Networking Performance

This paper’s scenario concerns a company facing the network performance degradation in one of its LAN segments.  There are only five PCs connected to the segment in question but all of them are located in the office at a distance of 150 meters from the nearest Ethernet switch. Therefore, this segment was left untouched during the total LAN upgrade a few years ago when the company has built a switched Ethernet environment. This particular segment is connected to the rest of the network through a repeater that converts the signal from the twisted pair Ethernet media to a coaxial cable. As the coaxial cable (10Base2 Ethernet standard) allows building network segments within a range of 185 meters (Dean, 2009, p. 126), the obsolete architecture satisfied the company needs for some time. When the remote office PCs were upgraded, the network performance has dropped beyond the satisfactory level.

The key problem that should be solved in this case is a network speed. As the 10Base2 Ethernet network operates with the 10 Mbps connection speed, another type of network media should be introduced. The twisted pair cannot be chosen because of its 100 meter maximal distance limitation (White, 2010, p. 401). Therefore, the remote office should be connected by a fiber optic. This type of a network media has various length limitations, all of which exceed 150 meters (White, 2010, p. 195). A small desktop switch with 1 Gbps fiber optic port and eight 10/100 Fast Ethernet ports must be installed directly in the remote office. Such an approach will ensure enough bandwidth for PCs in the remote office with a potential to add three more PCs. It is the only reasonable solution for the scenario. Upgrading the segment with a hub would have made no difference because the hub just emulates the coaxial segment. Alternatively, it would have been possible to install five fiber optic NICs (network interface cards) into the remote office PCs and connect them directly to the main switch but this solution is too expensive.

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