INDP for Riordan

Essay by trizey3University, Bachelor'sA, October 2014

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Integrative Network Design Project: Riordan Manufacturing

May 26, 2014


Riordan Manufacturing is a plastic manufacturer providing services globally. Our product services include plastic beverage bottles, plastic fan components and custom plastic developments. The company consists of 3 production plants: Pontiac, Michigan, Albany, Georgia, and Hangzhou, China. Corporate headquarters and the research and development department are located in San Jose, California.

Riordan is currently expanding and growing capabilities, to include upgrades in telecommunication systems for faster information travel amongst the 4 locations. Specifically, our location in Hangzhou, China is in dire need of upgrades. We've decided to relocate the entire Hangzhou location to a new facility in Shanghai, China. There are many factors and recommendations to consider as well as a chance to take advantage of implementing newer technology. The following project plan will outline the steps necessary to accommodate the telecommunication system transfer.

Integrative Network Design Project

Project plan

The Information Technology Department has been tasked to plan, prepare and execute an entire network breakdown from Riordan Manufacturing's Hangzhou, China production facility and rebuild the network infrastructure at the new Shanghai, China production facility location.

Current network setup

Each department is allotted a dedicated amount of computer workstations as well as networked paraphernalia, such as printers, phones, and fax machines. It is our intent to maintain that infrastructure upon moving into the new location. The current network setup consists of the following (Riordan Manufacturing, 2013):

30 Dell computers running on Windows 7 OS, Microsoft Office 2007

12 Corporate

8 Marketing

8 Financing

7 Human resources

8 printers (2 per department)

15 Mac Pro computers in Research and Development Department

3 printers

35 VoIP phone lines

5 servers:

NAS Iomega P800M

WIN Network Server

WIN Exchange Server


WIN Server (R&D department)


Having the most productive computers, servers and other networked components are useless without the appropriate connection. Our current setup in the Hangzhou production plant allows for reliable communications amongst our other plants and headquarters. It is essential to maintain that dependability, while also taking advantage of an upgrade capability in this area of the network infrastructure. The current connection capabilities are as follows (Riordan Manufacturing, 2013):

KA band Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) satellite

VoIP/Data Router for data conversion

100-base T Ethernet framework supported by Gateway/Switches for data distribution

Importance of Communication Protocols

Communication protocols allow for the proper transfer of information and data between two communicating parties (computer, network system, etc.). The protocol serves as an agreement between the two devices, e.g. a virtual handshake. Without it, devices would not be able to connect and share information ("Why is a communications protocol important?," 2014).

There are a few methods of data distribution known as LAN topologies. Tree topology utilizes a headend (root of the tree) that feeds the data to and from each device connected (brances and leaves) to the backbone (tree trunk). In a bus topology, all devices are connected to a main cable, known as a trunk, backbone or segment and only one computer can send data at a time. A ring topology has all devices set up on a continuous loop; each computer the data goes through boosts the signal along until it reaches its destination. In a star topology, all the devices connect to a hub, creating a centralized network structure (Goleniewski, 2007).

Riordan's Current Protocols

Riordan Manufacturing utilizes a centralized computer network, based out of the San Jose headquarters location, and connected to all the other locations through the wide area network (WAN) support infrastructure. In the event that the San Jose network goes down, the rest of the production sites won't have access to the central servers in the headquarters. This isn't necessarily a cause for concern, as each production site has its own servers that can store the data for later upload to headquarters should there be an extended time the network is down. Through this project, we will migrate from a centralized computer network to a more dispersed Virtual Private Network that will expand our communication and support across our entire enterprise.

In Riordan's network design, communication protocols enable not only communication amongst the local departments at the Hangzhou location, but also between the rest of the organization's manufacturing plants in San Jose, CA, Albany, GA and Pontiac, MI along the wide area network (WAN) transmission lines. Once the information is received through the firewall or KA Band Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) antenna, the encrypted data is decoded and validated through the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) data router and distributed to the requesting workstation. Protocols must also be compatible between the different types of operating systems throughout the manufacturing plant. The Hangzhou location has Windows 7, Mac and UNIX.

Overall Network Architecture

The overall network architecture at the Hangzhou, China facility utilizes the network infrastructure very efficiently. The main offices (corporate, marketing, finance and human resources) have direct access to the servers, as all the workstations and servers are Windows-based, with the exception of the UNIX sever that functions as the service access point. The data that is routed to the Research and Development department must be directed through a gateway/switch, applying further communication protocols to ensure the data is compatible with the Mac Pro workstations on that stem of the Ethernet infrastructure (Riordan Manufacturing, 2013).

Usefulness of Traffic Analysis

Traffic analysis is a useful tool to ensure the network effectiveness of transmitting and receiving data. Error control is an aspect of traffic analysis, however it shall be limited to being performed by end node components rather than throughout multiple components along the transmission lines, so as to save bandwidth. Once missing packets are identified, the retransmission request is sent to the originating device (Goleniewski, 2007). Analysis reports can assist information technicians to verify how may packets are lost, the frequency loss rate and even help narrow down whether a hardware component is the cause.

Existing Security in Network

Whether operating a large or small network, implementation of a security strategy is important (Sundaram & Stonecypher, 2010). The network relies solely on software to protect the network infrastructure from malicious attacks and viruses. All department workstations require Common Access Card (CAC) authentication for access to their individual account. This security measure further assists the Information Technicians in traffic analysis, providing the ability to narrow down when a virus compromised the network, what the path of entrance to the network was and under whose login enabled the virus to enter the network. Another form of network security is anti-virus and anti-spyware provided by our subscription to McAfee. This security suite protects our computer workstations from Internet, e-mail spam and malware threats. There are currently no hardware provisions providing security to Riordan Manufacturing's Hangzhou location.

Latency, Response Time and Jitter and Effect on Network Performance

Latency is the time it takes for a packet of information to arrive to its destination from the point of origination ("Latency", 2014). This is a drawback of packet switched network connections, as the packets are dispersed on different transmission lines then reassembled once collected at their destination. The chance that some packets don't arrive to their ultimate destination is much higher than a circuit switched network connection. This principle directly correlates to latency.

Response time is relevant to keeping productivity up. End-users want fast response time for the data requested, also known as transaction processing. The network infrastructure is built around Ethernet, which is capable of providing up to 100 gigabytes per second of data transfer.

Jitter is the typical movement of a phase transmission signal along the communication lines. It leads to errors and loss of synchronization among packet switching networks (Goleniewski, 2007).

Effect of Data Rates

Proper bandwidth is essential to maximize data transfer between manufacturing plants. Narrowband transmits data at a rate of 64 kilobytes per second and is sufficient to connect local workstations, printers, gateways/switches and servers on the Ethernet infrastructure. Wideband is capable of up to 45 megabytes per second data transmission rate would be useful connecting VoIP/Data Routers to the external antennas. Broadband is the fastest capability of bandwidth, easily allowing for sustained connection speeds of up to 51 megabytes per second (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy/Synchronous Optical Network [SDH/SONET]) or even 10 gigabytes per second (fiber optics) over very long distances.

Strategies to Ensure Availability

It is imperative that Riordan's network infrastructure stay flexible and readily available for all of our employees. Our current network availability is provided by circuit switch (for phone lines) and packet switch (for internet, e-mail and network sharing). Considering the transition from Hangzhou to Shanghai will require an entire network infrastructure breakdown, we plan to take advantage of the rebuild to incorporate an optical routed network, capable of supporting faster network sharing overseas utilizing a leased Optical Transport Network (OTN). Provisions will be put into place during the move for future use once the other Riordan sites have optical provisions incorporated. This upgrade will also facilitate an organizational cloud network, which will also allow further contingency connectivity with the rest of the Riordan sites during the upgrade process utilizing minimal-invasive hardware.

Local Area Network, Wide Area Network and wireless technologies

Local Area Networks (LAN) are comprised of several components that create a link of shared software, data and information. It provides a method of shared information to travel from device to device devised on an internal network architecture. At first, workstations were connected along the same cable, usually coax cabling until other forms came into development (Goleniewski, 2007). LAN technologies were the first of its kind ensuring a business could stay connected, up-to-date and allowed economical use of hardware, yet it is only intended to maintain a local infrastructure.

Wide Area Networks (WAN) offer a different take on LAN technologies. Rather than being secluded to the immediate local area, a WAN can meet business networking requirements miles apart utilizing leased lines (circuit-switched or packet-switched networks) or Frame Relay services. Leased lines provide a dedicated source of data transfer lines at a premium price, but the bandwidth is always available. Circuit-switched leased lines networks utilize pre-laid service lines that can be configured either point-to-point, which cuts down on lag time, or multipoint, increased lag time but less expensive. Packet-switched network lines involve sending information or data in containers from node to node. The downfall to this method is increased chance of missing data due to the multiple routes the broken up data is subject to. Frame Relay addresses latency and lag concerns leased lines has by providing an all-digital solution to information transmission. One of the only downfalls to Frame Relay technologies is overhead, or bottlenecking of data (Wide Area Network, 2014).

Wireless networking techniques have become more prevalent, depending on the organizational needs. It is the less-invasive of the three types of networking, simply requiring a transceiver and not requiring the installation of hard wire and other supporting components. Duplexing is a popular technique of wireless networking that allows for transmission and receiving data at the same time. It allows for enhanced usability of the organization's bandwidth.

Hardware & software needed for network security

No matter what method of network infrastructure is utilized, there are always security vulnerabilities. On a local area network infrastructure, care must be taken to ensure the backbone of the network is physically secured inside the building with no access that can facilitate a tap into the network. Wireless networks are susceptible to hacking due to line of sight or simply pulling the info out of the air. Therefore, it is imperative to identify network security hardware and software that will protect the data being shared amongst the network.

Firewalls are an example of a hardware security component. A firewall works as a filter that allows for network traffic monitoring and limits based on permissions to users (Strickland, 2014). It can be a physical device (hardware), but is mostly software-driven. Another type of network security hardware component is a wireless router. These components utilize encrypted passwords based on wired equivalent privacy (WEP) or Wi-Fi protected access (WPA & WPA2) standards, protecting the information on the network.

Software is another means of accomplishing network security. An anti-virus program identifies and segregates malicious software on a computer before it damages the network protocols. Anti-spyware and anti-adware applications similarly protect the users based on computer-to-computer communication and online activity. Security measures based on software are required to be updated quite frequently, so we must ensure that the auto-update function is activated to maintain optimal protection.

Today's data communication networks (switches, routers, cabling)

Data communication networks have been developed thoroughly over the past 40 years. From standalone mainframes to networked mainframes, local area network (LAN) techniques were derived. Today, the industry flourishes with connective possibilities from hubs and switches to the routers and cabling that continue data flow from server to workstation.

Hubs are capable of connecting a variety of wiring. They can be active (requiring power to regenerate and retransmit signals), passive (not requiring power; essentially a relay), and hybrid (allows for multiple cable connections). Switches provide dedicated channels to a group of computers, allowing for manageable bandwidth. Routers are capable of breaking off a segment of the network (i.e. human resource department, marketing department, etc.) while also connecting it to the total network infrastructure. Cabling has come a long way from twisted pair supporting 100 Mbps to Ethernet over fiber optics providing up to 10 Gbps (Goleniewski, 2007).

Timeline for project completion

Our projected timeline for project completion is 49 days, or 7 weeks. This will be considered a very in-depth project design to accomplish. Riordan Manufacturing is very reliant on proper communication and information transfer from site to site. The project team will work diligently to prevent excessive down time that can affect relaying information to and from the company's worldwide locations. Here is a breakdown of the timeframes that will contribute to the completion of the project:

Week 1: Acquisition and verification of all required materials

Week 2: Testing and verification of network backbone, switches, gateways, local area network (LAN) drops, VoIP drops, server and hub provisions throughout Shanghai location.

Week 3: Breakdown Hangzhou location's entire computer network in preparation for transfer to Shanghai location.

There is a projected time of 5 days of total offline from the rest of Riordan facilities. Server shutdown and removal from Hangzhou location will take 2 days. Install, upload and boot up procedures at Shanghai location will last 3 days.

Week 4: Setup, verification and test of new satellite antenna. Validate alive signals exist, connecting servers to Riordan intranet.

Week 5: Implementation of upgraded switches, gateways, ports and hubs. Verification of all connection terminals (alive signals) and drops throughout entire Shanghai location.

Week 6: Installation and setup of all departmental computer workstations, printers, phones and fax machines.

Week 7: Perform final confidence checks. Annotate and prioritize outstanding discrepancies. Present finalized Integrative Network Design Project report to Riordan headquarters.

Detailed Design

A key factor to this migration is to take advantage of implementing new technology as the project is underway. While the current network setup has proven beneficial in most respects, the KA Band Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) in our current architecture will not support the Optical Transport Network (OTN) we intend to upgrade to. The KA Band antenna is rated for 51.8 Mb data rate and simply cannot support fiber optic transfer rates. The OTN will assume the role to continue support of our virtual private networks (VPN) and voice over Internet protocols (VoIP). Maintaining our IP version 6 (IPv6) infrastructure will also continue to ensure our addressing structure will continue to broadcast and not overlap.

Our next challenge will be to incorporate updated hybrid hubs. Since the goal is to transition from a network architecture relying exclusively on Ethernet wiring, utilizing hybrid hubs allows the versatility to connect the servers to the backbone of network infrastructure using fiber optics. From there, the hybrid hubs are capable of receiving the optical signals, converting them, then regenerate and transmit the signals to their destinations. The rest of the network infrastructure will be connected by Ethernet cabling.

Design Meets Data Rate Requirements

Having high data transfer rates in Riordan Manufacturing is another important concept that will contribute to improved performance, communication and customer service (Walton, 2014). Many of our online tasks, especially in the Research and Development department, utilize a high rate of data transfer, causing bogging and bottlenecking. Productivity will no longer be sacrificed due to an upgrade projected for implementation of Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) components, easily yielding data transfer rates from 2.5 Gbps up to 10 Gbps.

Identify Potential Electronic and Physical Threats to Network

Electronic and physical malicious threats are ever present. The potential for electronic threats is heightened the more Riordan becomes reliant on wireless networking. Hackers are advancing just as quickly as technology, comprehending the algorithms and coding that goes into protecting networks. A plethora of techniques are available to hackers, such as war dialing and war drivers; these methods involve dialing through phone numbers and searching or scanning for unsecured wireless networks, respectfully (Goleniewski, 2007). Our current Virtual Private Networks (VPN) is our biggest risk factor on the electrical threat aspect.

The basis of hacking into a computer system on a network is more common due to remote access capabilities. On the contrary, physical threats rely on physical access to the network. While this is a considerably less likely aspect of security concerns, the possibility is still there. The servers providing all storage, distribution and sharing of data on the infrastructure are ideally the most sought-after compliment to a hacker. At worst, if there is physical access to any hubs, gateway switches or data routers, that would pose a threat as well.

The implementation of the optical transfer network brings a new train of thought for physical protection. As with any new idea, there are always concerns. Although fiber optics has a lot of positive regards to upgrading, there are some downfalls, one major risk being the chance of a break in the transfer line. If the line were severed completely, it would mean a total loss of network access to all components supported by that signal line. In theory, the chance of a fiber line severing is slim and the ability to detect where the break occurs is relatively easy. Repair, however, could be a costly task. A more realistic result would be a hairline crack, causing a dramatic and noticeable decrease in data transfer. It could also be attested to a hacker splicing into the line.

Threat Detection and Protection Techniques

Protecting our network is an important task. Some techniques in place consist of anti-virus and anti-spyware software. The overall responsibility of these electronic protection features is to identify, quarantine and destroy malicious-ware, saving the network servers from crashing or being compromised. On the physical side, we protect our network infrastructure by securing our servers in a strong room. Ventilation is an absolute necessity in order to maintain the appropriate operating temperature, therefore lockable security gates and alarm systems are implemented to ensure access to the server rooms are through the appropriate entrance: the cipher lock door. Only the Manager IT Services and IT department members have authorized access to the server room.

With the protection features in place, it would be useless without the means to monitor and detect threats. From an electrical threat detection standpoint, it is essential that the anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up-to-date. McAfee updates are downloaded everyday. The IT department closely monitors all network activity coming in and going out. The department maintains documentation of unusual spikes drops in data transfer rates and investigates all criteria to its origin. It is near impossible for a hacker to splice into a fiber optic line without a detection of time light reflection being noticed, proving more that an upgrade to optical transport network-based infrastructure is a secure choice.

How do firewalls mitigate attacks

"A firewall is a system or group of systems that acts as a control policy between two networks" (Goleniewski, 2007). Definitions and restrictions act as a traffic cop, only allowing approved data or information to be transmitted or received amongst the network. Usually focusing on access to external Internet servers, a firewall protects Riordan Manufacturing's internal servers from unauthorized access. The firewall can even be programmed to define protocols in the application, network and transport layers of our networked routers, essentially performing as a packet filter. This is especially important in our virtual private network infrastructure, as the data packets are transferred through a multitude of routers before arriving to the Hangzhou location. This will be less of a concern once the switch to optical transport network is accomplished.

Common Security Concerns Regarding Wired, Wireless and Mobile Networking

As with any new idea or implementation, there are always concerns. Although fiber optics has a lot of positive regards to upgrading, there are some downfalls, one major risk being the chance of a break in the transfer line. If the line were severed completely, it would mean a total loss of network access to all components supported by that signal line. In theory, the chance of a fiber line severing is slim and the ability to detect where the break occurs is relatively easy. Repair, however, could be a costly task. A more realistic result would be a hairline crack, causing a dramatic and noticeable decrease in data transfer. It could also be attested to a hacker splicing into the line.


To remain an industry leader in polymer materials, we must consider a plethora of telecommunication techniques, taking advantage of up-to-date technology in the process. Network availability contributes greatly to file sharing, team collaboration, project presentation, audits, payroll management and overall spectacular productivity that will contribute to maintaining our innovative and team oriented working environment while continuing to provide customer solutions (Riordan Manufacturing, 2013). The efforts being provided in this facility transfer will solidify Riordan Manufacturing's reputation of excellence.


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