Description of the assessment:
This assignment will require students to work as a group of 2-3 people to design a network
based on the given case study and illustrate a report on the proposed solution. The word
limit is 2500 words.
2. Case Study
You are employed as a Network Engineer by a leading shopping mall Mega company called
PriceLo malls Inc. The company has branches of their malls spread in 5 major cities of
Australia- Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Gold Coast. Each of these cities on an
average has 10 PriceLo malls. Furthermore, PriceLo malls are also in USA, South Asia and
Canada. You are required to design a network from scratch for their recently constructed
PriceLo Mall branch in North Melbourne, The network coverage should be there for both
wired and wireless network inside the mall. The mall in North Melbourne has 4 floors with 3
food courts. Each food court can accommodate up to a maximum of 500 customers.
PriceLo mall expects to have 4000 customers in their North Melbourne Mega mall and 500
staff. The 500 staff will be employed in the 5 departments of the North Melbourne mall
namely IT- 70 staff, Human Resources- 50 staff, Sales- 100, Engineering-80 staff and
Security-200 staff. Each of these departments should be on a different subnet for
confidentiality of information transfer.
The customers are technology savvy and want to be able to use their laptops or iPad or any
other communication gadget on either the wireless or wired network available within the
mall. For the wired network the mall proposes to have connection ports available on the
tables of the food court area where the customers can sit down and enjoy food as well as get
connected to the wired or wireless network. The speed of the connection offered to the
customers needs to be based on the amount of money the customers have spent on their
purchase in the mall. The management has currently planned for three speeds – 100kb/s - 400
kb/s if no purchases are made, 1 Mbps if purchase of over 10 $ are made and speed of 3-5
Mbps if purchase of above 40$ is made.
A challenge is finding the right solutions to best facilitate ease of deployment and limit
disruption of service whenever the network needs to be upgraded.
In addition to the obvious hazards of having anyone and any communication gadget connect
to the network, another big issue is being able to capture important information about the
network users accessing the campus network. For example, it is important to identify users
who might be doing something inappropriate using network resources. All customers before
they start using the PriceLo malls network are required to accept the terms and conditions of
the network usage policy of the mall. If someone violates a policy, such as downloading
inappropriate material, the IT team needs a way to identify the customer location in the mall,
so that they can be fined by the malls security personnel.
Authentication of the genuine customers of the mall is also necessary before they can use the
malls wired or wireless network. A method for a secure authentication mechanism for
approved users and devices attempting to connect to the network is another key challenge.
As part of the wireless network deployment you need to also to find out how to provide
hotspots in the mall by using a suitable Wireless LAN technology by taking into consideration
the RF propagation characteristics. Some of the hotspots are to provide Open access
authentication while others need to provide shared key authentication to customers who pay a
LoPrice mall is on a tight schedule and budget so you need to quickly create a detailed design
of the network for their North Melbourne mall. PriceLo malls business productivity is very
important so it also wants to make sure that the network downtime is not more than 0.04%.
PriceLo malls will provides online training over the Internet to its staff within Australia from
its headquarters based in Sydney and all the training material will be made available online
on its webservers. As the training material is very confidential in nature so the webservers
need to be provided with a secure or a protected network. The North Melbourne mall of
PriceLo also wants to have desktop screen sharing and online meeting facility which will
allow the staff in different branches to securely collaborate to develop, deliver and improve
the customer quality in its malls. This will reduce time and money spent in quick sharing of
ideas and IT technology and the cost of travelling. In particular each branch office will have
high quality digital video conferencing systems and secure remote desktop sharing facilities
with a WAN to support it.
Another key challenge is to create the above required network with as low cost as possible
but it should still be as per the principles of the top down network design.
Note: You will need to undertake a serious literature research on the networking equipment
vendors, cost of their equipment that you plan to purchase, network security considerations,
top down design, testing methods and any issues that may arise. You are allowed to make
assumptions for the network design as long as you can justify them.