Final Project Milestone 4: Networking Options

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Assignment 5-2 Final Project Milestone 4: Networking Options

IT-201 Computer Platform Technologies

Southern New Hampshire University

Networking

Now that we have discussed the hardware components and software programs that I feel will be a good fit and cost effective for MilleniAds to get their business up and running, let’s discuss what is going to run the network for the company. There are two host types of networks, a Peer-to-Peer network and a Client-Server network. As I have stated above, it is my plan to set up a Client-Server network, which is why I recommended the purchase of a server and the Windows Server 2016 software program. Even though I have chosen a client-server network, I am going to take this time to explain my decision and show why this is the better choice for MilleniAds.

A peer-to-peer network is a group of computers, there must be at least two computers to achieve this connection. Individual resources from each computer like a printer or disk drive is pooled together and becomes available to all computers in the network. Each computer acts as both the client and the server, communicating directly with the other computers (Waters, 2018). The advantages of a peer-to-peer network are set up is simple and the cost very little to implement. Even though this type of network is easy to set up and cost effective, it does come with limitations. Peer-to-peer networks are typically less secure than a client-server network because security is handled by the individual computers, not on the network as a whole (Waters, 2018). You are relying on each user to know how to set up security measures and stay on top of updates and patches. A couple other disadvantages of this type of network are that it is not scalable, and there is no centralized control. The short of it is even though this type of network takes minimal set up effort and can be cost effective, it is not ideal for MilleniAds, a business that expects to expand in future years.

The network that I am insisting MilleniAds put in place is the Client-server network. A server is the hub for data storage and applications, and the client, which are the employee workstations, request the retrieval of stored data or usage of applications from the server. Many clients can connect to a single server and they don’t have to store anything on their workstation if they don’t want too. Client-server networks tend to have faster access speeds because of the large number of clients they are designed to support (Waters, 2018). This type of network can be easy to expand as by just adding another workstation to the homegroup on the server. Also, by using a server you are putting resources in one central location. This allows MilleniAds the ability to utilize one printer for the office instead of paying for multiple printers. Security is enhanced on a client-server network because the security is handled by the server (Waters, 2018). The downside of a client-server network though, the upfront costs can be significant for the hardware and software program needed to setup this type of network. With the CEO expressing the need to have a system in place that can be expandable since there are only a dozen clients right now but hopes to bring in more clients in the future. A client-server network is what is going to satisfy the business needs for MilleniAds.

For MilleniAds to achieve a client-server network, they will need to purchase and implement an in-house server. There are companies that provide off-site services that MilleniAds could choose to use, but the fees associated with off-site hosting could be greater than a one-time purchase of the necessary hardware and software to have a physical server. Because the company plans on growing over time, a server that cannot be scaled up when needed is not a good choice. I have chosen a server that is reasonably priced and offers plenty of server power, more importantly, it can be scaled up when there is a need for more servers. The HPE ProLiant ML10 Gen9 tower server checks both boxes that costs $489.99. The ProLiant tower server comes equipped with one Intel Xeon E3-1225 v5 processor, a 4 GB memory, a 1 TB hard drive, and one 300W power supply (Tower Servers,2018). Since there is no operating system pre-loaded on this server, I recommend the purchase of Windows Server 2016 Standard edition priced at $882 (Microsoft, 2018).

A different server could be an option, there are many good ones to choose from, but there would be a significant amount of research involved trying to find a handful that bear the same configurations as well as pricing. I found a Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 that has the same price tag as the HP ProLiant tower server at $489.99. The one draw-back that kept me from choosing the Lenovo is that it does not come with a hard drive, one would have to be purchased, where-as the ProLiant does keeping additional costs done. The operating system does not necessarily have to be Windows based, there are Linux based server software, but it is my opinion that the software be uniformed across the board.

As far as Internet connectivity is concerned, MilleniAds will be implementing a Local Area Network since 80% of the employees will be working within the office. My original proposal was to have a wired and wireless system in place. The three desktops should be wired because the programs the CEO, accountant, and office administrator will be working from are applications that are online. Wired networks offer higher performance speeds. The seven Surface Pro laptops can utilize a wireless connection, their devices are already set up for it. Splitting between the two will decrease potential network interference keeping MilleniAds running smoothly. With wireless connectivity there are always security risks to be considered, and since MilleniAds has employees who are millennials and like to use all their devices instead of just what is provided to them, how to secure the network should be given serious consideration. For the two sales staffers who will be located outside of the office, setting up a virtual private network would be the best route to take. A VPN will give the remote personnel access to the network resources back in the office if they have a wireless connection. For the employees who want to use their mobile devices within the office, MilleniAds should implement MAC address filtering since it restricts access to the wireless and wired network disallowing those access who don’t need it. The easiest way to achieve this is to use a whitelist, it is easier to compile a list of those addresses who should be granted access.

To conclude, it is my recommendation that MilleniAds implement a client-server network. A network of this type will give the office administrator centralized control over client services, require less hardware like printers be purchased, and offers better security over the network. A client-server network will also allow MilleniAds to grow in employees once the number of accounts grows larger than a dozen or so. It is my recommendation that there be both wired and wireless connections within the office, the wired connections will offer a more secure connection and minimize wireless traffic. For those who have expressed the desire to use mobile devices to do work while in the office, I believe MAC address filtering should be implemented for both the wired and wireless connection. This can be achieved by setting up a whitelist of addresses that should be granted access. I have included a table for MilleniAds’ networking costs for a physical server and the software that will be running on it.

NetworkingCost
HPE ProLiant ML10 Gen9 Tower Server with Intel Xeon E3-1225 v5 processor, 4GB memory, one 1TB hard drive, and one 300W power supply$489.99
Windows Server 2016 edition- Standard$882.00
 Total: $1371.99

References

Waters, K. (n.d.). Peer-to-Peer vs. Client-Server Networks. Retrieved February 18, 2018, from https://www.techwalla.com/articles/peer-to-peer-vs-client-server-networks

Microsoft. Pricing and licensing for Windows Server 2016. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2018, from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/windows-server-pricing

Tower Servers – Small and Midsize Business Servers – ProLiant. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2018, from https://www.hpe.com/us/en/servers/tower-servers.html




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