Introduction/Background

This video game development company has Game design centers in Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York. It has five sales offices in London, Frankfurt, Miami, Chicago and Rio De Janeiro.

The data center of the company is located in New York office. Los Angeles is the head office and one of the design centers.

All the sites (offices) are distributed worldwide and are directly connected to each other via the internet with T2 lines. The data throughput and speed requirement over the internet has increased. The Video and graphic design files are growing in size at a tremendous rate. The communication and the exchange of these large files are vital between these design offices as a routine work. The company is also seeking a Distributed File System (DFS) solution. This would allow large files to be shared over the network.

Every site has an authentication server. It allows users to logon to the company’s network. The IT professionals also use these servers to create and manage user accounts. Only the employees of the company can login to the network.

Each site houses its own authentication server. The data replication between these servers regularly occurs keeping the database information of users up-to-date.  This replication occurs when the network is less busy. NTLM protocol is currently used for user authentication. This protocol is out dated and less secure therefore the company is looking for a more robust solution.

The company’s IT Manager is very security conscious and has a firewall deployed at all sites. The Company’s data center has two firewalls with a Demilitarized zone with a Web server in it. The company’s website resides over this Web Server. The one additional firewall provides an extra layer of security to the datacenter.

The Data Center also contains other important servers and network devices also. The most critical server is the email server which is the most highly utilized server in a network environment. The data center, as well as other sites, also have an Internet proxy server for the access of the Internet. There are also Database and backup servers maintained in the Datacenter.

The data center also has a VPN (Virtual Private Network) server and NAT (Network Address Translator) Server for the enhancement technology. The VPN uses PPTP (Point to point Transfer protocol) protocols.

All the sites have computers that are connected with network switches. These network switches are connected with a WAN routers. The routers provide routing of the traffic over the WAN. The whole company’s network is based on TCP/IP protocol. The company uses IPv4 and it is required to be upgraded to IPv6 along with the Operating Systems. The LAN (Local Area Networks) on each site are based on 10/100 Mbps Ethernet technology.   The client and server based Operating systems, software and hardware are working in good order but they are outdated. The IT department also is working on a plan to upgrade these facilities to market standards so the company remains competitive in this fast pace development of the gaming and video industry.

The company does not have a proper gaming portal for gaming fans to play Network games online. The company needs a plan to have some new servers which can interoperate within the current network environment. These servers will host network games for the company customers and clients. The gamers all around the world will be able to login to these network games and sign up/login to play games in groups with each other. The company will provide these games free to all their gaming fans as a market strategy. The customers will also be able to download and buy games online.

Project Objective

The New York Design Office and Data Center

The New York Design Office and Data Center houses all the most important servers in the company facility. It is separate from the other offices where creation of games and videos take place. The data center also has a cold air conditioned chamber with restricted access.  Additional layer of security and DMZ is also provided with firewalls. All the terminal computers are joined together via a network switch. This switch is connected to the WAN router that connects the LAN in New York with the other sites via Internet. The DMZ also contains a Web server in New York office.

Ny Datacenter

Sales Office

The Miami sales office is where the sales team works. We will describe it as an example for sales offices in the company. The Sales manager works in the Los Angeles (Head) office of the company. The sales workers are in touch with the Sales manager over the WVoIP system. The Miami sales site like all the other sales sites has a firewall for the security of the LAN. It also has a router to channel out the traffic to other sites of the company through the internet. Along with all that the office also contains the Internet Proxy Server. The terminal computers also have controlled access to the Data Center facilities like email and database servers.

Miami office

Miami Sales Office

Los Angeles HQ and Design Office

Los Angeles office is the office where all the managers and the top decision makers of the company work. Like all the other sites/offices it contains a firewall, a router, an authentication server and an Internet Proxy server. Adequate number of clients are also provided for the previously mentioned top officials.

Miami office

LOS ANGELES HQ AND DESIGN OFFICE

 

Wide Area Network (WAN)

The company has five sales offices and three design offices. The Data Center of the company is in New York, and HQ is at Los Angeles. The company’s network uses TCP/IP protocol which is

Industry and Internet standard. The Authentication server also have DNS servers in the same box. All the sites in the company network are linked together with T2 lines over the internet. These T2 lines which are used for long distance communication is planned to be upgraded to T3 lines.

WAN

Wide Area Network

(WAN)

 

 

Problem Statement

(Executive Summary)

It is needed to be indicated that T2 lines that interconnect the WAN of this game and Video production company through the internet is not supportive anymore because the ever growing sizes of the large Graphics, Video and code files. It is now the number one concern of the IT department company to make the intra network of the company to support, share and store large files. The delays in file transmission and transfer could be avoided. The company has been recommended to contact it’s ISP and upgrade the T2 lines to T3 lines that can support speed up to 44.736 Mbps is  consider to be an ideal for the company’s data transfer and file sharing over the internet (Mitchell, 2014).

One of the other priority objectives of the company is to upgrade the hardware and software of the company. All the server Hardware in the company is outdated. The game development and testing is extremely demanding for the system resources, certain measures has to be taken so that the game developers and game testers can easily work with minimum technical support concerns.

The processor speed of the upgraded server hardware of the server is determined to be more than 4 GHz. The client computer processors speed is recommended to be more than 3.0 GHz at the least. Heavy duty graphics cards are also recommended for all the computers on which games are developed and tested (Cpubenchmark.net, 2014).

The client Computer storage should be at least 1Terabyte. This is for the computers which will be used for developing and testing games due to huge graphics and video file sizes.

All the authentication server hardware, Operating Systems and software are also required to be upgraded to a level that would provide a good standard of network user experience and the users are able to logon without any painful delays. At the same time the OS of the authentication servers will use a more secure protocol named as Kerberos which is highly secure and reliable authentication protocol.

The company also decides to upgrade its web server where the site of the company is hosted. At the same time there is a need to build an e-commerce system on the internet for the company. The company is willing to buy and deploy new software and hardware. The company needs to enhance its website or create and develop new websites where the customers and clients of the game company will download games. The gamming fans would also be able to create virtual game rooms and they will be able to play free network and solo games. The data on all the servers will be backed up with state of the art technology. The top management makes its vision clear to the IT department and before hiring any outsourced service. There will be series of meetings that will for and shape the company’s vision to proceed in a new era of gaming industry.

The company needs to upgrade the hardware of the network switches and routers also. This will also improve the reliability, efficiency and speed of the network.

The Ethernet hardware is also pointed out to be upgraded on each site from 10/100 Mbps to 1Giga bits per second (Gpbs) (Axis.com, 2014).

Most of the programming tools and IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) and graphics software that the company professionals use are open source and free but they are still required to be upgraded. The network administrator and Technical Support Team started to work on the plan related with accomplishing these goals along with other tasks of the upgrade process.

Business Requirements

The technology is progressing at a tremendous rate and is moving on with leaps and bounds. As the quality and efficiency of technology is exponentially moving ahead. The businesses that are technology based like this gaming company are trying hard to remain in peace with this evolution of the technology. The competition is fierce in the Technology arena. This gaming and video development company requires serious hardware, software and network upgrades. Meanwhile more and more sophisticated and robust games and videos are being created by its competitors. Games and videos that are highly dependent on those hardware and software power tools. These companies utilize these tools to stay in the market.

After every now and then new breakthroughs and version updates are created. New workable technologies emerge and the companies has to keep in pace with business development. The companies spend millions of dollars every year to keep ahead in the competition.

Moreover, upgrade of Network resources in every company is vital to keep smooth flow of the operations. The Information flow is like a blood flow in the body, any obstructions in the flow of information can cause delays and even losses of information and money. The smooth flow and storage of information has to be guaranteed in all means of production and services.

The old hardware must be upgraded by replacement of new hardware and software must be upgraded without any information loss until the company facilities ensure smooth operations while ensuring up-to-date technology to fulfill its minimum operations requirements. In order to remain in business the companies make sure that the products and services sell and the company maintains and improves its state in the market.

Requirements

(Opengroup.org, 2014)

The Data Center should be able to fulfill overall needs of the company. It houses all of the main servers which are used by the workers in all other sites of the company. These servers are required to be online for 24/7. The data center is connected with high speed lines over the network to all the offices. The availability, reliability and maintainability of the machines has to be one of the top concerns of the company. The Servers are expected to perform at top speed and u productivity. The Quality of Service also has to be up to the mark.

Security is one of the main business requirement. You can spend a lot on providing a high speed network with a lot of processing power, but there is no point if you do not secure it from intruder, hackers and other bad guys from outside. Complete Physical and Network security plus security at the system level must be assured. All other assets of the business (Agafonov, 2013)

levels

Has to be secured indefinitely. The e-commerce requirements are also there in terms of two additional servers has to be added to the DMZ in the Data Center which will house the portals to facilitate

sys ugrade

Proposed Solutions

Network Architecture

The sites of the company’s Network should be connected with high speed T3 lines over the internet. The New York site will work as a datacenter. It will be a central hub for all the information flow of the network. All the other site will be provided with hardware and software facilities according to the requirements. For example the site which host design, development and video and audio shooting will be more resource intensive in terms of technical assets of the company. The IT department will have to take great measures to address this situation making sure that the systems and network does not slow down.

In the upgrade process of the company resources the hardware will be upgraded first then the Operating System is upgraded after which the hosting software is upgraded on all the computer.

Before undertaking of this huge upgrade task the IT department decides to have presentations of how to carry out the project from its design and upgrade experts. Along with that it was also decided that a meticulous Research and Development (R&D) should be carried out. The Hardware and Software will be identical in the research and development to the one that will be used in the real environment. Many mini labs are to be created to effectively test the hardware and software before its deployment. Comprehensive reports are generated and presented to IT heads and the IT team perform meetings regarding the project. The requirements of the three Design and Development office and the five sales offices are kept in close during this project.

The sales offices typically do not require large computing resources.

 

Data Center requirements

The data center’s infrastructure is based on fiber optic cables. All the cables that coming from the ISP for the internet and T3 were required to be fiber optic due to its high speed, low volume and reliability.  A new cooling plant was also required to be install which will keep the area and the servers cool 24/7. This precaution is carried out because the heat generated from the hardware of the servers and other network devices like firewalls and router should be cooled down so that the hardware does not get damaged due to high heat.

Physical security is also a top priority. The data center is required to be highly restricted, and only the IT staff members who were authorized to work in the data center could access the resources to install, upgrade, configure or deploy the resources. The Data center is completely restricted from gaining direct physical or network access from other workers or employees of the company.

The data center is to be only accessed by authorized personnel when direct physical access was inevitable. In most cases if a problem is solved or requirement is fulfilled by gaining a network access, it should be prioritized.

The Data center are required to have the following servers in its vicinity.

  1. Authentication Servers
  2. Email Servers
  3. Internet proxy Servers
  4. Database Servers
  5. Backup Servers
  6. Web Server

Along with these servers the Data center should have the following network devices.

  1. Routers
  2. Firewalls
  3. Network Switches

SAN Requirements

Storage Area Network or (SAN) is the data backup solution that has been proposed to the company. It is a form of storage that can be accessed by the authorized servers to store block wise data as a backup and it can be recalled when needed. Devices other than that do not usually have access to SAN.

The company decides to outsource the whole SAN deployment and configuration project. The expertise on SAN does not exist in the company’s technical staff so the training is expected to be outsourced also for the company employees.

The SAN devices will be deployed and configured in the Data Center. The Database servers will be able to fully access it and large files that are created in the design and development centers. The files will be deployed by the Database servers in the SAN devices. It will ease the process of transferring data from one place to the other.

The deployment of SAN requires certain measures like the planning of the scalability of the network. You need to do some future planning also. Besides the deployment of the hardware and software it requires special skills. Once deployed the SAN deployment can save networkers a lot of work.

E-Commerce requirements

The e-commerce requirements of the company are pretty obvious. The company wants to improve its exposure of its products like games and video movies to the Internet market. To accomplish this goal, the company plans to take giant steps utilizing the popular tools of e-commerce. The sales department is also motivated for training on e-commerce resources. The company also want to launch its new e-commerce sites. Here the customers and clients of gaming and video movies will download and install games and videos on their home PCs. Some of the games and videos will be free, and others will be partially free like shareware.

To achieve the company’s e-commerce endeavors the company requires two servers to deployed in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of its data center along with the Web servers. As afore mentioned these two servers will host the company’s products for buying and marketing purposes.

The company will use online payment processors like paypal, WebMoney, Payza and Credit/Debit cards etc. for online payment of its products sold. The company see’s these online payment facilities as a good alternative to having its own payment processors.

Security

The company is also very concerned about security. All measures will be taken to keep the bad guys like hackers and crackers out of the company’s private network. The private information and all the secrets are carefully shared, when and if needed, with outsourced professionals and other entities. Trade secrets are well protected with non-disclosure agreements. All the sites of the companies are protected with hack proof firewalls. Moreover, the Data Center is provided with two firewalls for extra protection and authorized access only from outside of the site. The company also uses Virtual Private Network (VPN) which uses Point to point transfer protocol (PPTP). This provides a tunnel through the internet for the traffic from the company LANs. All the packet that move through the VPN are encapsulated. This encapsulation protects information from the hackers. The company also caters a Network Address Translator (NAT) server for the Data Center. It changes the IP addresses of outgoing traffic to its own reserve of IP addresses so the internal network can be protected from outside threats.

Hypertext transfer protocol (http/SSL) over Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is also used for the people who Sign up and login over the Internet. The company employs strict Group Policy measures to protect the network and it resources from fraud, theft and vandalism of any sort.

References

Mitchell, B. (2014). T1 line – t3 line – what are t1 and t3?. [online] Retrieved from: http://compnetworking.about.com/od/networkcables/f/t1_t3_lines.htm [Accessed: 25 Jan 2014].

Cpubenchmark.net. (2014). Passmark intel vs amd cpu benchmarks – high end. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html [Accessed: 25 Jan 2014].

Axis.com. (2014). Local area network and ethernet – technical guide | axis communications. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.axis.com/products/video/about_networkvideo/ip_networks.htm [Accessed: 25 Jan 2014]

Mindtools.com. (2014). Business requirements analysis: clearly agreeing what you’re going to deliver. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_77.htm [Accessed: 26 Jan 2014].

Opengroup.org. (2014). Business scenarios. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.opengroup.org/public/arch/p4/bus_scen/bus_scen.htm [Accessed: 26 Jan 2014].

Agafonov, S. (2013). Goodbye to vague requirements. [online] Retrieved from: http://agafonovslava.com/post/2013/11/21/Goodbye-to-vague-requirements [Accessed: 26 Jan 2014].