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
students so they understand the options.
3. Point out the suggested uses for the various servers.
4. Have students answer the questions about each
scenario and select the best server based on the profile.
5. Encourage students to examine specifications for actual
servers. If you don't have samples to hand out, have
them visit a few online vendors, such as:
Point out that smaller networks have computers that include storage devices while larger corporations often have dedicated storage devices or file servers that house all files.
Exercise: Storage Devices
Complete this exercise after discussing storage devices. EXERCISE
Students should be able to take apart the computer and 20 minutes remove and install the devices. Discuss the pros and
cons of each type of storage device.
If time allows, you might want to research storage
devices online. Some of the vendors include:
Explain the difference in printer capabilities, including speed and quality.
You might want students to look online for various network printers, to compare what's available. Some vendors include:
; Hewlett-Packard: http://www.hp.com/united-
; Kyocera Mita:
; Lexmark: http://www.lexmark.com/
If you want students to follow the steps for adding a network printer, this site has a great step-by-step guideline:
This PC Magazine article compares various network printers: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1558272,00.asp
Online Shopping compares various network printers: http://www.free-
Network Interface Cards (NICs)
Exercise: Network Interface Cards IN-CLASS
EXERCISE Complete this exercise after discussing network
interface cards. Ensure that you have NICs available for 15 minutes students to examine, as well as computers they can
open and remove and reinstall the NICs. Discuss any
physical installation concerns and provide students with
Compare and contrast the various connection devices, including: ; Hubs
Exercise: Connection Devices IN-CLASS
EXERCISE Complete this exercise after discussing connection
devices in class. Examine how the devices connect 15 minutes
physically to the network. Remind students they will
examine the actual cabling in the next chapter. Do I need special software?
Explain that every computer has an operating system. Home computers often have Windows XP Home, for example. A network operating system is designed to specifically handle the complex needs of the network.
Peer-to-Peer Network Operating Systems
Point out that most home computer networks operate a peer-to-peer network system and use Windows XP.
Client/Server Network Operating Systems
You might refer to the diagram on the Microsoft site for information on the Windows Server 2003 structure. Although this is a complex diagram, you might want to share it with students and give a brief overview of the components.
You can find the diagram online at
Exercise: Planning a Network
8 5 hours
Complete this exercise at the end of this chapter. It gives
students a good worksheet for planning the network.
Have students follow the steps for planning the network
outlined in the scenario. It is best if students do this
exercise in small groups of 3 or 4 and then share their
findings with the class.
As a follow up assignment, have students complete the
worksheet for a home network they might like to set up.
If students do not have a home network, have them
determine a network they would like to have and create
their dream setup.
What You've Learned
About Planning a Network In this lesson, students began planning a network. What's Next?
In the next chapter, students will pull everything together to create the network.
The following sections test the students' knowledge of what they have learned in the classroom. In addition, there are a few out of class activities that you may choose to assign that will help students relate the topic to real life.
Terms to Know
Review the following terms:
10BaseT: an older Ethernet architecture, still common in small businesses and home networks.
100BaseT: the most common Ethernet architecture, also known as Fast Ethernet.
AppleTalk Architecture: developed by Apple to control information transferred between Apple computers.
Architecture: how the information transfers between computers over the network.
ARCNet architecture: one of the oldest network architectures.
Bus network: all computers connect along a continuous cable, known as a backbone.
Central Processing Unit (CPU): the chip that controls your computer.
Daisy chaining: connecting multiple hubs.
Ethernet architecture: the most popular and least expensive network architecture, and includes star bus, bus, ring, and hybrid topologies. Fast Ethernet: another name for 100BaseT Ethernet.
Gateway: a connection device that links two different types of networks. It receives information, translates it, then sends the translation on to the destination.
Gigabit Ethernet: a new faster Ethernet, which transfers information more than ten times faster than Fast Ethernet.
Hardware: the physical equipment that makes up your network. Hub: the central connecting device to which all cables on the network connect.
Hybrid mesh network: networks that combine at least two different types of topologies.
Internet Service Provider (ISP): An ISP is a company, such as MSN,
that provides access to the Internet.
Modem: equipment that connects a computer to the Internet via a phone line.
Network Interface Card (NIC): hardware installed inside a computer
that connects it to the network.
Network Operating System (NOS): software that controls, organizes,
and manages all activities on the network.
Port: sockets on a connecting device into which you plug the cables for the computer devices.
Print server: a computer that manages and stores all the print jobs sent to the printer from all computers on the network.
Ring network: a single length of cable runs between computers, which are configured in a ring.
Router: equipment that connects networks and directs, or routes, information to computers on the network.
Server: a powerful computer that fills a specific function on the network. Sneaker net: the process of walking files, saved on floppy disks, from one computer to another.
Star bus network: the most common network structure; each computer connects to a central point on the network.
Storage device: devices on which you store files, such as hard drives, compact disks, tape and optical drives.
Switch: similar to a hub, but a switch gets information from the network and sends that information to a specific destination on the network. Terminator: a device placed at each end of the cable in a bus network.