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This paper explores a WAN (Wide Area Network) design for a large company. The main goal is to establish a reliable connectivity between company’s sites in the US, Europe, Africa, Japan, and other regions. The design should guarantee round-the-clock network operability regardless of any link’s failure.
The proposed solution implies the creation of a partially meshed network. In this topology, each site should be connected to a number of other sites (Dean, 2009, p. 304). In case of any link’s failure, the network traffic could be re-routed through the other links. Based on the high throughput requirements, an MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) technology should be used. The physical connection between all sites would be established over the fiber optic links owned by a service provider. Each link should be terminated on a site’s router, which would forward the network traffic to the local network (LAN). In order for the routers to operate correctly, a proper routing protocol should be implemented as well. The best option would be to use the OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) routing protocol, which takes into account the state of every link in the network (Dean, 2009, p. 275).
Once the traffic arrives at the site’s router, it should be distributed within LAN. Therefore, the border router should be connected to a number of Ethernet switches, either directly or through an optional firewall. The use of the firewall is mandatory only in case if the same router terminates the Internet connection as well. It would be a good idea to interconnect switches using 1 Gbps fiber optic links, which could be also aggregated to form a wider data communication channel. The end workstations should be connected to the switches using the UTP Cat 5 cable, which supports the 100 Mbps connection speed (Dean, 2009, p. 131).
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