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Bead Bar Network Paper

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Bead Bar is a business founded in 1998 which provides both a service of teaching people how to create their own jewelry with beads, and products by selling customers beads and accessories. Bead Bar has three divisions - studios, franchises and Bead Bar on Board. There are six studios, five franchises and the Bead Bar on Board is portable and can be placed on a deck or in a lounge of a ship. Outlined in this report will be suggestions for a network for Bead Bar so that they can move from paper-based records to the use of a database for their record keeping and management. In order to move Bead Bar to an electronically run business, a network with a database or databases needs to be establish. There are several issues that need to be addressed with Bead Bar's network, including the network topology and architecture and how they will work with the studios, franchises and Bead Bar on Board. Those issues will be discussed in this report.

Overview and Recommendations

In view of the fact that Bead Bar has so many locations as well as remote locations on ships, they need a versatile network that will meet all of the various needs of each division. It is recommended that a wireless database network using IEEE 802.11b radio frequency be installed for Bead Bar in the studios and franchises. Internet access and communication between studio and franchise will be provided for each computer using TCP/IP protocol. Radio Frequency, (RF), networks use low-power radio signals to travel through walls, ceilings, floors and outside. RF's are becoming more popular as time goes on, however they are susceptible to intruders intercepting the data and retrieving confidential information such as credit card numbers. RF's can use many different protocols, but the one that is ideal for Bead Bar is IEEE 802.11b, also called Wi-Fi. It is also a very widely used protocol. Bead Bar on Board will communicate via GEO, (geosynchronous), satellite because it's location is constantly changing.

Network Topology

Network topology is the way in which components of the network are connected. There are six types of network topology that we could choose from to build Bead Bar's network. First, we have the bus technology, which consists of one common cable or "backbone" to which devices are connected directly via cables. If the main cable fails, however, the entire network will go down. Because there are cables running to each computer, the bus topology would not work since each computer is at a different location. The second type of topology is called "star" topology because several devices are connected to a central hub, which routes information to the correct place. This is the configuration we are going to use in the main studio. Another type of topology is the "ring" topology in which all devices are connected to each other. In other words, each device is connected to two other devices. If any device on the network fails, the data can be routed around that device. Due to the cable configuration, this would not work for Bead Bar either. The other types of topology - mesh, tree, and hybrid - all have cables connecting each computer as well, so would not be suitable for Bead Bar. The only solution for Bead Bar is the wireless network.

In Bead Bar's case, a simple star topology will be used in the main studio. A twisted pair wire, consisting of pairs of twisted copper wire within one casing, will be installed from the server to a hub at the main studio. A modem and phone cable will also be connected to the hub. The modem will be connected to the hub with a coaxial cable line. A modem is a piece of hardware that converts digital signals into analog signals in order to transmit over public telephone lines (Malaga, 2005). Modems filter out TV signals enabling only high-speed communication between the computer and the internet. A hub is a piece of hardware that receives data transmissions and routes them to the correct place. For Bead Bar on Board the laptop computer will be connected to the main network via a GEO satellite. WAP's, (wireless access points), will be located at each location and a wireless network adapter will be provided for each computer. The reason for the type of topology described here is that there are many locations that need to communicate with each other and the main studio server.

Network Architecture

Network architecture tells how the network will operate at a conceptual level. There are two types of network architecture - client/server and peer-to-peer. In a client/server architecture


(Malaga, 2005)

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there are certain computers that are used as servers. A server is a more powerful computer than the other computers, with a fast



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