10. A medium sized company client-server network

Scenario: A local branch office for a national travel agency is to be opened. There will be twelve people employed in the local branch. The branch will be connected to the remote central office over a network. Discuss their possible network and its pros and cons.

Possible network setup:

With twelve people in the office, a client-server network offers advantages over a simple peer-to-peer solution.

The network will use a dedicated leased line to connect to the central office.

Customer files will be stored on a local file server but also backed up each day to a central office server over the dedicated line.

The company has an intranet running over the company network that allows all branches to share information and keep in touch with the company as a whole.

The company runs a distributed database to handle travel bookings.

Sensitive customer details such as payment details are kept safe as required by the Data Protection Act. This is done by encryption and setting up network group policies so only the right staff can access private information. Authentication is by username and password.

In physical terms, the network is a wired Gigabit ethernet network with no wireless component. So no security issues that a wireless network brings along. The network switch is a 24 port device which provides enough connectivity for twelve people, peripherals and future expansion.

The agency makes heavy use of colour printers and so business-class networked colour laser printers are connected to the network controlled by a print server.

There is also a 20Mbps broadband internet link served through a cable ISP

The network is maintained remotely by IT staff in the central office. They can deploy software updates across the network.


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