Network Design - an analysis of the business needs to design the network

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Network Design


You have been recruited to design a network for a drama and dance school. Dana School of Dance and Drama currently uses a paper-based system for recording attendance and the payments made for each of the classes. Parents of the children pay cash or cheque each week and their attendance card is updated by hand, showing the payments they have made. Some children stop attending classes and need deleting from the list but there are always new recruits and currently the school roll is full with a waiting list.   

The current paper based system is never accurate. When the children are entered for any exams the information is collated by hand and then submitted to parents and the awarding body separately. All of this work is very time consuming for the owner Dana as she needs to check carefully that the exam entries are accurate and all the other figures are correct. 

Dana has heard that other dance and drama schools are moving to online payments and recording of student information and she feels this would be good for her business. The business will have at least two standalone PCs but they will also have roaming ipads/laptops that they will need to connect to the network. She has also heard about cloud storage and applications but does not know whether these are suitable for her business. The school also wants to offer parents free wifi whilst they are waiting for their children to finish the classes. The school will need application software that will enable it to record student details, send emails/letters, record payments, record exam results and use mailmerge. The school also wants you to consider security issues which will allow it to share files, printers and communications. Staff would also like remote access to the network when they are not in the dance school, although most of the components will be in a fixed location within the school. The school will need to be able to stream audio and video during their lessons and keep a record in line with copyright legislation. You have been asked to design a wired and wireless network which will be suitable for the dance school.

Activity 1

The owner of Dana Dance and Drama School has asked you to design a network that the dance school will be able to use to move more of their business online.

Produce a design brief which outlines the design of a structured network to meet the design brief which includes:

  • an analysis of the business needs to design the network
  • an evaluation of the hardware and software needed to run the IT network successfully
  • an assessment of the methods that can be used to manage the mobile devices on this mobile network
  • a critical evaluation of possible solutions to meet the design brief
  • the development of viable alternative solutions to meet the design brief

LO1 and LO2 Assessment criteria, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Activity 2

Dana is pleased with your design brief and she has asked you to build the network to meet the client brief.  Keep a log showing how you have created the network with photographs/screenshots to show the development.

LO3 Assessment criteria 3.1

Activity 3

Now that the network has been designed and built you will need to test it against a test plan and the client brief. Create a test plan which identifies testing objectives, testing criteria and use this to test the built network.  Keep copies of the test results from the testing process.

Make any amendments to the network based on your testing.

LO3 Assessment criteria 3.2

Activity 4

Now that the network is complete, Dana has asked you to produce a reflective report on the designed and built network. Produce a report which:

  • evaluates the rules of network protocols that will apply to this network
  • analyses the tools that will be used to manage the network
  • evaluates the performance issues of the built network against the client brief
  • recommends security requirements that will keep the network safe and secure.

LO1 Assessment criteria 1.1, 1.4

LO3 Assessment criteria AC3.3, 3.4
Guidelines for assessors

The assignments submitted by learners must achieve the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by the assessment criteria for the unit.  The suggested evidence below is how learners can demonstrate that they have met the required standard.

Activity number

Assessment criteria

Suggested evidence







1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

The learner must produce a design plan which designs a network for the dance and drama school

The learner will need to identify the different hardware/ software/ devices/ operating system that would be needed to support this network and they will then evaluate each of these components and justify why they have recommended them for use in the network.

The learner will assess the different methods that would be used for managing mobile devices on wireless networks as the client has said that they have ipads that are used by staff and also have mobile devices that will be connected by parents.

The learner will analyse the business needs and will look at resource utilization and security issues and maximise sharing of resources across the network considering bandwidth, availability and application connectivity.

The learner will need to produce at least two different solutions for solving the problem, evaluating each of the solutions they have identified to meet the design brief. The learner will develop viable alternative solutions to meet the design brief and then he/she will justify their choice.





Having received approval for the design brief, the learner will now need to build the network to meet the client brief and their design brief. 

The learner should keep a build log which shows some of the problems/issues that have occurred and how they have been overcome. Photographs and/or an observation record would be useful here.




The learner will need to create a test plan which can be used to test their network against the client brief and their design plan. The learner will use the test plan to test the network which has been built.










The learner will produce a reflective report which evaluates the rules of network protocols that will apply to the network that they have designed and built. 

The learner will include an analysis of the different tools that are available to manage the network and he/she will evaluate performance issues of the built network against the client brief. The data from this can be taken from the test plan. The learner will recommend security requirements to keep the network safe and secure whilst allowing the staff remote access.

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