The Design Scenario

The Design Scenario

The client for the network design is Happy Homes, Inc., a thriving builder of residential housing in the Eastern United States. In the past, Happy Homes has prided itself on a very decentralized management structure. The company has been divided into five geographic regions that have operated in a very autonomous fashion. However, with the recent retirement of Happy GoLucky, the company’s charismatic founder, the new management team has decided that it must centralize leadership. As a result, the company’s four regional headquarters will be relocated to the corporate headquarters outside Baltimore, Maryland.

Currently, the Baltimore campus consists of two three-story buildings (both also have basements to house utilities such as heating, plumbing, and, of course, network equipment). Building 1 has served as the company’s headquarters for the last 15 years—the cornerstone was even laid by Mr. GoLucky himself. The building currently contains 371 employees. The sales department is located on the first floor, and the engineering and marketing departments share the second floor. Finance is located on the third floor.

From a network perspective, Building 1 consists of the chaotic mix of equipment shown in Figure 17-1.

Figure 17-1. Building 1 of the Happy Homes, Inc. Headquarters
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The basement of Building 1 contains a Cisco 4000 router that links the company to a local Internet service provider. The company currently has a Web site hosted by its ISP but wants to bring this function in-house. The Ethernet1 port of the router connects to a 10Base2 segment linked to two NetWare 3.11 servers and a NetBIOS-based e-mail server. The Ethernet0 port connects to a 10BaseT hub located in the sales department on the first floor. The sales department uses a total of three 48-port hubs in a daisy-chain configuration as well as a single NetWare 4.02 server. In all, 109 connections are in use on the first floor.

For the second floor, a four-port software-based bridge was purchased. Two ports are used to link to the first and third floors, and a third port links to the marketing department’s NetWare 3.11 server. The fourth port connects to a 96-port hub that contains the end-user connections for the marketing department. Being more technically savvy, the engineering department has installed their own 2514 router and an 8-port Ethernet switch. The switch connects to two 48-port hubs and an OS/2 server running a CAD package. In total, there are 163 users on the second floor.

The finance department uses a series of 48-port hubs daisy chained off of the bridge on the second floor. The finance department has 99 end-user connections and three servers: two NetWare 3.12 servers and an NT 3.51 server.

Across the formal gardens from Building 1, Building 2 is in the final stages of construction. This building will be used to house the staff that replaces the regional office currently located in High Point, North Carolina. The engineering group will occupy the first floor, and the finance and marketing groups will use the second floor. The sales department has arranged mahogany offices on the third floor (they convinced senior management that the commanding view of Happy Home’s growing headquarters would improve sales). Four hundred and thirty-one employees are expected to occupy Building 2.

As additional regional offices are closed and relocated to Baltimore, more buildings will be built. When these relocations are combined with Happy’s ongoing success in the marketplace, they expect a total of six buildings and 2,600 employees within two years. Although the initial design should only include Buildings 1 and 2, the client has repeatedly stressed the importance of having a design that will easily scale to accommodate all six of the planned buildings.

Management is well aware of the drawbacks of the current network and wants to capitalize on technology as a competitive weapon. They want Happy to not only be known for building great houses, but also for being a technology leader. They recognize that a high speed and flexible campus network will play a key role in this. However, bandwidth alone will not be enough. Given the many outages experienced with the existing network, the new design must offer redundancy, stability, and high availability.

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