The best way to connect three worldwide locations...

joshdoe

Senior member
Aug 6, 2000
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I have this team case due for networking class tomorrow. I'm supposed to determine what is the best way to connect three locations of a company, spread over the world. Each location has a plant for making boiler parts, as well as offices for designing the parts, part distribution, and sales. Each workstation at the locations are connected at 10Mbps, with the connection between floors at 100Mbps. What's the best way to connect these locations? I'm thinking T1,T3,etc. Thanks
 

perry

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2000
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Got a setup like that at work. A bunch of plants connected back to our main office.

Plants all have 10Mb, main office is combo of 10 and 100 (depending on when we rented the suite in the building). T1 at the main office, ISDN or T1 at the plants depending on their needs.
 

CTR

Senior member
Jun 12, 2000
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Depends on the geography. You might want to look at the following common WAN topologies:

1. Star Topology. All remote sites have circuits directly connecting them to the main site. This might be feasible if the remotes are equidistant from each other and the main site.

2. Hub-and-spoke. If a remote site is significantly closer to another remote site than the main site, it would be more efficient to run a circuit between those two remotes. Then these remotes would share a link back to the main site. This design will significantly affect your available bandwidth at the remotes.

3. Full Mesh Topology. Looks great on paper! Each site is connected to every other site. Provides redundancy and load-balancing throughout the WAN. If you want to get a really complicated WAN design, try partial-meshing a hub-and-spoke.


So choose the method that qualifies as "best" for this class. Does the instructor want to see real-world type cost effectiveness? Thoughtfully designed traffic flows? Simplicity? Overkill?

As for bandwidth between sites, how many users are going to be at each site? Any serious apps running across the WAN?

Also, I'm sure barebottoms will chime in any minute on this!
 

barebottoms

Senior member
Mar 26, 2000
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As much as I stay away from the Upper layers, there is something you need to ask about the way the company runs. This is really a trick(y) question.
Leased Lines overseas are VERY expensive.
Since you say this is a plant and not an office interconnectivity solution, then you could just opt out for dial up to batch process when ever it is needed.

I hope that the question wasn't phrased the way you presented it. No good Network engineer can design this without an understanding of the applications they intend to use. There are so many factors to take account of. If they are in locations where E1's or whatever is not available then you'd have to use a Satellite. But then if they run applications that are time sensitive, you can't use that option.
 

CTR

Senior member
Jun 12, 2000
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Barebottoms! I knew it!

Upon reviewing the original post, I have this to add:

It looks like each office will need to pass e-mail and share files, some of them fairly large (sales presentations). Also you have to guess that Engineering and Manufacturing will have some pretty heavy technical CAD/CAM technology, which would require large storage and processing at the local site, but very little operation between sites. The "Distribution" part of the company will probably have some kind of database-driven app to track orders and shipping, and will likely need hooks into other real-time apps for shipping and sales partners. So latency will be an issue.

Looks to me like you need pretty good bandwidth, as well as decent latency between sites. Sounds expensive. Sounds like OC-3 backbone, maybe more depending on the number of people at each location.