Your Scenario

Networks - Overview

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In IT careers you will need to conduct your work over a variety of networking configurations. Through the course of an IT career you will interact with network devices and need to understand how various network protocols work. Basic networking troubleshooting techniques will be important as IT professionals are expected to perform basic troubleshooting for the systems they rely upon.

Networks - Scope

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You are asked to review a small business network configuration for EFI Enterprises. They would like you to document the way their network functions today and to provide solutions to solve their short-term problems.

Networks - Analysis

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Before interviewing the client, make sure to review basic networking information found in your resources: MCIT Networking Research Material. This document contains links to videos and websites that are required reading before continuing with this task.

After watching and reading the information in the MCIT Networking Research Material, you interview the employees and learn the following:

  • There are five employees in the office
  • Susan has a laptop.
  • Bob has a desktop system in his office.
  • Pat has a desktop system that is physically connected to the multifunction printer.
  • Julie has a desktop system and she shares out a folder on her hard drive that has all the customer information used by all employees.
  • John has a laptop system.
  • All 5 employees connect to the network and Internet via a NetGear router.
  • All 5 employees have Windows 7 installed on their computers.
  • Pat shares her printer to others in the office.
  • The NetGear router connects to the cable modem as the Internet service is provided by the local cable company.
  • The router is located in Pat’s office and is physically connected (RJ-45 cable) to Pat, Julie and Bob’s computer systems. Susan and John connect to the router via their wireless connections in their laptops.
  • Frequently employees have had problems connecting to shared devices and/or the Internet.
  • Julie is the “network expert” in the office. When she is gone, network troubles result in a call to the cable company and work is delayed waiting for solutions.

Networks - Design

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After analyzing the information gathered from the interview, you need to diagram the network as you understand it from what you learned and offer some simple tips to EFI Enterprise for their staff to perform basic troubleshooting on with their network connections.

  1. Use Visio to diagram the network of EFI Enterprises (as you understand it from the information gathered at the interview).
  2. In Visio, use commonly accepted network stencils and shapes to create a professional network diagram.
  3. In addition to saving the file in the Visio format, also save the final diagram as a graphic (.png).
  4. Create a memorandum using MCIT's Memo Format. Address the memo to EFI Enterprise's Office Manager, Pat Stevens. Your memo should contain the following information:
    • A brief introduction of your objective in analyzing their network.
    • A brief description of the type of network configuration that currently exists at EFI Enterprises and insert the diagram (.png format) into the memo.
    • Describe how a one-page troubleshooting document might be helpful to their employees.
    • Include a troubleshooting document on a separate page in the memo so it can be easily distributed to employees.
  5. Before submitting the memo, complete the testing phase as described.

Networks - Testing

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Testing Checklist:

  1. Have your memo reviewed by a non-technical person for readabilty.
  2. Ask them if they understand your diagram.
  3. Have them read the network connectivity troubleshooting document.
  4. Ask them if the steps are clear and easy to understand.

Networks - Evaluation

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Write a short memorandum addressed to the office manager, Pat Stevens. Your memo should include the following:

  • a diagram of the existing networking structure (Use Visio to create the diagram, save it as a graphic, and insert it into the memo).
  • a basic network connectivity troubleshooting document to assist employees.

Video-Related to Topic

Check out this video from one of our graduates who is a Network Administrator.

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