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    College Student needs help


    I have been tasked with a group project to plan a network for my small college that includes three buildings. We have been basically thrown to the wolves and taught only theory. Our instructor told us to plan separate wired, wireless and fiber network for the same three buildings. We have researched the cabling needs for the wired network, but I need help with the number and what type of servers, do I need a server in each building, number and types of switches, etc. Building A has approximately 400 clients, Building B has 50 clients and Building C has 50 clients. My instructor wants us to do all the research via web, forums and contacting commercial sales departments. Commercial basically won't help you when they find out you are students, and I am having trouble finding info recommending servers and switches. I realize this is a lot but any information to get us started would be appreciated. Thank you.
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    Hi Tyson,

    My advice, get a new teacher. No really, I've been an IT manager for 10 years now and if what you say is true, that is ridiculous; and he/she is part of the reason to blame why it's so hard for me to find any good applicants when I have open positions; nothing but theory in their head and no common sense or practical experience.

    I see you've posted this on two other sites as well. Unfortunately my answer is the same, no helping on assignments. If you're stuck making a decision between two different types of products, or get hung up figuring out a portion of your network (not all) we can try and help, but I'm afraid you'll have to do most of this on your own. That's how a lot of us started out. Feel free to pm me if you need to.

    Little hint, you'll have 500 clients so you could either base your subnet off that and run one big local network, or you could (probably wiser idea) use two or three networks with routes in between each. You don't need a server for the machines to get on the net. You'd only need a server if you wanted to run server roles; such as DHCP, Exchange, IIS, AD, DNS, etc... Most routers will handle DHCP and DNS for you now-a-days.

    p.s...if your teacher really thinks a salesperson is going to waste their time talking to someone they don't have a chance of getting a commission on..../shudder
    Last edited by seack79; November 16th, 2013 at 11:58 AM.
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    I've been there myself actually. I was thrown to the wolves in a most likely similar small college. Myself and a team of 2 others were tasked with creating complete plans for physical/logical security, the entire network setup, the physical servers (11 in total), hardware/software recommendations, disaster recovery, and project management for the creation of a single building company that develops software for banks. We had 9 weeks to do this while only meeting once per week, and being taught only theory. It is only because of my and my teammates extensive research, extreme hard work, and self-education that we were able to do this. We defined a new bar for that capstone class, we passed with 100% of our grade, and we blew everybody out of the water with our project. The answer to your problem is simple, do just what we did, research your *** off. Learn everything you can about building a network, server capabilities and architecture, server requirements of your project stake holders, cheap cloud solutions to active monitoring, file backups (physical/cloud and redundant), etc. The hardest part for us was defining exactly what server applications such a business would require, the software costs for as-used-software-services, and the security vs usability of the logical and physical security we decided on (extremely high obviously because they develop software for banks). These "small colleges" the ones that are just trying to spit out people with useless degrees and a non-existent education are seemingly running rampant. I would seriously recommend nobody ever goes to ITT Technical Institute for their technological education as that is exactly what you will not get.

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    Couldn't have said it better myself 3tree. Like I said above (and I'm really not trying to sound aloof), I've been an IT manager for 10 years and aside from a 6 month IT Internship, have no formal IT training; just a 4-year degree in business management. Everything I've learned has been on my own. I did my CCNA, MCSA, Net+, A+, blah blah blah all on my own with books and some online forums (not to mention a lot of use of GNS3 lol). These schools today really do just try and pump out students to turn a profit; but alas we are getting away from the original post.
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    Originally Posted by 3tree
    It is only because of my and my teammates extensive research, extreme hard work, and self-education that we were able to do this.
    There's your answer right there. You've got the theory, now do the research and apply it. In assignments like this, there are usually no wrong answers.

    If you're thinking of a router in each building, think again.

    -John
    -- Cigars, whiskey and wild, wild women. --

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