Compare and contrast network policies and best practices.

ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS

You have been hired as part of the networking team at UMGC. After completing orientation and training, your manager calls you into a meeting to discuss your first project.

The University is interested in creating a repository of networking knowledge based on research papers. The research papers will be drafted by all employees, and you may select from a list of approved topics. As a junior network engineer, you are asked to prepare a research paper that best aligns with your interests. The approved research topics include:

  • Compare and contrast the characteristics of network topologies, types and technologies.
  • Summarize cloud concepts and their purposes.
  • Explain devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI layers.
  • Explain the functions of network services.
  • Explain the purposes of virtualization and network storage technologies.
  • Compare and contrast business continuity and disaster recovery concepts.
  • Explain common scanning, monitoring and patching processes and summarize their expected outputs.
  • Explain authentication and access controls.
  • Compare and contrast network policies and best practices.

The research paper represents a great opportunity to focus additional study towards a networking topic of your interest. It is also an opportunity for you to gain further expertise about a particular aspect of networking fundamentals that you will be asked about in the certification exam.

After speaking to your manager, you are excited about the research project, but realize you will have a busy schedule. As you are writing the research paper, you will also have to prepare for the CompTIA Network+ Certification exam. To prepare, you will perform the activities and labs within the TestOut LabSim environment following the proposed weekly schedule. One of the conditions of your employment at this University is that you obtain this certification within 60-days of being hired.

The Network Research Project Requirements:

The Network Research Project (NRP) expectations are to explain the concepts you are learning as part of this Networking Fundamentals course. This is not an extensive review of the topic areas, but instead a cursory exploration of any approved topic you find most interesting.

You should consider the additional details below to guide you through completion of the NRP.

  • Quality is valued over quantity, but quantity is necessary for a quality paper. It is estimated that 3 – 5 pages (not including the title page) would be necessary to address each Network Research Project (NRP) topic.
  • Each Network Research Project (NRP) must have an Introduction. The introduction should address the purpose of your project, and an overview of what you will convey to the reader. Each NRP must have a Conclusion. The conclusion should summarize your findings in a succinct manner. The remaining format will be at your discretion. It is suggested that you review the NRP details under each approved topic and outline their paper accordingly. You should maintain a consistent format throughout the entirety of the document.
  • All sources must be cited using the IEEE format. This is an excellent guide that covers all aspects of citing in IEEE style. Why do we use IEEE format? IEEE format is used in technical fields when writing research papers. Do not plagiarize any material or content. The use of figures and diagrams is encouraged where appropriate. Students should contact UMUC Effective Writing Center for any required writing assistance.
  • You will be allowed to submit the NRP three times. The first two draft submissions are not graded, but will receive feedback from your Professor. Draft version 1 should be submitted by Sunday of Week 3. Draft version 2 should be submitted by Sunday of Week 5. You should address the feedback in the context of the NRP grading rubric. The final draft of the NRP is submitted in Week 8. It must first be uploaded to Turnitin, and then the Assignment folder. Submitting a draft in Week 3 and 5 is not mandatory, but highly encouraged. You will not receive feedback or have an opportunity to resubmit a draft in Week 8. A submission in Week 8 will be your final, graded version of the NRP. If you are satisfied with your feedback prior to Week 8, you have the ability to submit you final draft early by uploading it to Turnitin, and submitting it to the Week 8 Assignment folder.
  • You should use proper terminology and expand acronyms in each paragraph they are used. For example, the first time in a paragraph an acronym is used it should be expanded (e.g., University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)). Thereafter, and as long as you are in the same paragraph, the acronym (e.g., UMGC) can be used. When starting a new paragraph, the rule begins anew.
  • Review the Network Research Project (NRP) grading rubric to understand the expectations, and how the final draft will be graded.

Project Details:

Details on each topic area are provided below to provide further understanding of expectations for the Network Research Project (NRP). You will select one topic area to conduct the NRP. At a minimum, you should address the details provided for each topic area. However, you are not limited by these additional details. You are encouraged to research and discuss additional aspects under any of these approved topic areas.

  • Compare and contrast the characteristics of network topologies, types and technologies.
    • Wired Topologies (logical vs physical, star, ring, mesh, and bus)
    • Wireless Topologies (mesh, ad hoc, other infrastructure)
    • Types (LAN, WLAN, MAN, WAN, CAN, SAN, and PAN)
    • Technologies that facilitate the Internet of Things (Z-Wave, Ant+ Bluetooth, NFC, IR, RFID, and 802.11)
  • Summarize cloud concepts and their purposes.
    • Types of services (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS)
    • Cloud delivery models (Private, Public, and Hybrid)
    • Connectivity methods
    • Security implications / considerations
    • Relationships between local and cloud resources
  • Explain devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI layers.
    • Layer 1 (Physical)
    • Layer 2 (Data Link)
    • Layer 3 (Network)
    • Layer 4 (Transport)
    • Layer 5 (Session)
    • Layer 6 (Presentation)
    • Layer 7 (Application)
  • Explain the functions of network services.
    • DNS service (record types, internal vs external DNS, third-party/cloud hosted DNS, hierarchy, forward vs reverse zone)
    • DHCP service (MAC reservations, pools, IP exclusions, scope options, lease time, TTL, DHCP relay)
    • NTP
    • IPAM
    • VoIP
    • Simple Network Management Protocol
    • File sharing
    • WWW
    • Printing
  • Explain the purposes of virtualization and network storage technologies.
    • Virtual Networking Component (Virtual switch, firewall, NIC, router, hypervisor)
    • Network storage types (NAS, SAN)
    • Connection Type (FCoE, Fibre Channel, iSCSI, InfiniBand)
    • Jumbo Frame
    • Compare and contrast business continuity and disaster recovery concepts.
    • Availability Concepts (Fault tolerance, high availability, load balancing, NIC teaming, port aggregation, clustering)
    • Power Management (Battery backups/UPS, power generators, dual power supplies, redundant circuits)
    • Recovery (Cold sites, warm sites, hot sites)
    • Backups (Full, differential, incremental, snapshots)
    • MTTR
    • MTBF
    • SLA requirements
  • Explain common scanning, monitoring and patching processes and summarize their expected outputs.
    • Process (log reviewing, port scanning, vulnerability scanning, patch management, reviewing baselines, packet/traffic analysis)
    • Event management (notifications, alerts, SIEM)
    • SNMP monitors (MIB)
    • Metrics (Error rate, utilization, packet drops, bandwidth/throughput)
  • Explain authentication and access controls.
    • Authorization, authentication, and accounting (RADIUS, TACACS+, Kerberos, Single sign-on, Local authentication, LDAP, Certificates, Auditing and logging)
    • Multi-factor authentication (something you know, have, are, do, or somewhere you are)
    • Access Control (802.1x, NAC, port security, MAC filtering, captive portal, access control lists)
  • Summarize common networking attacks.
    • DoS (Reflective, amplified, distributed)
    • Social engineering
    • Insider threat
    • Logic bomb
    • Rogue access point
    • Evil twin
    • War-driving
    • Phishing
    • Ransomware
    • DNS poisoning
    • Brute force
    • Exploits vs. Vulnerabilities
  • Compare and Contrast network policies and best practices.
    • Privileged user agreement
    • Password policy
    • On-boarding/off-boarding procedures
    • Licensing restrictions
    • International export controls
    • Data loss prevention
    • Remote access policies
    • Incident response policies
    • BYOD
    • AUP
    • NDA
    • System life cycle (asset disposal)
    • Safety procedures and policies
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