Free «Networking Migration Process in Business» Essay

Networking Migration Process in Business

As a part of its improvement in service delivery, Fiction Corporation intends to move its network operations to a new site. This process will involve some strategic and operational objectives as maintaining operations and profitability of the business, as well as being implemented within the projected timeframe and budget. As such, the company is looking forward to a project that will sustain its operations while having little influence on its operations and profitability. This paper outlines basic project requirements as contained in the network design document and plan.

Project Goal

Fiction Corporation Company is a large national retail that has a data center from where it operates its network. The company is moving its one primary data center operation to a new headquarters, building several miles away. Consequently, the company wishes to upgrade its network and in the process, corrects any security flaws in its infrastructure as a part of this move. However, this movement should not affect operations and profitability of the company. The goal of this project is to ensure that Fiction Corporation successfully migrates to the new site with a more enhanced network in terms of infrastructure and security of the network. As such, the project aims at delivering a better network in the new site at the projected cost of $ 500,000.

Project Scope

This project will cover all technical operations that are connected to the company’s network. It will include the Local Area Network and the Wide Local Area Network that covers the remote outlets located across the country. The project will also include technical aspects that involve the production and communication systems that the company uses in its daily operations. Since the remote outlets operate on the 24-hour basis; a plan will be made to shut down operations of some of the outlets while keeping others operational. It is projected that the process will be done alternately and, therefore, operations of the company will not be affected.

Design Requirements

The design in this implementation requires that the company should inform all its staff and customers of the migration to avoid upsetting or interfering with schedules. For instance, it is projected that trying to use a router or a server that is in the process of migration will affect the process or even slow down the entire process. As such, technical managers will be required to get a versed with the process of migration to give their full support to the implementation team. Below are some of the design requirements that will be important in the implementation of this project.

Business Goals                   

The goal of Friction Corporation is to acquire a more enhanced network connection that is efficient in terms of operations and profitability. Company customers and the staff must not be affected by the project, but instead, uptime must remain as high. Therefore, the project will consider these business goals while using a technically enhanced process to migrate activities in the data center to the new site. In addition, Wide-IP will carry out user’s education to ensure that users of the system, including the staff and company customers, are educated before embarking on the process of migration.

Technical Goals

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The aim of technical goals will be to enable Friction Corporation Company torecommend the kind of technologies that will perform to expectations of its customers and staff. As such, designing of the new network will address issues of availability, adaptability, scalability, performance, manageability, security, usability and affordability (Mueller, Ogletree & Soper, 2006). Some of the technical goals that Wide-IP will be aiming to achieve include connecting the remote server LANs to the corporate network to the WLAN at the new site and solving the LAN/WAN-related problems that may be a result of migrating to the new site.  Similarly, the issue of provision of centralized server at the new site, which connects with remote servers at decentralized centers, will be of immense concern while migrating.

Equally important is the issue of providing support in terms of communication with customers and staff at Friction Corporation Company. Nevertheless, Wide-IP will seek the best way possible to ensure that the company does not suffer so much from tradeoffs that are associated with the need to meet technical goals. Such tradeoffs may be caused by the need, for instance, of foregoing such an issue as scalability for security. As indicated earlier, Wide-IP will endeavor to have the best network that is free from wide ranging tradeoffs by harmonizing migration requirements first before implementing the project.

User Communities and Data Stores

The need to consolidate user communities and data stores will be a pertinent issue during the migration process. Therefore, it is expected that proper analysis of available technologies in enhancing user groups and data stores over a shared network will form a critical part while migrating. Wide-IP will, thus, carry out a survey on the current technology that Friction Corporation is using, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses and, thereby, come up with a recommendation as to whether to migrate with the technology or acquire new devices.

 This process will consider costs of each option and, therefore, will not allow an overflow of the allocated budget. In case of any overflow in the attempt to enhance user communities and data stores, the issue will be brought to the attention of management of the company clearly detailing the available options and the associated costs.

Network Applications

The design of network operations at the new site will include all network applications that are core to operations of the business. For instance, it is expected that the new network design will include the conventional messaging service together with applications from social networks to allow customers and the staff at Friction to have instant communication. Similarly, since the scalability of the current network is stretched to the limit, the design will encompass a room to allow more people to access the network at any one time and, therefore, reduce the overweight on operations, as witnessed now.

Some of the features that will be of immense concern during the migration include; configuration of web browsers, mail systems, mail transport system, mail user agent and the remote mail retrieval and forwarding utility. Other network applications will include the mail delivery agent coupled with relevant filters, the print server and utility, the remote access utility, application servers and agents and diagnosis of the functionality of the network.

Current State of the Network

Friction Corporation Company has a decent network that supports its operations from headquarters throughout the natin. The company has its data held at the center and this data is reflected in remote servers that control retail locations. The data in the center supports remote retail locations. A remote retail location is an off-site 100-seat call center that supports customers in those areas. Additionally, the company has three remote warehousing operations that run on 24 hours basis with an annual uptime at 99.9%. As such, it is estimated that these remote centers are coordinated in a manner that any significant downtime to one of its production systems would affect Fiction Corporation's operations and profitability.

This will, however, be put into consideration during migration to ensure that any downtime does not affect the availability of the server to the main server. From the data processing viewpoint, the migration will include 2 large UPS, 4 RS/6000 AIX application servers, 10 virtualized servers and 20 PC servers. Approximately, the network consists of 500 remote location retail stores linked via frame relay (with the ISDN backup) to ten routers at data center running the common Local Area Network that is shared currently by the entire organization. Retail operations also run and control WLANs that are on their own subnet.

Logical Design

Logical design is an essential consideration in the development of a new network because it acts as a yardstick through which a network technical manager can identify the processes that the network must support in terms of application layer protocol, a database schema and a set of data objects that run operations of the company.

However, this project only aims at moving operations of Friction Corporation Company to a new site and, therefore, there will be no changes in the logical design in operations of the system. Still, this migration gives technical manager an opportunity to improve the logical design that is currently implemented in the system. In addition, the analysis of the current logical design will provide a way of understanding bottlenecks in the performance of the network so that the same problems are not transferred to the new site.

Consequently, the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) management system designed in such a manner that allows the detection and reporting failure of the remote system or its communications link and the status of individual applications within the network. Some of the devices that technical mangers will be focusing on in the new site include routers, switches, servers, workstations and printers. It is expected that an analysis of the functionality of these devices will be used in bringing the administration to the attention over issues that need to be addressed.

Physical Design

The designing of the physical network will come as technical managers have decided on network protocols and services that Friction Corporation offers on the network. Most crucial is the identification of potential bottlenecks and evaluation of security problems that are associated with network needs. Similarly, physical design will follow logical specifications identified during the logical design. In other words, the logical design defines the kind of physical design that Wide-IP is going to recommend during migration. Other guiding features will include network requirements including needs of the users and user communities and bandwidth requirements for remote retail locations.

Crucial factors to keep in mind while developing the physical design for the network will be the dynamic nature of technology and, in particular, networking environment. For instance, it is arguable that hubs were sufficient a few years ago, yet this revolutionary technology has since then been replaced with much faster switches that cost the same as the hubs. This information points to the fact that the performance speed is an essential factor in choosing the physical device that will be used in laying down the network at the company. Similarly, the storage capacity of the network will define the kind of physical device that will be used in migration. Friction Corporation is a growing company and, therefore, it is anticipated that the number of customers will continue to increase and, thus, the need to have higher storage capacity devices used in the data center at the headquarters. In addition, the dynamism in technology demands that if the technology changes in future, it will be easy to replace the devices used without affecting operations and profitability of the company.

Results of Network Design Testing

Network design testing results will enable the Wide-IP to address bottlenecks and problems that may be experienced on the network during actual operations. It is also vital because it will give an overview of how users are going to access the network from the data center at new headquarters and the remote retail locations that are located in various places. Design testing will also give an overview of the functionality of the entire system before it is fully set as a dependable system.

In implementing the migration of network operations to a new site, Fiction Corporation aims at improving services to customers through efficient and effective service delivery. The company also aims at achieving a higher percentage in uptime besides increasing its operations and profitability. Additionally, the company will get an opportunity to increase its scalability and, thus, increasing the number of customers and staff that can use its network at any one time. In essence, the company is aiming at serving its customers better, while increasing its profitability.

Implementation Plan and Project Schedule

Wide-IP intends to implement this project during the off peak season when there is not much activities going on in the company. It is estimated that during this season, the number of customers that are accessing the network reduces to half and, therefore, the process will not affect immensely the activities of the customers. However, the scheduled time of three months is longer than the experienced off peak season and, therefore, the project will be implemented in phases.

A central point in this project is the timeframe allocated for the implementation of the migration process. Thus, the project’s schedule will guide the Wide-IP in addressing the start and finish of each activity, allocate sufficient duration for each activity, outline the dependencies of tasks before and after, give a hierarchical organization of the activities using the Gantt chart. This will compare ranges of activities as bars plotted against time to give a physical picture of the time for each task.

Below is an example of the project schedule that will be used in this project. It is important to note that this is a tentative schedule and, therefore, changes will be made to it as the need arises:

Task

Critical path

Start

Finish

Duration

Slack

Milestone

Task 1

Yes

Day 1

Day 6

5

0

 

Task 2

Yes

Day 6

Day 10

4

0

 

Task 3

No

Day 10

Day 12

2

0

 

Task 4

No

Day 12

Day 15

3

8

Day 15

Task 5

Yes

Day 15

Day 27

12

0

 

Task 6

Yes

Day 27

Day 37

10

0

 

Since, the project will be done in three phases, different schedules will be prepared for each phase and there will not be any differentiation in the importance attached to each schedule.

Project Budget and Return on Investment Calculation

This project is supposed to be implemented on a budget of $500,000, and Wide-IP intends to keep costs within these limits. One of the crucial factors that must be observed in order to keep costs within limits is the issue of time. The project must, thus, be executed within the allocated timeframe. A decent amount of money will go to the purchasing of the software and hardware that will be used in the process of migration. A sizeable share will also go to the payment of wages and salaries of 10 employees of Wide-IP while the rest will be used in the survey and other processes that will be required to be done before the actual migration process.

An essential factor in the implementing of this project is the return on investment ratio that Friction Corporation intends to gain from moving to the new site. Return on Investment in this case represents the difference between the return that Friction Corporation intends to get from the new site and the investment it is putting in having its network run at the new site divided by the amount of investment. In other words, a return on investment (ROI) is defined as a performance measure that the company uses to evaluate its efficiency of an investment or even compare and contrast the efficiency of several different investments.

Hence, ROI is calculated as a percentage or a ratio of the benefit (return) of an investment over the cost of the investment. In this case, Friction Corporation is investing an amount of $ 500,000 to ensure that the network is running. The CEO of the company expects that the company will make a return of $ 2.5 million from the investment. Consequently, the return on investment that the company expects to get from this project can be calculated as follows:

For the projection by the company’s CEO, of the gains of $2.5 million, the ROI for implementing this project will be as follows:

($ 2,500,000-$ 500,000)

     $ 500,000

= $ 2,000,000

    $ 500,000

= 4 %

As revealed from the above calculation, the percentage return on investment is attractive to the business. Definitely, this will positively affect overall returns that the company will make in subsequent years. The CEO of the company is keen to ensure that the project is implemented within this projected budget, if the company is going to remain competitive in the market. Similarly, a high return on investment will enable the company to motivate its employees so that they can achieve more in their uptime performance.

The success of this project will depend on a number of factors including the availability of devices that are needed to be used in migration. Financial constraint is not likely to be a challenge to migration, since Fiction Corporation Company has allocated already the amount that is required. However, educating the staff and customers of the company over the migration may be time consuming and more costly than it was anticipated because of the introduction of new network applications. As a part of the business strategic plans, this migration will definitely eat into operations albeit with no significant effect on the overall performance of the business.

Design Document Appendix

This section gives information related to technical terms that are used in this network design document. The technical terms herein explained are not exhaustive

Project scope

These are all areas that must be addressed to at the end of the project

Network

An interconnection of computers that are either locally or remotely located and which can be communicated through Internet.

Project budget

The total sum of money that is allocated to the entire project

Return on Investment

A business gets this percentage or ration value when benefits of an investment are divided by the cost of the investment.

Project schedule

The entire amount of the timeframe that a project is expected to execute. The schedule indicates the amount of time assigned to each task

Migration

The process of moving entire operations from one operation center to the other with changes in physical design

Technology

The entirety of devices, both physical and logical that are implemented in the design of a network.

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