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Desktop computers. Since there are five floors each measuring 250ft by 250ft, and the customer requires workstation in about every 2000 sq ft, each floor will have 31 work stations (31 computers). This means that each building will require a total of 156 computers. The two buildings will, therefore, have 312 desktop computers. These will be the client computers. They will have the following specifications: 1 GB DDR2 RAM, 80 GB hard disk, 2.8 GHz Intel Duo Core processor, DVD ROM RW, TFT monitor, standard keyboard, and optical mice.
Server. Since the customer wants the network to be centrally placed, there will be one desktop computer acting as the server. It will have the following specifications: 2 GB DDR2 RAM, 320 GB hard disk, 3.2 GHz Intel Duo Core processor, DVD ROM RW, TFT monitor, standard keyboard, and an optical mouse.
External hard disk. Data is very essential and important to any organization. There is, therefore, a need to backup data from the server periodically. This will be done by using a 320GB external hard disk.
A4 Laser Jet printer. Ten Laser Jet printers, one for each floor, will be installed to enable users in every floor to print their documents. They will have the following specifications: HP LaserJet P1007, speed of 14 papers per minute, 2 MB memory, 266 MHz processor speed, one paper tray, one USB port, and a Network Interface Card.
High speed Ethernet cable. 2000 meters High speed Ethernet cable Category 6 will be used to connect the networking devices.
RJ 45. 1000 RJ45 will be used to terminate patch cords.
Software. Two types of operating systems will be required: one for the server and the other for the client computers. The server operating system will be Windows Server 2008 R2 while that for client computers will be Windows7 Professional. Application software will include Microsoft Office, firewall software to control the network’s inbound and outbound traffic, web browsing software, etc.
Antivirus. Viruses pose threats to computers storing data. The client and server computers need to be protected from viruses. Antivirus will be bought and installed in every computer including the server.
Switches. Each floor in the two building needs a switch to connect devices such as printers and computers. This means that a total of ten switches will be required.
Router. The customer requires the network to connect to the Internet. One router will be required that will route data packets from the Internet to the network. The router will have the following specifications: Adtran NetVanta 3448 router, 10 port, and 2 slots, 330 MHz processor, 256 MHz of RAM, and 256 MB flash memory.
List of hardware and software associated costs can be found in Appendix A of this paper.
Implementation and operation. The network will be laid down starting with cabling the buildings floor after floor from ground floor. This will be followed by connecting and configuring the computers, printers, and other networking devices to communicate with each other. This involves installation of software, setting Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in each device and testing if they communicate. Users will then be trained and the network maintained.
Given the four months, the project is subdivided into activities which should be completed within scheduled deadlines. The activities involve preliminary investigation which will be done within two weeks, requirement analysis to done in one week, purchase of the equipment done within two weeks, laying down the network and configuring hardware and software done within two months, and training users done within three weeks.
Computer networks help in sharing of resources in organizations. Implementing a computer network requires knowledge of the hardware, software, topology, network security, and the overall layout of an organization. This facilitates good design that is robust, fast, reliable, and secure.