Network Architecture & Design: Virtualized Network Design for Computer Information Technology Department

Update (Fall 2007)This project was done by the Summer Session ITS 472 Network Architecture Class at Purdue University Calumet. The full document is available for download (4mb) here. The project design was followed closely with some element overcome by events, but in the summer of 2007 it was completed.

Executive Summary

Technological advancements in information technology is causing universities around the globe to move away from the traditional classroom setting. Universities are starting to provide their entire curriculum online allowing students to learn synchronously and asynchronously, regardless of personal constraints.

The rising fuel prices are affecting the student’s ability to commute to and from campus. Purdue is looking for methods to insure capability and sustainability of the university system if a pandemic occurs. In order to solve this problem, the Computer Information Technology (CIT) Department at Purdue University Calumet (PUC) is looking to provide their entire curriculum online.

Purdue University Calumet’s CIT Department is looking for a means to ensure that students whom are unable to attend on campus courses can still receive a high quality education in state-of-the-art technology, from a distance. The CIT Department will implement a network which virtualizes all of their laboratory courses. The virtualization of the laboratory courses will allow students to learn in an environment similar to the real-world. The laboratory virtualization project will provide Purdue University Calumet with a competitive advantage over other universities and will allow Purdue University Calumet to gain international recognition as the first university to undertake such an endeavor.

The laboratory virtualization project will utilize new hardware and software to provide an enriched learning experience, providing students with a stronger understanding of realistic situations. The new network will also provide students with the capability to watch high-speed streaming video as well as listen to audio and voice over IP technologies. With these technologies, students and faculty will have adequate tools for both teaching and research.

This proposal will discuss the current state of the CIT network and the design requirements, physical design, the implementation strategy, needs, and testing of the new network. In addition, the design document for the configuration of the prototype is included; this document demonstrates the capabilities of the proposed network. This network was designed to be flexible, scalable, highly available, reliable, easily manageable, sustainable, optimize performance, and provide network management capabilities.

Project Goal

The primary objective of this project is to redesign the network infrastructure and provide remote access via a virtual network laboratory to all of the Computer Information Technology Department (CIT) courses and their corresponding laboratories. The virtual network will be scaleable, provide optimal performance, and have network management capabilities. Through this project the CIT Department would like to provide an asynchronous learning curriculum, increase student enrollment by providing all of the courses online, and allow non-traditional students to take courses. The Purdue University Calumet CIT Department hopes to obtain international recognition for their plan of studies in the Information Technology (IT) fields. This redesign should facilitate the goal of optimizing the performance of the existing network, increase student enrollment, and the pedagogical advancement of the IT curriculum

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