BTEC HND Level 4 Unit 2 Networking

Subject BTEC HND Level 4 Unit 2 Networking

Unit Learning Outcome

LO1 Examine networking principles and their protocols

LO2 Explain networking devices and operations

LO3 Design efficient networked systems

LO4 Implement and diagnose networked systems.


You are employed as a trainee Network Engineer by Bedford College and have been asked to investigate and explain networking principles and protocols. As part of an initiative for IT staff to be able to share duties and cover other staff effectively, you have been asked to produce a technical report for the IT team that details some of the fundamentals of networking. You will also include details of some of the networking equipment and how they work.

Task 1:

Prepare a report called “Networking principles, protocols and devices”. Your report should initially discuss the benefits and constraints of several different network types. You will also need to include a discussion on the communication standards or protocols required for each to work effectively. Next giving examples, explain how a network’s physical and logical topology, communication and bandwidth requirements can affect the specification, design and implementation of a network.

The current Bedford College network has used hubs, switches, and routers. Introduce and explain these network devices and discuss their operating principles. Following on from this introduce some of the different server types that are currently available that Bedford College could utilize including options for high availability or efficiency and discuss their operating principles Finally, discuss the inter-dependence of workstation hardware with relevant networking software.

Task 2:

Next in the report, assess how common networking models, principles (standards) and network protocols work together to enable effective organisational networks.

Task 3:

Bedford College has decided to implement two new server solutions. The first is for a remote branch office to install a small networked application that is used by the 5 users of this branch. This server will be housed on the floor in the branch manager’s office. The second server solution is for a large virtualisation project using Microsoft Hyper-V to host multiple large resource intensive virtual machines and will be housed in a rack in the main Bedford College datacenter. In your report, specify and justify two products to meet this demand comparing the differences between them.

Following this, one of the IT team has mentioned about the possibility of using cloud-based solutions rather than buying more servers. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.

Task 4:

Investigate and evaluate the Bedford College network and the topologies used. Consider the following as part of your critical evaluation:

  • What type of network is it?
  • What topologies are used?
  • What are the possible bottlenecks – how could these be resolved?
  • What important standards and protocols are in use?
  • Network reliability/Redundancy
  • Scalability

It has been proposed that Bedford College move away from an on-premise solution to the cloud. Discuss what impacts might this have on the current topology and how efficient it is