Course: COMP1664 Network Technology Level 6 Coursework Assessment 2017-2018 Network Modelling and Performance Evaluation – System Expansion 60: Network Technology - Term 1 - MAC The University of Greenwich
Have a sound working knowledge of network types, protocol architectures, hardware and software components, and critical appreciation of their pros and cons.
Be aware of the ways in which various network technologies can be integrated to achieve required configurations and end-to-end systems.
Understand how to build and use models of networks to evaluate their performance.
The emphasis of this task is to design and use a model of a network as the basis for an investigation into the factors that affect the network’s performance (using throughput and delay as performance metrics). It is necessary to build a realistic model of a network in order to perform reliable experiments and achieve meaningful results.
This coursework task is divided into parts A, B and C, plus a conclusion. You should upload a single report containing all sections.
1. Design a network for a medium-sized company, or an organisation such as a hospital or airport, located at a single campus. You can base the design on the requirements of an existing company or organisation, or you can invent one. In either case care must be taken to ensure the design is realistic.
You need to clearly identify the organisation’s line of business and the data and communication needs they have, and thus determine the consequences this has on the network requirements.
Some constraints are provided to guide you:
Apart from these constraints, you have freedom over the actual design, but it must suit the needs of your chosen organisation and you need to justify this aspect.
2. Critically discuss your design, explaining the topology and technologies used. Provide justification in terms of the company you have chosen, and their specific networking needs.
3. Create and test a model for your design (for part A only the topology aspect of the model is expected).
You are required to evaluate the performance of your network under realistic conditions. Workload is constantly fluctuating in real networks and can vary significantly; therefore you should test the network under a range of different workload types and intensities.
This step, see below, sets up your base workload model on which you perform the majority of experiments (see section C). However, it is often interesting to test the network under significantly higher workloads than are expected to occur – to ‘stress-test’ your network design. To do this you could try doubling or quadrupling the traffic intensity in your base workload model.
Devise a realistic network traffic model for your organisation:
The emphasis of this stage of the work is to understand the relationship between the network’s configuration and its performance. You need to perform a sufficient number of separate experiments in order to be able to see the actual effects on performance of specific network configurations or changes in traffic conditions.
Specific details of the methodology to be followed:
Starting with 50 users in the organisation (split across the departments in a realistic way), perform experiments to measure the delay and throughput at suitably representative selected points in the network.
Increase the number of users in increments of 50, up to 300 users, repeating the same experiments each time (i.e. with 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 users).
The number of users will form the X axis (independent axis) of your graphs, as shown in the example graph, figure 1.
The performance metrics used will be Throughput and Delay. Hence you need to provide two sets of results, one for each of these performance metrics.
Collect the results and present them in a clear format that enables comparison of the effect on performance of each workload profile. There should be two graphs (one for each performance metric). Export the data from your model into Excel, and use Excel graphs to plot the results.
In both graphs, the Y axis (dependent axis) should be the measure of performance against one of the performance metrics. The graph format should resemble that shown in figure 1).
Figure 1. An example of the expected graph format. Note that it has meaningful axis titles and main title. Also note that the trace lines are thin so the actual value can be accurately read at any point, and also note that the trace lines each have a different drawing style, so the graph can still be understood even if printed in black and white.
2. Analyse and critically evaluate your results. In your report you should explain the experiments that you have carried out, providing configuration details etc. There should be a general introduction to the results section, providing overall explanation of the experimental methodology used and the specific experiments carried out.
For each experiment there should be a brief explanation of the experiment itself, the actual results (in a table, and also in graphical form), and there should be a paragraph explaining the results in each particular graph. Make sure you discuss the data values and the metrics used in a clear and unambiguous way. For example, if describing figure 1 above, you would need to say where and how the delay was measured (i.e. was it average end-to-end delay? worst-case end-to-end delay? delay on a specific link? or what? – this of course depends on which parameters you have selected to monitor, when running the simulation). Analyse and critically discuss each set of results, explaining the particular shape of the curves. Explain the causes (in the network design, traffic configuration) which have given rise to these specific results, and the significance of any trends or patterns. In addition, at the end of the section provide some overall discussion of the results as a whole, and what they indicate about the performance of the network and its suitability for your organisation scenario.
A single, well-structured report consisting of 15-20 sides of A4 which must include three sections clearly marked parts A, B and C, as well as a conclusion of 200 – 400 words.
Deliverables for part A:
Deliverables for part B:
Deliverables for part C:
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