A Request For Proposal (RFP) to Design Wired LANs, Wireless WLANs and support Backbone Wide Area Network (WAN)

Submission format: Before the due date, a soft copy of your technical report (a PDF file) with the standard assignment format must be submitted to Moodle via Turnitin. You can use any freely available PDF converter. Report will be checked on Turnitin for Plagiarism.


Late submissions:

  • By submitting a special consideration form
  • Without an approved special consideration request, you lose 10% of your mark per day that you submit late. Submissions will not be accepted more than 3 days late.


Plagiarism: This is an individual assignment. Group work is not allowed. It is an academic requirement that your submitted work be original. Zero marks will be awarded for the whole submission if there is any evidence of copying, collaboration, pasting from websites, or copying from textbooks. When you are asked to use Internet resources to answer a question, this does not mean copying and pasting text from websites. Write answers in your own words such that your understanding of the answer is evident.


Marks: This assignment is worth 20% of your unit marks.


Interview: Your tutors may carry out an interview in the tutorial session to assess your work. If you cannot explain your work or what you write in your report, you may get low marks. This is to make sure that the work you submit is your own work.


Presentation: The Technical Report should look professional, which means you need to pay attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar. It is important that your report has a clear structure. Write a report of 8 to 10 pages long, containing 800 to 1200 words with a font size of at least 11pt. The page limit doesn’t include images, tables, references, Appendix… etc. Any text beyond the page limit will not be marked. Use FIT standard report format. You can find great tips on how to write a report on Monash’s web pages. Here is a link to get started: Language and Learning Online website: https://www.monash.edu/rlo. For drawing sitemaps, any drawing tool should work, for example LucidChart, or even presentation tools such as PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides. Scans of hand-drawn maps are acceptable if they are neat and easily readable.




An Enterprise Network Design


1.    Assignment Description


A public transport company requires its office building to be connected over a wired LAN and Wireless LAN (WLAN). You have been asked to respond to the following excerpt from their RFP (Request For Proposals) in the newspaper.

Scope of the Work

At present, the total number of office employees in Melbourne is 200. Each office worker is provided with an office space or cubicle with a multimedia desktop having wired network connection. Owing to a business acquisition, the number of employees at Melbourne is expected to increase substantially. The size of the Melbourne office, both Wired and Wireless LAN will increase (from 200) to 600 stations; after two new 4-storey buildings (located across the road) have been acquired to accommodate the additional office space needed to provide seating arrangements for the increased number of employees (see Figure 1).


The new buildings have already been wired for network connections, where each floor has a wiring closet with necessary structured cabling. Each wiring closet has four fiber optic cables running to a dedicated server room in the basement. The two new buildings also need a Wide Area Network (WAN) to be connected to the existing Main office network (across the road).

Note: Lift & Services wells area is the space used for Lift service, Wells used for running vertical network cables between floors.


It is envisaged that the two new buildings in Melbourne office would support, both, wired and wireless networked office environment where each of the staff PC and their personal laptops would be equipped with office desktop high resolution video conferencing software (VoIP), along with the usual business applications such as web, email, and regular office productivity packages. It is anticipated that the average network traffic generated by each active user is estimated to be around 15-20 Mbps. The expected user activity pattern for both the new buildings may be seen in Figure 2, where each of the new buildings will accommodate 200 new staff members. The Wired LAN infrastructure needs to be designed to support the anticipated peak time data traffic, and in addition, support the Wireless LAN. The design should show the WLAN Access Points (AP) connectivity to the wired infrastructure. At the existing main office network (across the WAN), a capacity increase will be required for key devices and their support infrastructure (e.g. Servers, Routers and/or switches) to accommodate the increased traffic volume from the new buildings. Employees are expected to access the main office network and its resources frequently. So, from the business perspective, it is important that the WAN connectivity is maintained all the time. Loss of productivity is not an option from the network connectivity point of view.



2.    Assignment Requirements

Submissions for this assignment should be in the form of a technical report with explanatory figures and other requirements for reporting. The assignment specifications are in the form of a request for proposal (RFP) to potential suppliers. A RFP is a solicitation often made through a bidding process by any company interested in the design and procurement of installation contract services. This assignment provides an opportunity for you to work individually and apply Data Communications and Computer Networking concepts to a practical network design. You are required to design the network, make networking recommendations based on the RFP requirements and present your solutions in a formal report.


The technical report should contain the following important diagrams to support your proposal:

  • A conceptual high-level diagram showing a typical floor plan, backbone network (connecting the floors) and a wide area network to connect to the main office.
  • A typical floorplan (only one floor would be sufficient).
  • Servers, Routers, Switches and Access Point (AP) locations.
  • Backbone connection diagrams (using schematic diagrams of cross-section of a building showing switches, routers etc.).
  • WAN connectivity for two new buildings connecting with the head office building.


Include the following information in response to the request for Proposal (RFP):

  • Project Requirements: Project requirements can be derived from Objectives and Scope of Work section of the RFP. A requirement brief is usually an itemized list of the client’s requirements derived from the RFP.
  • Wired, Wireless LAN and WAN Design: Wired, Wireless LAN design (for a typical floor) and WAN design, must include the following information:
    • Computer desktop layout plan with network topology for a typical floor level.
    • Switch and Wireless Access Point locations on a typical floor, vertical cable paths and lengths between the floors. Switch and Access Point functional specifications. Assume the floor to ceiling height as 3 meters approximately including the false ceiling.
    • Router (and/or Switches) locations (both the existing and the new ones) and their interconnections providing WAN connectivity.
  • Design Rules (or Assumptions): You need to outline design rules for LANs, WLANs, and WAN. Your description should include:
    • Detailed steps required in the network design process,
    • Methods used to form estimates of network performance for each types of devices, (iii) An example of a basic sample design showing proposed floor plan, assumptions, justifications, and calculations.

(iv) Assumptions of backbone connectivity using wired/wireless media needs to be reported.

  • Recommendations and Justification: A summary of your recommendations with a statement of justification.


List of equipment, their specifications, technical data, and device related cabling specifications etc. should be included in the Appendix. Appendix can be used only for report referencing purpose only. Appendix should contains technical data relevant to the design from the manufacturer of the hardware selected.


Research and analysis expected in the technical report

In the RFP, the company expects you to give them enough arguments in support of your network design to convince them, with respect to costs and benefits of the proposed network and new technologies you have proposed. Go into some technical detail explaining differences between technologies. Give detailed explanation of the proposed technologies that would be integrated in the network design. It will be useful to create tables and figures for some of the comparisons. You can answer questions such as:

  • What devices, switches, Access Points, Routers etc. are involved in each option and what are their functions?
  • What kind of (wired and wireless) network technology should be installed in the new buildings to support the network infrastructure and communication needs?

3.    Reporting Instructions

Writing reports is an essential aspect of any IT career. You are expected to deliver reports that are accurate and factual, that provide evidence for your findings, and look professional.

(See http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/information-technology/report/1.3.xml).


Before you start

Before starting to write, think about your audience, i.e., who is reading the report? Don’t write for your tutors. Write for your customer (Transport Company).


Sources and referencing

Any claims or recommendations that you make should be substantiated with supporting references. That means that you cannot just claim that A is better than B, you have to argue why that is the case and point to external sources that can serve as evidence. You can use the unit’s recommended textbooks and other standard literature as sources, but you will also need to use additional documentation to find all the technical information and commercial details for this report. Whenever you use material from an external source, make sure that you reference that source. You also need to assess the quality and reliability of any source. An independent expert review of different technologies is much more trustworthy. References should be listed correctly (see conference papers or journal for the reference). You may lose marks for poor referencing. You should use the APA referencing style, which is explained in detail here: