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Lesson 5 Creating an integrated networking services infrastructure design
ObjectiveDefine the tasks involved in creating an integrated networking services design

Creating an Integrated Networking Services infrastructure Design

Creating an integrated networking services design involves a methodical process that can be outlined in several critical tasks. Here are the primary tasks involved:
  1. Requirements Analysis: The first task involves identifying the needs and requirements of the organization. This analysis includes assessing current infrastructure, system capabilities, hardware, software, and network services. It also includes considering the organizational goals and future growth plans to ensure that the network design can support these. Furthermore, it's essential to understand any regulatory and security requirements pertinent to the organization's industry.
  2. Architecture Design: This task involves designing the architecture of the networking services. This includes determining the network topology (like star, ring, bus, or mesh), deciding on the type of network (like LAN, WAN, MAN), and selecting the network protocols and services to be used (like TCP/IP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP). This phase should consider redundancy, resiliency, and the scalability of the network services to support organizational growth and continuity.
  3. Selection of Networking Hardware and Software: This task is to select the right hardware and software based on the architecture design. This includes servers, switches, routers, firewalls, and the networking software that will run on these devices. The selection process should consider factors like performance, reliability, compatibility, cost, and support availability.
  4. Security Planning: A critical task in networking services design involves planning for network security. This includes configuring firewalls, setting up intrusion detection and prevention systems, implementing secure network protocols, and planning for disaster recovery and business continuity. Security planning should align with the organization's information security policy and industry-specific security standards.
  5. Implementation Plan: Once the network design is completed, the next task is to create a detailed implementation plan. This includes setting up the physical network, installing and configuring the hardware and software, and migrating existing services and data. This task requires careful planning to minimize downtime and disruption to business operations.
  6. Testing and Validation: After the network is implemented, it should be thoroughly tested to ensure that it meets the design objectives and the organization's requirements. This includes testing the network performance, reliability, and security. Any issues identified during testing need to be addressed and resolved.
  7. Documentation and Training: Documentation of the entire network services design, implementation process, and operational procedures is crucial for future reference and troubleshooting. Additionally, proper training should be provided to the network administrators and users on how to use and manage the new network services.
  8. Ongoing Management and Maintenance: Finally, after the network is deployed, it needs to be continuously managed and maintained. This involves monitoring network performance, troubleshooting network issues, maintaining network security, and updating and upgrading network hardware and software as needed. Regular review of the network design is also necessary to accommodate organizational changes and technological advancements.

Creating an integrated networking services design requires a comprehensive understanding of networking technologies, careful planning, and meticulous execution. Following these tasks can help ensure a successful design that meets the organization's needs and supports its objectives.

Selection of Networking Services

The selection of networking services is an essential decision when it comes to creating a networking services infrastructure. Equally important is the integration of those services. Your final design must produce a network that is manageable and clearly identifies the criteria for ensuring that the network's security, availability, and performance are maintained. For example, you want to be sure that the networking services you decide to implement will work with your network application environment. You may want to implement Proxy Server 2.0, but your applications are not WinSock[1] compliant and cannot use the SOCKS[2] or Web Proxy service. In this case, you will need to reconsider your application or network services environment to assure seamless integration of your network solutions.

Criteria for Networking Services

The objective of your management strategy is to ensure that the criteria specified in your networking services design are reflected in the actual network. The following are the major categories to include in your management design:
  1. Collecting data
  2. Analyzing data
  3. Responding to service variations

The diagram will describe how these categories play out in your design:
Collecting, Analyzing Data
  1. Collecting Data
  2. Analyzing Data
  3. Responding to service variations

Management Design

Combining services

  1. DHCP: The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is a series of network protocols and services that allow for automatic assignment of IP addressing information to TCP/IP network clients configured as DHCP Client computers.
  2. DNS: An hierarchical name service for TCP/IP hosts. DNS allows users to connect to network resources via friendly host names, rather than having to remember IP addresses for network servers.

Providing networking solutions for organizations

When you create your networking services design, remember that your design is the platform for the connectivity and protocol requirements of the organization. You include multiple networking services into your design in order to do the following:
  1. Establish a network foundation
  2. Provide access to public networks
  3. Include connectivity for remote users and locations
  4. Support network-based applications and authentication methods
In the next lesson, I will discuss how organizational goals map to specific aspects of a design.

[1] WinSock: The Windows Sockets Session Layer interface. Applications written for the WinSock interface use DNS hosts names for resource name resolution.
[2] SOCKS: The Sockets session layer interface. Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0 provides a SOCKS proxy for non-Microsoft clients to access Internet resources via the Proxy Server.

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