Wilmington University WAN Design

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Campus Overview

Wilmington University is a huge campus that consists of the Dover campus and other New Castle Graduate Center campuses. The overall population of the university is twenty-three thousand, with about fourteen thousand students and nine thousand faculty staff. The New Castle campus has nine buildings which include DAC buildings, peoples building, Pratt student center, alumni center, bookstore, annex (GRE), executive buildings, buildings and maintenance, and administrative offices. However, the university still has some land for the establishment of more buildings so as to satisfy the student demands. The increased use of computing resources has greatly impacted to the need for a proper network design that is not only characterized by good performance and speed but which is flexible enough to allow for expansion. The current situation at Wilmington University is that they share a common internet connection for both the Dover and Graduate Centers, which is situated at Graduate Center. However, this situation poses as a limitation to the university because the utilization of internet and network resources is not to the maximum.

The best solution to the stated challenge is to improve the overall design of the network by adding some resources such as voice, data, and video communication, to enable file and printer sharing, and finally, to introduce a routing protocol for the entire network connecting both campus locations. Additionally, since the network is large and it consists of many users, the security issue has to be highly considered in the design.

Proposed Network Design Diagram

A Wide Area Network (WAN) spans a large area such as town, state or province, by connecting smaller networks (LANs) or larger networks (Metropolitan Area Network). Considering that internet is the greatest WAN, the Wilmington University WAN cannot get compared to it. The reason for the implementation of a WAN network is to enable the two campuses utilizes the internet connection at the Graduate Center so that other campuses can access it. Similarly, there is the need for enhanced services and improved bandwidth, which will get considered in our design. Therefore, since the population at the university is very huge, I recommend the Enterprise Network Campus architecture, which caters for over one thousand devices (large network). The diagram below shows the WAN for Wilmington University campuses.

Figure 1: Wilmington University WAN Network Design

Design Description and Explanation

According to research performed, the University population deserves a network that completely meets their demands and adaptable. The Cisco enterprise architectural design for large networks is highly recommended for the network because the university spans a large geographical area and it also has a large population of faculty and students. Currently, there are six operational WAN standards such as Asynchronous, synchronous communications, frame relay, X.25 network, X.21 network and Synchronous data-link control network. In this design, I preferred the use of Synchronous Optical Networking/ Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SONET/SDH) because they get associated with high performance and bandwidth, the key elements of a busy University network. Both SONET and SDH are similar in features and significances. In SDH, each frame’s transmission rate is 155.51Mbits/s. As for the SONET technology, the transmission unit is 51.84Mbits/s (Goralski, 2002). Both technologies support high-speed transmission via fiber optic cable, for voice, data, and video communication. Besides, the technologies support high bandwidth and therefore the limitations associated with low internet connectivity will not exist in the network.

Online tutorials, exams, and workshops will easily get conducted if the design will get implemented. At the LAN section, I propose that they utilize the ten Gigabit Ethernet technology because it works well with the SONET/SDH technology. There are two varieties of Gigabit Ethernet, which include local are variant(that has 10.3125 Gbit/s line rate) and wide area variant (with the line rate of 9953Mbit/s). In order to carry SONET/SDH signals, the WAN PHY type encapsulates the data with the use of lightweight SONET/SDH frame, while LAN PHY type does so use 64B/66B coding.

A major feature of this enterprise architectural design is that it has incorporated redundant WAN connection between the graduate centers and the Dover. In LAN networks creating redundancy is achieved creating the server to switch and switch to switch links through the introduction of multiple LANS on similar subnets, multiple default gateways, and link aggregation. However, since we are concentrated in redundancy within the WAN connections, redundancy will be introduced within the router-to-router connection. The major reason for the implementation of redundancy in our network design is to eliminate issues associated with network failure arising from faults. There are several ways of achieving redundancy within WAN links. The simplest scenario is the internet connection that involves connection of LAN and ISP via a single connection to a router (which provides no fault-tolerance). Another way to ensure fault tolerance is to create two different connections from a given site to one of ISP’s autonomous system (it is a more improved version, but it is still disadvantageous because it provides fault tolerance only when either of the routers connected to the internet or either of the communication lines fails.

In an attempt to improve fault tolerance through redundancy in our network design, we have used the third alternative configuration whereby the network link consists of two Internet Service Providers (ISPs) (Oppenheimer, 2005). Even though it is still vulnerable to last-hop disruption, the network can survive the Internet Service Providers’ outage. The reason for choosing the third approach is because Wilmington University’s facilities (campuses and buildings) get located at different locations within the country and there is the need for ensuring that the network functions normally. The design requirements that initially got considered when developing redundant WAN connection included flexible incoming traffic, no loss of session, optimal inbound and outbound traffic and no black hole (meaning no single path to failure).

This WAN network consists of routing protocols, switches, access server, Internet Service Providers (ISP) and other LAN clients. The ISP is directly connected to the internet to supply internet connectivity to the University via devices such as the modem (to DSL) or cable modem (to T1/T3 lines). The role of the router is to perform tasks such as routing the data to other devices. In simple terms, the router manages the IP addresses of the subnets and host devices so as to decide on which device it will route its information. The system’s security is provided by installation of firewall application at the router so that it can analyze the incoming traffic and eliminate or block harmful data that can affect the network devices, data, and transmission. Additionally, the system is advanced in such a way that it supports for sharing of resources such as printer and photocopy machines (Szigeti & Hatting, 2005). By careful configuration of the printers, offices that are closer to each other can easily share the resources thereby reducing the overall cost associated with the network.

Network Implementation Method

The switch, router, repeaters, bridges, and hubs are useful devices for data transmission to the end devices such as workstations. The WAN redundant network has been implemented by introducing two internet service providers and connecting them to each router. Also, it has also been improved by ensuring that fiber optic cable is used in the WAN connection so as to improve on bandwidth utilization and performance.  Remote connections in the design have been achieved by using various networking technologies and subnets (Johnson, 2014).

In this network, we have implemented it using the hierarchical design and we have also included sub-networks. The need for sub-networks within the university network is brought about due to the different coursed offered as well as because of different departments. These sub-networks make it easy to manage the entire network at ease and without issues.  We used three-tier architectural design so as to improve the performance, network availability, and scalability.

Network budget

The figure below shows the inventory for the devices and other network requirements in an attempt to implement the WAN network. All the cost assigned to the equipment gets approximated values, and they are subject to change.

Hardware/Software Quantity General features/ type Approximated buying price ($)


Installation cost ($)
Photocopy machines 200 -(shareable) 200 000 600
Printers 200 -(shareable) 200 000 600
File servers 1 -(shareable) 5000 300
Fiber Optic Cables 1 roll Cisco 1000 700
Ethernet Cables 1 roll Cisco 500 400
Routers 2 Cisco 6 000 100
Switches 12 Cisco 1440 120
Bridges 1 Cisco 120 200
Servers 2 Memory capacity(1 terabytes) 5000 300



Cahn, R. S. (1998). Wide area network design: Concepts and tools for optimization. San Francisco, Calif: Kaufmann. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1558604588

Goralski, W. (2002). SONET/SDH. New York: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=zO9SAAAAMAAJ

Johnson, A. (2014). CCNA routing and switching practice and study guide: Exercises, activities and scenarios to prepare for the ICND2/CCNA (200-101) certification exam. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0133517594

Oppenheimer, P. (2005). Top-Down Network Design, Second Edition. Cisco Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1587051524

Szigeti, T., & Hatting, C. (2005). End-to-end QoS network design: Quality of service in LANs, WANs, and VPNs. Indianapolis, IN: Cisco Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1587051761


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