Discussion: LAN Technology

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Directions: Please read the scenario and propose a solution. (type your proposal in the text box)

Sunshine Health Corporation has an office in Des Moines, IA that is the company headquarters for Crazy Charlie’s Custom Wheelchairs. This is the original building the company has operated in after opening the fifth unit in Des Moines in 1972. The office has an old PBX system and old telephone wiring as well as ISDN running throughout the office. The office runs “the old fashioned way” according to the retired company president, you are told on your initial visit. The president told you, “this is the way we like it”. Sunshine has told you to assess the networks and communications systems, then submit a plan for “modernizing” the office bringing it into the 21st century. Here is what you find:

  • 50 cubicles with 1 desktop computer for every 5 cubicles on average. The workstation computers have dial up. Each computer has a low capacity dot matrix printer.
  • PBX with 60 phone lines to assorted jacks around the office suite.
  • The executive suite has 3 workstations for the administrative assistants, no executives have computers. Each computer has a black and white laser printer directly connected. The executive suite has DSL (provisioned 1.5M/128K)
  • 5 fax machines for the general office
  • 1 fax machine for the executive suite
  • 1 photocopier for the general office

Upon meeting with the management team, you learn most of the marketing staff have chosen to work remotely using their own laptops instead of in the office, though there is no consistency as to format other than they must have Microsoft Office 2003 with Word, Access, Excel, and PowerPoint. It cannot be newer or it will not be able to interact with the company computers or everything must be formatted to Office 2003.

The communications closet is a bird’s nest made of patched together grow as you go layout. No computers are networked. In speaking with the administrative staff, most work is printed and hand reviewed, using white out and red pens then given back for correction until it is acceptable, often creating for more work for the staff.

The new company president is coming from Sunshine Headquarters and starts in 2 weeks. The new network and office must be ready to go. What do you propose?

Have fun with this within reason. Bounce ideas off each other to consider alternatives and possible solutions. How can you develop an efficient network while retaining costs from getting out of control. What LAN and WAN Technologies will you use and why? Please explain.

It is important to bring in supporting materials to substantiate your plan and network. Locate credible resources to do this. Remember you would be submitting this to a client the final copy. Consider the discussion draft edits and revisions. Supporting material needs to be included beyond that of the course material.

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