Title:Resource Contrained Network Design and Implementation
Authors:Gawne, Michael B.
Serial Number:2009-02
Publication Date:1- 3-2009
Abstract:The research study, Resource Constrained Network Design and Implementation, was conducted at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in order to simulate creating a secure and functional network with constrained resources. This is a problem faced by any administrator trying to maximize the security and functionality of a private network while minimizing the costs involved in the creation and maintenance of a local area network (LAN). The goals of this research study were established in a step-wise foundation, each step relying upon the completion of the previous goal. The goals were: 1) Configure the most basic LAN, one comprised of a switch and two nodes and establish communication between the two nodes, 2) Introduce a 3600 series router into the network dividing the two LANs to simulate an internal network LAN, and the external internet and permit communications between the two networks, 3) Create Virtual LANs (VLAN) and implement their use on the network, 4) Utilize Access Control Lists with rulesets based upon the VLANs, 5) Introduce a PIX 515E firewall into the network to isolate and protect the internal LAN from the simulated internet. At the conclusion of the study it was deemed that education and knowledge levels must be included when considering all the resources available to the network administrator. By far, the most difficult segment of this research project was the last segment, introducing the PIX 515E firewall into the network and establishing communications through the firewall. Internet resources are plentiful in the form of forums, web blogs, and other information technology support sites for novice network administrators to educate themselves on the basics of configuring their network, but online education for establishing a firewall is not as plentiful. Furthermore, even with the assistance of two Cisco Certified Network Associates (CCNA), a mid-level certification, and a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), it is sometimes difficult to find the one error that drops all traffic and renders your network isolated from the rest of the world. One of the most beneficial ways to spend precious resources may very well be a seminar or other education venue where the network administrator may first hone his/her skills on firewall configuration before attempting to configure the firewall with no formalized training. Through the review of this research study it appears that while a secure, effective network can be constructed in a resource constrained environment, especially when resources are properly allocated.
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