The Training Information Management System (TIMS) project must track courses, instructors, students, grades, and credits as well as be able to interface with the current accounting system. The system is expandable so that online registration for courses can be offered in the future. The recommendation is that the current network configuration be restructured to better utilize the systems already in place and to add the new TIMS system to the network while leaving room for growth. The network topology the system had been using was a bus topology but the recommended new topology is a Star/Bus Hybrid topology.
A bus configuration has the disadvantage of potential network slowdown because all of the network traffic would be traveling on the same bus or network pathways at the same time. A star configuration, on the other hand, would allow each workgroup to act independently of the others by having their own path so there would be no bottleneck on the pathways. In the diagram on page 3, the main rack still houses all of the servers needed for the network but there is an added router and switch for each group. This allows ip addresses to be assigned to the different departments for the purpose of network management and security.
The new TIMS system, however, will have a separate router, firewall, and server to provide controllable network connectivity for the student terminals. The company needs to keep the internal network secure so students’ access to it will be blocked. The terminals will simply display information and allow the user to interact with the training system on a very basic level. The student will be able to input information in predetermined fields and that information will be stored on the TIMS server. This relationship between the server and terminals is a two tier network.