CHAPTER Planning a
In this chapter, students will begin planning their own network by examining the hardware and software for the network.
CHAPTER In this chapter, students
will answer these 8-10 hours including
hands-on exercises questions:
; Can we share files, printers, even an Internet
connection using a network?
; What else can we do over a network?
; What kind of a network do I need?
; What hardware is necessary to create a network?
; Do I need special software?
This chapter gives students the chance to begin planning their own network. They will examine the hardware and the software necessary to create the network.
; Complete Chapters 1 through 4 prior to beginning this chapter
so students understand the overall concept of networks and the
function they have in society.
; Review the basic networking concepts covered in chapter 1
before continuing with chapters 5 and 6.
; Students must have computers with Internet access to complete
the Web portions of the course.
; The instructor should make various components available for
use in the classroom. These should be components that students
cannot harm by handling them, including:
o Storage devices
o Network interface cards
Materials for Instructors ; A teacher machine with Internet access is suggested. If you
have the ability to display your screen to students, it could be
helpful as they work through the chapter. ; You will need the following handouts for the course:
o Topology Comparison chart
o Server Specifications worksheet
o Network Planning Checklist
; You will need the following files for the course:
o Sharing Files and Printers.doc
Suggested Web Sites
; Networking Basics:
; Topology: http://fcit.usf.edu/network/chap5/chap5.htm
; Wikipedia: Network Topology:
; Network Topologies:
Additional Materials and Resources
; For definitions and any unfamiliar phrases, refer students to
Webopedia at http://www.webopedia.com
; ISP Backbone Maps:
; ITToolbox: http://networking.ittoolbox.com
; Networking Hardware:
; Designing a Network Topology:
The below section follows the student textbook and offers additional comments and exercises you will find useful as you teach this course. What Kinds of Things Can
I Share on a Network?
Brainstorm things that students can do over a network. Discuss ways the network aids teachers and students in your school.
Can we share files?
Discuss the importance of file sharing in the working world. Emphasize that students should save a document to their own computer if it is something they need to customize for their own use.
Can we share printers?
Explain that some printers are designed as network printers. Emphasize that on a small home network, all the computers can share a single printer that is not necessarily intended as a network printer, but that it won't be as fast or efficient as a regular network printer.
Exercise: Sharing Files and Printers
Complete this exercise after discussing sharing EXERCISE
resources over the network. Before the class begins, 20 minutes place the file Sharing Files and Printers.doc on the
teacher's computer and ensure that it is in a shared file
so students can access it.
1. Have students click Start, My Network Places.
2. Explain where students can find the file you put online for
them, then have them copy Sharing Files and
Printers.doc to My Documents on their own computers,
or to the default location designated by your school.
3. Students should open Microsoft Word, click File, Open,
the open the document they just saved to their My
Documents (or other designated) folder.
4. Have each student customize the document once by
filling out the required information.
5. Have students save the revised document as
name> Sharing Files and Printers.doc.
6. Instruct students to print the document using a shared
printer in the classroom, or at some other designated
7. Close Microsoft Word and any folders still open on the
Can we share an Internet connection?
Discuss the various ways that students can share an Internet connection over a network. Discuss the Internet service at the school. Have students discuss any home networks they might have and whether they have Internet service at home.
Exercise: Examining Modems and Routers
Complete this exercise after discussing connecting to EXERCISE
the Internet through the Network. 20 minutes
Have various pieces of equipment on hand for students
to examine. It is also helpful to have machines the
students can open and see how internal modems plug in
to the motherboard.
Demonstrate how the router plugs into the back of the
computer. Explain that students will study cables in
detail in Chapter 6.
Are there other things we can do over a
Discuss the various options available over a network. You might discuss such new features as connecting a mobile phone or a handheld computer to a network.
What Does it Take to Make
Emphasize the importance of planning in setting up a network. Even small home networks require some planning so you know the correct type of equipment you will need and will have everything you need on hand before you start the actual installation.
What kind of network do I need?
Discuss the network for the classroom. Isolate the classroom as if it was an independent company without the rest of the school. Compare the needs of that setup to the actual classroom lab that is likely connected to the larger network for the school.
Discuss the individual needs of the students in class. What type of network might they need at home? Have them begin to ask critical questions, such as what they use the computers for, how many people will use the computers, etc.
Indicate to students that you will only cover Ethernet architecture during the course. Token-ring, ARCNet, and AppleTalk are all viable architectures, but much less popular than Ethernet.
Emphasize that the topology is the physical layout of the network. After discussing the various topologies, discuss the topology of the network in the classroom.
You might want to explain that topology is the description of the location. The word topology comes from the Greek word topos, meaning
Describe the difference between a local area network (LAN), in which the computers share resources within a small geographic area and a wide area network (WAN) in which the networks are separated by physical distance.
Use the Topology Comparison handout to discuss the various topologies. Star Bus networks
Use the analogy of a wheel and the spoke to explain the star bus topology.
Emphasize that every computer is indirectly connected to every other computer through the central connection device. This topology works well when computers are scattered throughout an office.
Remind students that a star bus network is a LAN.
Explain that in a bus network, every computer is directly connected to all of the other computers on the network.
Emphasize that a bus network is simple, reliable, and easy to upgrade and expand.
Remind students that a bus network is a LAN.
Emphasize that in a ring topology, the computers are all connected in a closed loop with no beginning and no end. Computers next to each other are directly connected, while others on the network are indirectly connected through the loop.
Explain that a ring network is a LAN.
While this is a good low cost network solution, it is not as reliable as a bus or star bus network.
Hybrid mesh networks
Emphasize that a hybrid mesh network combines at least two of the other types of topologies.
Explain that mesh networks are reliable and work well when computers are not in a single line. The mesh networks are often quite expensive. Other considerations
Discuss why other items are important. Emphasize that location is one of the key considerations when planning a network.
What hardware do I need?
Remind students that hardware includes the server, the computers, the connection devices, the printers, and any other extra equipment required for a specific network, such as laptops or handheld computers. Network servers
Remind students that a network server is not required on a peer-to-peer network.
Exercise: Server Specifications
Complete this exercise after discussing network servers. EXERCISE
Remind students that these are sample specifications of 75-100 minutes real servers. You will need to hand out the Server
Specifications worksheet to students before beginning
Note: If you have sample specification sheets from
actual servers, you might want to share those with
1. Hand out the sample specification (spec) sheets to
students and have them exam the items.
2. Explain the various items shown on the sheets to the