Proposal & Implementation Plan
For Refurbishment of Former Factory Building
Proposal & Implementation Plan
For Refurbishment of Former Factory Building
As part of the proposed refurbishment of the former factory building, this proposal addresses the potential networking and Voice over Internet (VoIP) requirements for up to 50 apartments, 30 small retail stores, 2 or more full-service restaurants, a breakfast cafe, and office space. The business environment of the twenty-first century has become a more technologically advanced global spectrum that will remain extremely dependent on real time capabilities and seamless streams of information. The fact of the matter is that even small to midsized companies of today require the ability to fully utilize an available global communications infrastructure.
Historically, advantages were actually cost prohibitive to all but the largest business entities. The associated information technology costs were completely out of reach for the small to mid-sized organization. Only a few decades ago, these small to midsized companies could not afford their operations to be rewired or redesigned to accommodate new hardware systems. But in just under eighty years, the information technology industry has completely reinvented itself several times especially if one considers that from the early days of the UNIVAC, computing power needed space — several warehouse sized rooms of space. Now children’s cell phones have more computing power than the original UNIVAC’s power capabilities.
As technology continues to make great strides, technologically sophisticated organizations will move away from wire-based LAN technology to integrate completely wireless systems or even adopt newer and much more cost effective Web-based processes including fully functional VoIP. Today, small to midsized companies like the ones that will rent or lease space in the refurbished former factory building will want the unique advantage of using the highest quality Information technology hardware and software and VoIP that are efficient, reliable and cost effective.
Proposal & Implementation Plan
For Refurbishment of Former Factory Building
As part of the proposed refurbishment of the former factory building, this proposal addresses the networking requirements for up to 50 apartments, 30 small retail stores, 2 or more full-service restaurants, a breakfast cafe, and office space. The proposal explains how this refurbishment will address a building-wide VoIP functionality as well as proposing some preliminary steps and equipment that will help future design and architecture blueprint sessions. There is little doubt that using just in time delivery purchasing techniques will require additional planning before the building is physically being worked on. As all architects are aware, system design holds the common notion that it is always cheaper to erase a part of a blue print than it is to rebuild an entire wall.
Problem Statement and Goal
The refurbishment of the former factory building will require a viable, highly functional and self sufficient network with efficient VoIP that will have the power and data storage capabilities to handle the throughput of up to 50 apartments, 30 small retail stores, 2 or more full-service restaurants, a breakfast cafe, and office space. This proposed network system with VoIP will be extremely cost affective and will meet all regulatory requirements. In the United States for example, the Federal Communications Commission requires that all interconnected VoIP service providers comply with requirements that are equivalent to those for traditional telecommunications service providers. In other words, this new system needs the VoIP operators to be able to support local number portability; have service accessible to those that have disabilities; the ability to compensate regulatory fees and make all service contributions and mandated payments. The VoIP will also need to be fully functional with law enforcement authorities when they need to inadvertently conduct surveillance. These requirements are set by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), but they do not cover the enhanced 911 services this system will be required to offer. VoIP operators must meet any and all U.S. telecommunications regulations such as entitlement to interconnection and exchange of traffic with incumbent local exchange carriers.
Thus, although it is not a part of the specifications for this particular network and is therefore only a supplementary suggestion, additional research can be provided on request for this proposal team to order and promote the incorporation into external extras such as sufficient solar or wind energy grid that has the capabilities to reverse charge for all unused electrical energy. This green technology on the roof of the refurbished building will make not only the proposed network 100% and VoIP self-contained and completely un-reliant on external power sources, it could potentially provide energy for all aspects of the building thus recouping costs on a per use basis.
The proposed network will be IP-based and a fully integrated broadband throughput with full support of all voice, video and data communications for the building. The goal of this proposal is to show the solutions and opportunities of our firm in our attempt to meet the needs, goals and objectives of the refurbishment committee. The business and private entities that will reside in the finished product will require thorough and seamless low cost high speed internet connectivity, regulatory compliant VoIP with support.
The future tenants will achieve both business and personal success in a more cost effective and efficient way if the internally housed legacy system and Local Area Networks were robust and capable of remaining online and in real time 365/24/7. The combination of apartment and business functionality will require a powerful custom designed client server information system with an IBM mid range legacy mainframe computer that will require a minimum of four full time employees that function in the roles of system maintenance coordinator, network security administrator, customer service manager and an overall network lead manager.
The proposed in-house network combination and legacy mainframe with VoIP are relevant to the success of the refurbishment project because this proposal presents a completely self sufficient process that will not be labor intensive or technologically inefficient. The proposed custom design takes all areas of the new system requirements into consideration. The combination of integrated machines, internal communication, external communication, security demands and management of software and hardware will require a seamless stream of communication. This team will meet all of the vendors required and negotiate reasonable pricing for all of the hardware and software based on our experience and connections in the software and hardware industry. We are fully aware of advances in the corporate Information Technology world and can offer suggestions that over time will make our system much more cost effective than the other teams providing proposals. For example, due to the fact that underlying IP networks are sometimes less reliable, we can suggest alternatives to the circuit-switched public telephone system that does not always provide mechanisms that make certain that data packets are delivered in the proper sequential order. We also understand that without the Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees the new VoIP could potentially handling mitigating latency or jitter. Because Voice and all other data move in systemized packets through the IP network, VoIP at times is prone to congestion. In other words, a circuit switched system that is lacking in capacity could potentially refuse all connections while simultaneously degrade calls. This problem would be accentuated when incorporating the voice calls with in-house e-mail system servers, document management servers and database servers to integrate all of these business requirements.
We can provide viable solutions to reduce system strain and congestion on the overall VoIP in-house network by eliminating collisions without losing the capability to perform the communication process. We understand that with B2B, businesses and private individuals benefit from the Internet. “Starting with the existing code features: the Net is, first, characterized by many-to-many interactivity. Complicated as this may sound, there’s nothing unusual about interactivity. After all, the telegraph and telephone are interactive. But they only allow one-to-one communication between two parties. Mass media such as television and newspapers, on the other hand, are one-to-many but they’re not interactive: One broadcaster or publisher can speak to a huge audience, but those who watch or read can’t easily speak back. With the Net, however, communications can be one to-one (email, for example) or one-to-many (when one puts up a web site or sends a message to an email list). This means that, in the big picture, the Net is many-to-many, because “many” people (in fact, anyone with access) can speak to “many” others.” (Shapiro, 1999)
This proposal suggests that it has become much more efficient to incorporate and utilize web-based file servers and low cost high speed internet connectivity that enhances the VoIP process as the industry moves towards universal standards-based applications. Our suggested integrated information technology services infrastructure will replace once in-house servers by moving the duties and responsibilities to an external costume designed web-based methodology. This type of technology offers multiple capabilities but is highly cost effective and enhances the power of the in-house development platform for the refurbished building’s client/server and VoIP applications. “Access to computer-mediated technologies, such as the Internet, has extended our informational and interactive capabilities. These technologies are highly publicized, debated, and regulated media. With the widespread use of such technologies, we require greater understanding of the personal and social attributes that affect why people use computer-mediated communication (CMC) and the outcomes of CMC-related behavior.” (Papacharissi & Rubin, 2000)
Barriers and Issues
The most fundamental concern in the refurbishment building’s networking and VoIP proposal is also the industry’s most basic barriers to accomplishing the goal of networking success. In other words, instituting a highly efficient network is the easy part for our organization; the barrier is education of the end user. Far too often small business owners, apartment dwellers and coffee shop internet surfers have no problem utilizing a simple PC. The concern comes to light when that VoIP is in the process of making an international call or if the system is dropping communications because video streaming is eating up bandwidth. Incorporating and maintain VoIP is a complicated process.
VoIP is only a general term for the plethora of transmission technologies that deliver voice communication over the internet and through land line-based packet-switched networks. For example, the technology has evolved and off shoots has been developed such as internet telephony can provide services for voice, facsimile, and voice-messaging applications that move over the internet and therefore bypass public switched telephone networks. To reduce barriers and to avoid issues, this new system will need the capabilities to create a call on this end, pass it through the internet by utilizing a conversion process that can switch an analog voice or data signal into a compliant digital format and then reverse the process seamlessly.
This proposal also takes into consideration the barrier associated with the man hours that will be spent training and retraining the end users of the new system. Because of the proposed size and sophistication of this new network, a major part of the proposal is long-term education for the four mandatory employees and the minor staff they may employ to keep the system functioning properly. Education is the one aspect of the proposal that we feel we have the highest and strongest background in because we have a long-term relationship with many local and distance-based learning facilities.
Another barrier to implementing a viable networking business solution will be the intermingling of private and business entities. Small to midsized organizations using LAN-based processes or that make confidential calls or pass private data may not have the understanding that their data could be compromised completely by accident if certain security measures are overlooked. Apartment dwellers will also have to understand that the network and VoIP they are using is or may be providing reduced bandwidth because one or some of the businesses are running end of day, end of month or annual backups or background maintenance. It is crucial to build into the system the capabilities that will not hold back bandwidth for some but flow freely to others. All infrastructure gaps between in-house servers and client/server systems will have to live together in harmony.
Another barrier that may or may not be a concern is the fact that adding to the network after it has been built can at times require external assistance and our firm has the historical background to provide that service. Far too often projects like this refurbishment accept proposals that do not consider or explain what will be required to grow. Businesses may need to be cautious to add or remove servers. That is actually less of a concern. The concern takes place when workstations and network servers are upgraded piecemeal and in turn the entire phone system suffers.
Finally, in regard to barriers, we understand that there is a global economic recession taking its toll on the nation. We will incorporate software that can increase affordability of the process because of the return on investment by using this older but very effective tool. “The fundamental principle of yield management is that different classes of service, be it Internet access or it, are defined and only the high-priority classes are served during peak periods of demand. During low periods of demand, discount classes are intended to attract an increased level of demand. The consequence of such techniques is that the system’s capacity is more full on average and revenues are higher.” (MacKie-Mason & Waterman, 1998)
It is time in the proposal to suggest some start up software and hardware that will need to be integrated into the early parts of the building refurbishment project. These items and suggestions need to be done before the building work is started because of the difficulty in implementation after walls are in place. The suggested approach for this project is to acquire Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Lines or ADSL. This reliable type of communication service has been growing by leaps and bounds in the business sector and will be the backup process for the broadband network. “The amount of traffic these people consumed was between 140GB and 600GB per month, which amounted to around 10% of the total traffic due to ADSL users.”(ADSL Guide, 2009) This hardware and software combination uses subscriber lines provided by companies such as at&T, Verizon and Lucent. They all convert the basic regular phone line that runs in between a local telephone exchange and the phone company’s telephone socket and route data out of slow brass and into high-speed digital lines.
This technology is named ‘asymmetric’ mainly because of the potential speed that data can be moved from point a to Point B. And back again. However, it is highly cost affective to install the lines for the up to 50 apartments, 30 small retail stores, 2 or more full-service restaurants, a breakfast cafe, and office space together within the bare walls of the building prior to detail building so that a single line can meet the external world as opposed to each store, apartment and outlet needing a line to the external world. Avoiding having to completely rewire the entire building at some later date, it is again, highly recommended that this process be incorporated in to the design phase so as not to be missed.
This technology is very cost effective because the ADSL technology works with regular telephone lines. The base mainframe and Local and Wide Area Networks would not be directly affected, minimal hardware changes are needed other than ADSL signal receiving modems at the ends of the communication spectrum. ADSL modems exploit basic transmission options from copper lines and reenergize them with data transmission rates over 2 Mbps, faster than ISDN.
For the VoIP technology, there are two viable options. The first is to build a custom proprietary system that utilizes technologies such as:
The market leader is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)
Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP)
The second option would be to not build a proprietary system, but instead utilize an existing system such as the Skype network. The obvious differences of the two options are upfront costs, maintenance costs and overall system security.
Apartment & Business
There are many different approaches to implementing a new network with VoIP. In this case, both apartments and businesses may have integrated or completely isolated needs. As part of the refurbishment, it will have to be distinguished ahead of time if the needs of one sub-group are vitally different from the other groups. Consideration of traffic patterns for network data and VoIP usage will need insights into all forms of traffic, including, but not limited to, internet access (for both business and leisure use); video traffic (IPTV) and building monitoring and security, and of course the day-to-day telephone calls that are needed by both the business and private residents. We intend on installing a wired (Cat 5 Ethernet) facility in the first stage of the development and for a variety of reasons, have now focused in on a wireless (802.11 a/b) connectivity for the remaining areas of the building complex. We will present both options here and the proposal submission will await a response to see which option is chosen.
But another concern of this proposal is telephone hardware. Historically, analog telephone adapters for connecting analog phones to the proposed VoIP may either be tied to the system with an IP network broadband connection or an existing telephone jack. Will both businesses and private users use telephone jacks so that phone hardware is fixed to one location in the same manner as the majority of the businesses will require? There are also newer dedicated VoIP phones that allow VoIP calls without needing a computer. Obviously these types of phones connect directly to the network via a Wi-Fi connection. For example, the NEC N900iL is Wi-Fi enabled and functions with SIP built in.
VoIP solutions that target the business community have also grown into a more integrated communications process that will easily help meet one of the project requirements of combining all communications of phone, fax, voice mail, e-mail, Web conference and other business functions. Today, we will be able to provide units that deliver to any handset or cell phone. But other than these types of design questions, the biggest issue for this project will be related to the proposal’s security concerns.
Security is a three headed monster. “Three basic security concepts important to information on the Internet are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Concepts relating to the people who use that information are authentication, authorization, and nonrepudiation.” (Dekker, 2009) Illegal entries into the proposed network entail different concerns for various users. For example, in many cases, what is considered to be a breach in security may be nothing more than a stalled node. Whatever the case, the full time network security administrator required to maintain the health of the system may be in a difficult position. Any kid today, no matter what his or her grades, may have the technical acumen to gain unauthorized access to a secure network. Security engineers must be vigilant for network attacks. “Incidents can be broadly classified into several kinds: the probe, scan, account compromise, root compromise, packet sniffer, denial of service, exploitation of trust, malicious code, and Internet infrastructure attacks.” (Dekker, 2009)
The network setup puts each node into a position of being the potential entry point for a virus that will then find its way behind the scenes to gain unauthorized access to an entire company-based mission critical data farm. “Seemingly innocuous information can expose a computer system to compromise. Information that intruders find useful includes which hardware and software are being used, system configuration, type of network connections, phone numbers, and access and authentication procedures. Security-related information can enable unauthorized individuals to get access to important files and programs, thus compromising the security of the system.” (Dekker, 2009)
In an apartment and business combination, hackers are more prone to dumpster dive and social engineer their way to getting network security information such as passwords, access control files or keys, personnel information, and even detailed encryption algorithms. Just the fact that there are residencies there promotes curiosity. “Security and usability are often inversely proportional. There is no such thing as “complete security” in a usable system. Consequently, it’s important to concentrate on reducing risk, but not waste resources trying to eliminate it completely.” (Avolio, 2000) Network security has the daunting task of protecting basically everyone. “Those affected include banks and financial companies, insurance companies, brokerage houses, consultants, government contractors, government agencies, hospitals and medical laboratories, network service providers, utility companies, the textile business, universities, and wholesale and retail trades.” (Dekker, 2009)
Now that the basic security threats have been mentioned, VoIP security concerns are a completely different animal. VoIP for example has been known to be susceptible to attacks in the same sense that any other internet related process would be. In other words, like Yahoo, the refurbished building VoIP could theoretically be brought down through denial-of-service attacks for example or a voice mail box could be at times easily hacked. So just like any internet service requires a firewall, the new VoIP will also qualify for this distinction. The options are to implement a private proprietary protocol to route calls through or the system can redirect all calls to be directed to a public firewall. But options still have some blaring concerns associated with them. Couple these concerns with the fact that VoIP does not yet fully comprehend encryption protocols. This entails that eavesdropping on a VoIP network phone call is not all that difficult since packet sniffing software is readily available. In order to create the most secure VoIP process possible, this proposal team would incorporate the latest security processes that are available at the time of implementation.
The internal network must be capable of growing. This proposal does not provide design, purchase, install or hire speculations other that a high level information-based reference. The proposal team, if selected would hire all necessary contractors that will physically install a completely automated processing system. Some basic high level purchase plans for both hardware and operating system software entail but are not limited to:
8 Dell Servers (3 File, 1 Print/Mail, 1 Web, 1 DNS)
IBM Mid Range main frame
Network Operating system (in negotiations with IBM and Microsoft)
150 to 200 Dell Workstations
10 Dell Network ready laptops
3 Complete Canon automated scanning systems
35 HP Office Max Laser printers
75 HP DeskJet printers
All necessary wiring for hardware installation (i.e., printer cables, etc.)
46 Cisco Hubs
Coaxial for Token ring communications
Battery backup for mainframe and system lead nodes
The internet, wireless and satellite communication and computing hardware and software improvements will continue to make the world smaller. Once the methodologies that used only single or ‘dumb’ computer terminals were eliminated, networking has become king. Networks create scenarios that allow integration where once the only option was a mainframe. Now, computer networking is a major aspect of our lives here in the United States in a professional and a personal manner. As mentioned, even a basic network infrastructure today has the potential to handle large numbers of individual nodes. This new muscle provides everyone to access an infinite and global world spectrum. Satellite direct-to-home broadband internet service is simply a wireless network comprised of a combination of integrated machines and complicated software that promote seamless communication — and of course, a satellite or two must be in the picture. “Beaming broadband Internet signals between the Earth and birds circling 22,300 miles above is no small challenge, but these providers are saying the business margins are looking better.” (Brown, 2001)
Because business has changed, consider the banking industry. A normal day means that every large international bank will potentially transmit and therefore move trillions of dollars around the globe in seconds. At exact same second of the bulk transfer, a high school kid from Hawaii can log on the internet and check his balance right from his PC. This example is not a random thought. The refurbished building will also be able to distinguish business and private communications just like in the before mentioned banking example. Wireless technology makes this more difficult. On a wireless network, anyone with the right equipment has the capabilities of seeing the data traveling through space between point a and B. That was not a determination or an effort to eliminate the possible wireless connections.
Wireless systems work in the same way as any wired system except for the methodology of connection. Satellites used to only be available to generals, evil mad scientists, or James Bond. Today, satellites are an essential part of life. Very few Americans have not heard of DIRECTV, DISH Network when it comes to satellite television — there are also satellite internet providers such as DirecWay, StarBand, Pegasus Express, Teledesic, Tachyon and Astrolink to name a few.
IP telephony (Voice Over IP aka VoIP)
One requirement is the IP telephony or VoIP. These processes eat bandwidth and are therefore strains on any Network. “A category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls. For users who have free, or fixed-price Internet access, Internet telephony software essentially provides free telephone calls anywhere in the world. To date, however, Internet telephony does not offer the same quality of telephone service as direct telephone connections. There are many Internet telephony applications available. Some, like CoolTalk and NetMeeting, come bundled with popular web browsers. Others are stand-alone products. Internet telephony products are sometimes called IP telephony, Voice over the Internet (VOI) or Voice over IP (VOIP) products.” (Webopedia, 2009) VoIP define how voice calls travel over an IP network. The technology adds digitization or packetization for streams of voice calls and also transmits the data in those packets to where they belong.
The odds are good that the majority of individuals place a long-distance call may be using VoIP technology because the telephone companies have already begun to streamline their networks with VoIP. Telephone companies for example already route thousands of calls through circuit switches and then into open IP gateways. Although this can reduce bandwidth, the technology currently takes a call, compresses it, sends it, decompresses it and then it reassembled and routed back to a receiving local circuit switch. VoIP technology therefore permits a person to make a phone call from anywhere where there is broadband connectivity and broadcast the call over the Internet. An example of how the technology is already being used can be demonstrated by business travelers taking their phones on trips but always having access to a home phone. These advances add a great deal of pressure on existing networking processes and will require constant system capabilities evaluations and new upgrades. For a LAN to be able to utilize these capabilities, it requires a newer Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) which is a peer-to-peer, multimedia signaling protocol. Session Initiation Protocol is an ASCII-based process very similar to the very Internet popular HTTP system and it is known for reusing existing IP protocols like DNS, SDP and more to help provide both media setup capabilities and teardown options.
Since the first publication of the Session Initiation Protocol around the end of 1999, it has generated a great stir in the networking and communications industries because of the high levels of interest in the potential of the VoIP industry. The advances have so much potential that the Session Initiation Protocol may in fact become the standard protocol for all future voice handling networks.
Goal as a Series of Steps
Step 1 Have local phone companies add ASDL. As all architects are aware, system design holds the common notion that it is always cheaper to erase a part of a blue print than it is to rebuild an entire wall. This entails choosing a provider that offers the best package based on fee structure and follow up support. Choose whether the refurbish project is going in the twisted copper or light-based phone line or implementing 100% wireless process with a single line in and the entire facility receives external internet access there. No time will be wasted checking on costing options for outdated technologies such as DSL for individual external communication. Confirm that there is viable service by doing the final nonintrusive phone line checks. On rare occasions, some company’s telephone lines may be found to be incompatible for ADSL. (Example of these types of line problems includes issues in line decibel (dB) readings. ASDL lines use micro-filter(s) to translate the modem and router to ensure that they will provide the company with the high levels of data transfer rates and a high decibel reading would negate the effect of the filters. In this case, the company could still look to low cost high speed internet connectivity by utilizing ISDN which would not be as cost affective but just as efficient.)
Step 2 Upon verification, have the ASDL provider or our organization install all necessary equipment such as routers, filters and coordinate with the Network Administrators to confirm software and hardware compatibility issues are resolved. Although the process may sound overly simple, plug up and handle any compatibility concerns that need to be administered or addressed. “Your PC may not be setup properly to take full advantage of broadband speeds. Modifying your configuration to maximize performance is known as tweaking. For many users, tweaking is a misnomer as it implies subtle improvements. (BroadbandReports.com, 2009)
Step 3 Allow the provider or telephone company to make adjustments on their end — down time could be significant, ten or more days where the network cannot utilize ASDL communications connection. Updating exchanges and installing routers takes a few days and then the various systems checks verify the process is working properly.
Step 4 Allow our organization to begin intensive training process classes. Begin system and administrative testing. “Busy web servers can benefit from optimization, the kinds of optimization necessary vary depending on what you are using the server for, how loaded the server is, and what OS you are running.” (BroadbandReports.com, 2009)
Step 5 Begin to train employees, apartment residents, store owners etc. Consider real-time e-mail and software capabilities throughout facility to verify both internal and external communications functioning as planned. Fill any necessary open positions. The before mentioned mandatory positions do range from detailed to basic administration. Hire with coveted certifications in mind:
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
GIAC Certified Unix Security Administrator (GCUX)
GIAC Certified Windows Security Administrator certifications
GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
GIAC Certified Firewall Analyst (GCIA)
In conclusion, this proposal discussed details for the network and VoIP requirements of the proposed refurbishment of the former factory building. The proposal focused on the potential needs to meet the requirements for up to 50 apartments, 30 small retail stores, 2 or more full-service restaurants, a breakfast cafe, and office space. The proposal explained how this refurbishment could address the building-wide network with VoIP requirements as well as proposing some preliminary steps and equipment that will help future design and architecture blueprint sessions. There is little doubt that using just in time delivery purchasing techniques will require additional planning before the building is physically being worked on. This process proposal will successfully implement a pure VoIP infrastructure that will be secure and will enable technologies such as the phone, web, email, instant messaging, presence, and video conferencing all through the VoIP system.
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Brown, Karen (2001). Market changes favorable for fledgling satellite broadband services. Broadband Week. Retrieved on December 2, 2009, from http://www.broadbandweek.com/news/010806/010806_news_wild.htm.
Dekker, Marcel. (2009). Security of the Internet. Retrieved on December 2, 2009, from http://www.cert.org/encyc_article/tocencyc.html#Overview.
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Papacharissi, Zizi, & Rubin, Alan M. (2000). “Predictors of Internet Use.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Vol. 44.
Shapiro, Andrew L. (1999). The Control Revolution: How the Internet Is Putting Individuals in Charge and Changing the World We Know. New York: PublicAffairs.
Webopedia. (2009). Internet telephony. Retrieved on December 2, 2009, from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/I/Internet_telephony.html