 1, the network diagram illustrates how the MPLS VPN enables the 3 strategic locations of the organization to communicate via their ISP's. The main local building, it makes use of a 2Mbps Wi-Max Connection as the primary mode of internet while having a backup link of 1Mbps ADSL which would be used during a downtime of Wi-Max connection. These are supported by a load balancing switch which could intelligently detect the status of servers and chooses the best to work with.

The two connections are connected to two routers of the ISP for security purposes. There onwards, the ISP's communicate with each other located in other countries via the PE Routers (Provider Edge). The respective branches of ICT Resource would have a 1Mbps ADSL connection and makes use of two 24 port switches for the 35 users. The same concept follows in the other branches as well in which they connect to the ISP and there onwards the ISP's of the respective countries communicate with each other.

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4.2 LAN Diagram

Figure 2 - Local Area Network Diagram

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It is considered that the 3 separate departments of the building do not necessarily need to communicate or access files related to other departments. As per Figure 2, The 3 storey building will be partitioned into 3 separate Virtual LANs as HR, Sales and Engineering in order to maintain security and reduce unnecessary traffic within the network. Every floor contains a printer with a specific number of users (mentioned in the Figure 2) which are connected to switches of the respective floor. The switches used cater a higher number of users than the current amount since it could be utilized during the expansion.

The ground floor would be used in order to place the servers namely the File Server, VPN Server and etc... The File Server would contain the commonly accessed data with authorization while the VPN Server will be used to configure the VPN to connect via the MPLS. The Proxy server would be placed within the first floor network among the rest of the servers. The reason for this is because the layer 3 switch could be configured such that if any request from a port that needs to be filtered would be redirected to the proxy before leaving the L3 switch. This makes the network more efficient since, only the necessary traffic would go through the proxy server. Additionally the PDC (Primary Domain Controller) would be supported by a BDC (Backup Domain Controller) in order to control the computers of the network as per the client-server.

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5.0 References
Austin, A. (2009). Coaxial Cable Vs. Twisted Pair Cable[online]. Available at: http://www.ehow.com/about_5517261_coaxial-vs-twisted-pair-cable.html. Accessed on: 6th October 2010. Cisco Systems Inc.(2003). CCNA: Network Media Types[online]. Available

at:http://www.ciscopress.com/articles/article.asp?p=31276. Accessed on: 6th October 2010. Das, 2010. Freudenrich, C. (2008). How fiber optics work?[online]. Available at: M.(n.d). MPLS and IPLC[online]. Available at:

http://www.sifycorporate.com/scripts/nov03knowhow.asp#2. Accessed on: 6th October

http://communication.howstuffworks.com/fiber-optic-communications/fiber-optic.htm. Accessed on: 7th October 2010. Turpen, A. (n.d). Different Internet Connection Types & Their Pros and Cons[online]. Available at: http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/connections . Accessed on: 5th October 2010

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6.0 Bibliography
Anon. (2010). Load Balancing[online]. Available at: http://www.bladenetwork.net/LoadBalancing.html. Accessed on: 5th October 2010. Anon. (n.d). Peer to Peer vs. Client/Server Networks[online]. Available at:

http://freepctech.com/pc/002/networks007.shtml Anon. (n.d). Sample Network Proposal[online]. Available at:

http://people.uwec.edu/hiltonts/101/CBAsample/projectsample.htm. Accessed on: 5th October 2010. Bova, R. (n.d). VPNs: The Time is Now?[online]. Available at:

http://www.intranetjournal.com/articles/200110/vpn_10_03_01a.html. Accessed on: 2nd October 2010. Brain, M & Grabianowski, E. (n.d). How WiMax works?[online]. Available at: http://communication.howstuffworks.com/fiber-optic-communications/fiber-optic.htm. Accessed on: 7th October 2010. ExcitingIP.com. (2010). Advantages of Internet Leased Lines over Broadband for Internet Connectivity[online]. Available at: http://www.excitingip.com/668/advantages-ofinternet-leased-lines-over-broadband-for-internet-connectivity/. October 2010 ExcitingIP.com. (2010). Advantages of MPLS VPN Network over Point to Point Leased Lines for WAN Connectivity [online]. Available at: Accessed on: 1st

http://www.excitingip.com/668/advantages-of-internet-leased-lines-over-broadband-forinternet-connectivity/. Accessed on: 1st October 2010 Garson, S.(2010). Do you need MPLS or will an IPL suffice?[online]. Available at: http://mpls-experts.com/blog/?p=59. Accessed on: 1st October 2010. MPLS-Experts.com. (2010). What is MPLS?[online]. Available at: http://mpls-

experts.com/technical/what-is-mpls.html. Accessed on 1st October 2010. 29

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Remy. (2008). Understanding The International Private Leased Circuit (Or IPLC) Line of Oracle Contact Center[online]. Available at: http://www.articlealley.com/article_465941_11.html Accessed on: 1st October 2010. VPN Consortium. (2008). VPN Technologies: Definitions and Requirements[online]. Available at: http://www.vpnc.org/vpn-technologies.html. Accessed on: 2nd October 2010.

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7.0 Appendix
7.1 Gantt Chart

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Marking Sheet
Summary of Agreed Marks and Overall Percentage Assumptions (10%) Presentation (10%) Documentation (15%) Research Phase & References (15%) Analysis and Critical thinking (20%) Report Content (20%) Diagrams and/or Figures (10%) Total (100%)

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