The recent merger of XUMUC and its ensuing expansions have led to increased taxation of the company’s network capabilities. Thus, it has undermined the ability of the company’s administration to communicate effectively with different sites. Among the challenges that have resulted from the merger include: poor IP addressing that lead to large routing of tables at the summarization points, lack of VLAN structure to enable isolation of broadcasted traffic, and difficult communication routes between the four departments of the company. In addition, the developed WAN network is not able to accommodate the traffic along the network, as well as high administration overhead in case of need for changes. A complete overhaul of the WAN links will be needed to enable statistical assignment and assist in resolving the technical challenges that the company faces. It will also help minimize the administration overhead.
Computer networking involves integration of individual segments of the network whose usefulness could be limited by the size of any segment of the network. Because of the need for different subnets to communicate, routers and bridges must be used to connect different segments together, but this does not ensure perfect seamlessness during their communication. The use of subnets in IP addressing ensures that there is a flow of network traffic between the host and the subnet and that the flow is segregated based on some factors like configuration of the network. The formation of logical host groups helps not only in minimizing the size of routers, but also in ensuring that performance is maximized and the entire network is secure. The project is specifically aimed at providing solutions to the problems of summarization points, isolation of traffic, and integration of company department operations, as well as reducing the overall administration overhead.
Statement of the Problem
XUMUC possesses WAN links placed in additional locations within Houston. It currently has two additional regions, Denver and San Francisco. The company was initially located in San Francisco. The company’s slow growth is associated with the fact that kind of integration that had been done led to a poor IP address scheme. This saw both San Francisco Campus as well as the summarization points’ routing tables remaining very large. Moreover, the isolation of broadcast traffic would not be possible since VLAN structure had not been developed. XUMC has four major departments: sales, research and development, finance, and human resources. It thus required a well developed network. On contrary, concerns have been raised on whether the network traffic could be accommodated by the resulting WAN transport. Finally, every address considered for the network was assigned statically. This resulted in high overhead administration whenever any change is to be made. Through changing this scenario, the company will be able to ensure that its administrative overhead remains lower than what it is presently.
Subnetting is a technique that was introduced to help in circumventing some of the problems resulting from parts of the Internet that experience a classful two-level address hierarchy. It includes the growing number of routing tables and the need for the local administrator to request another network number from the Internet before installing a new network on its site. All these challenges could be overcome through coming up with an additional hierarchy level for the company’s IP addressing structure. Thus, instead of the traditional two levels hierarchy, subnetting enables the support of three level hierarchies through subdivision of host numbers into two parts consisting of the host number and the subnet number (Basagni, Conti & Stojmenovic, 2013).
The first challenge that XUMUC faces is large routing tables that could allow its private network to be seen outside the company’s private network. The solution to this problem is to allow subnetting of routers. This will ensure that the routing scheme along with the private network of the company allow subnetting of particular IP addresses while the host uses a single IP. That is, the subnets on the private network of the company must not connect directly to the Internet. They must only do so through their host. It will enable them to ensure limit of routing tables. This should be possible with the use of same prefix with different subnet numbers. Thus, the formulation of these routers within the private network of the company will be able to differentiate between individual subnets. This is because the overall Internet routers are collected in one routing table entry. Therefore, the local administrator will have rights to introduce arbitrary complexity along the network with no possibility of affecting the size of the routing table to the Internet (Basagni, Conti & Stojmenovic, 2013).
Since XUMUC is still expanding its private network to other locations, the administration is not able to determine precisely the number of subnets that are likely to connect to their host, presumably found in San Francisco. As a result of this lack of anticipation, there has been an overload of traffic that the host router is supposed to manage. This challenge should be overcome through the subnetting of the routers within the VLAN and the WAN. First, subnets in other regions, apart from the headquarters at San Francisco, should be developed in such a manner that will not allow the growth of global Internet routing. Thus, it will eliminate the requirement for additional address space for each subnet because it will allow subnets to have a single routing entry at the headquarters. To reduce the administrational charge, the local administrator, as the host router, will be given the right to deploy additional subnets along the private networks without a need to obtain network number from the global Internet (Pierre, 2012).
There is also a problem of routing tables occurring at summarization points within the company network. This is caused by the rapid changing of routers in what is described as route flapping. Route flapping affects the global Internet routing table. That is, routers on the network do not anticipate the reachability of the particular subnets as much as they know about the parent network. It will be important to have a glimpse of the total number of subnets that the organization is likely to have prior to the deployment of the plan. It is always the best practice to have extra subnets on the anticipated number both now and in the future. The same principle applies to hosts. It means that the IP address allocated is able to handle the number of routers to be a part of the network.
Additionally, there is a need to ensure that enough host addresses for the largest subnet on the private network are assigned so that it can support sufficient host address space and allow the administrator to manage the broadcast traffic. The rule of thumb is always to ensure that the allocation of addresses provide sufficient bits. It is meant to enable deployment of the necessary subnet in the initial stages of planning to have VLAN. It is also necessary to allow the subsequent expansion of the network. The overall plan should be to have subnets that can support virtual networking through partitioning of traffic flows to different centers. In this case, the subnets that are developed should have a configuration that matches with the segment layout either on a one-to-one configuration or a one-to-many configuration, which allows subdivision of network segments. This should in effect allow easier administration of broadcast traffic while at the same time ensure that the routers are kept from growing in terms of their size.
On overall, the XUMUC’s network capabilities are insufficient for the current needs of the company. The restructuring of its network system will ensure that the company will continue to function efficiently across its three locations. The new network structure should maximize productivity at a minimal cost to the company. The current formulation fails to anticipate new subnets that could be added to the network in the future. It does not also provide a systemic routing approach that can prevent subnets from accessing the global Internet independently. Thus, it allows the accession of private network from outside as the routers increase in size during router flapping (3Com Corporation, 2001).
Routing Table at the Summarization Points
The role of routing tables is to ensure that communication between the host and subnets is secured and effectively deployed without the risks of dropping messages during communication. Based on the fact that the developed network has large routers, it may see messages being directed to the wrong subnets during router flapping. Equally, the host computer may also not be able to decipher which subnet sent/requested for particular information. This is the source of routing tables at the point of summarization. One of the possible solutions that has to be adapted in the planning of a LAN for the computer is the use of subnet masks. The masks will assist in determining whether the host is resting on the local subnet or whether it is from the remote network. In principle, the IP address used in networking between the host and the subnet is not fixed, thus making it difficult to determine the host address without prior information. Therefore, the prior information should be supplied in a 32-bit number known as subnet mask. The network should be developed in a manner that it can reduce the time taken during the differentiation of the subnet mask and portions of the network, as well as those of the host. This might also see the administrator shorten the response duration (Microsoft, 2013).
High Administration Overhead
Administration overhead is a result of the router activity at the host computer, which acts as the controller of other computers. When the subnet computers are connected to the global Internet through a host computer and there is no provision of space to allow the handling of extra requests from the subnets, the administration may experience high overhead. However, this should be addressed by subnetting the system through the administrator. It can especially be done during the reconciling of the logical address scheme of the global Internet with the physical networks on the LAN. Essentially, a system administrator should be able to administer networks that are not organized in any way upon allocation of a block IP address. In this case, the WAN, with different hosts, that the company is implementing in various cities are connected through a router. Each of the networks has different subnets. The subnets could be represented by the company’s sales, finance, human resources, and research and development departments. In this case, the solution will be to divide the network into sizeable subnets using the subnet mask to make the network address larger while reducing the possible range of host addresses (Pierre, 2012).
Isolation of Broadcast Traffic
Broadcast traffic should be communicated in unified packets, which are not isolated. As such, broadcast traffic present clogging of the network. Therefore, it takes up the bandwidth away from legitimate traffic. In order to eliminate the isolation of broadcast traffic along the LAN and WAN, the use of host addresses to limit the expansion of routers will be the first solution. Thus, the scheme should be formulated in a way that ensures that network bits remain fixed while those from the host can vary depending on the amount of traffic on the network. The broadcast address should also be determined whenever the host bits are set, and the host addresses result from a combination of all host bits. Controlling the broadcast traffic will enable communication both on LAN and WAN to be multifaceted and also executed promptly as opposed to when the broadcasts are isolated (Basagni, Conti & Stojmenovic, 2013).
There are a number of challenges that XUMUC Company is facing in the implementation of its network upon merging with centers from other cities. However, with the solutions presented in this project, the challenges can be addressed. The proposed solutions include: the use of subnetting at the host level, allowing a single router table entry the global network, and use of subnet masks to give the administrator power to control the traffic of the network.