Data communications networks - Network connectivity

Data Communications

Assignment 2, 2020

This assignment is designed to help you develop skills and strengthen your understanding of how data communications networks are designed.

Ensure that you read and adhere to the following instructions: • If you use other resources you must cite them.

• As this is a networking unit you should use IEEE referencing style.

• Your submission must be a single PDF file.
• Also, ensure that your report does not include the question text.

 • You should aim to write around 1-2 pages in response to each question.


A small software firm, Mike’s Soft has recently expanded by buying a competitor LockedIn Services, which is conveniently located in the same building. However, they do not occupy adjacent parts of the building. Rather than spending further capital they have decided to leave staff in the same physical locations. They have hired you as a consultant to integrate the networks of both companies into a unified whole. The current networks of each company are in the associated PowerPoint file. As you are a consultant in this scenario you must answer the following questions in a report format as if you were writing a business proposal.

The Brief

Your consulting brief consists of four parts:

Question 1 - WAN

There are a number of network connectivity options available to enable network traffic to flow between the two offices.

Create two different proposals for connecting the two company networks. Your report should include a comparison of the two approaches showing how each compares in terms of security, operational expenditure, and capital expenditure. Options that you may consider include, but are not limited to, a dedicated wired connection, a point-to-point wireless connection, or routing the traffic securely via the ISP (ie. across The Internet).

Question 2 - Backbone Network

The corresponding teams from each company should have full access to each other’s resources whilst limiting members of other teams access to these resources.

For example, the accountants and accounts clerks from both companies should be able to access accounting records for both companies but the software developers from either company should not be able to access the accounting records.

Describe the changes that you would make so that traffic can be shared between each corresponding team within each company whilst keeping traffic from different departments separate from each other.

In answering this question you should think about what you have learned about private address spaces, subnetting, and optionally, VLANs.

Question 3 - Securing the Network

Given the new situation the now merged company’s management team would like to bolster their overall security posture. Provide an itemised description of changes or additions to the network that would improve the security posture of the company.

For each proposed change or addition, describe what benefits, and detriments, would the change have on the performance, operation, and security of the network.

Options that you may consider include, but are not limited to, Firewalls, NAT, IDS/IPS, authentication, services, WiFi placement, additional servers, or consolidated servers.

Question 4 - Network Diagram(s)

Create a new diagram showing the logical topology of the combined networks that includes all the changes from the previous three questions.

As question 1 asks you to create two different proposals you will need to diagram both proposals. If you are able to document both proposals in a single diagram in such a way that it is clear that you are offering two alternatives you may do so. If you prefer, you can create two separate diagrams.

You are welcome to use any diagramming tool (including PowerPoint) as long as the diagram is clear. Please note that scanned diagrams will not be accepted. Please remember that your submission must be a single PDF file, do not submit your diagram(s) separately.


For all questions in this assignment, not only content but also presentation will affect your mark. You will lose marks if there are problems with the presentation, particularly with clarity. This means that your answers to each question should be a coherent statement and that the spelling and grammar of your submission will be taken into account in assessing its presentation.

For full marks, your answers should be well argued, clear, and coherent.

The standards of marking described in the unit outline ULO 4, ULO 5, and ULO 6 will be applied to this assignment as relevant to the assignment topics.

In addition, the following particular standards will be applied in marking this assignment:

• Clarity:

      o Ambiguous or poorly worded answers will receive a grade no more than a pass for the individual question.

       o Minor issues of clarity will receive a grade no more than credit for the individual question.

The questions will be marked individually, the marks totalled, and a final grade assigned that is no more than indicated by the total marks.

Data communications networks - Network connectivity

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