Design and Installation of Internal Network for the
Air Force Base Computer Training Center

CMIS 370
The Air Force Base Network Standardization and Evaluation Section is responsible for the training, licensing, and certifying of network professionals through the use of in-residence courses, computer based training (CBT), and formal task evaluations. There are 18 Network Control Center (NCC) personnel assigned to manage the backbone of the base network and over 40 system administrators and workgroup managers who manage their respective units on base. They all require training and certification by October 2000 to be authorized to perform maintenance and operations on the Air Force network.
Our immediate task is to design and install an internal network (separate from the current operational base MAN) to support a classroom consisting of eight students and an instructor. It is important to develop a training program that replicates as many real-world scenarios as possible. The main objectives of the course will be to train individuals on basic networking principles, MS NT 4.0 Workstation, and Microsoft NT 4.0 Server. The course will include both lecture and hands-on performance tasks.
To complete this task I will cover the guidelines and limitations associated with planning, classroom set-up, and installing the network. Also, the objective of the course and the curriculum will determine the type of network and the necessary equipment required. We will cover the type of hardware, media, and software required as well as, facility, and personnel issues, keeping within a limited budget.
In addition, network types, topologies, protocols, hardware/software configuration and optimization will be discussed. Finally, it is important that we consider the management, upgrading, and overall maintenance of the network. Before we begin with the planning and installation process we will first look at a brief background of our purpose and mission.

The Air Force’s goal with this project is to accomplish the task of training and certifying network professionals in the most effective and efficient manner. The cost savings would be tremendous by locally training versus the thousands of dollars spent to send each individual to a commercial course. Additionally, our training can be tailored to specific features of the AFB’s network. One challenge however, is to convince senior leadership and the old heads the importance of new technology and the training that goes with it.
You would think that the Air Force being a government agency would have the funding necessary for the project. However, most of the money is put towards operational areas such as flying and aircraft maintenance. Training, unfortunately, is secondary and little funding is allocated to training programs. So cost is a major factor. When putting our network together in our classroom we had to use what we could find (computers, printers, media, connectors, furniture etc.). We also have some surplus equipment and materials in various locations throughout the base.

We were initially expected to install the entire network with excess equipment we could find throughout the base. However, we convinced them to fund new personal computers. We were able to purchased ten new Dell Dimension XPS T500 systems. These systems include a 500 MHz Pentium III processor, 8.0GB hard drive, 64 MB RAM, and a 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet PCI Network card. Eight of these ten systems will be used as student workstations and/or server, depending on the course objective; one will be used as the instructor’s computer and also act as a main file server, and the last PC will function as an additional server for printing and other special training requirements. With a large surplus of monitors on base we were able to obtain ten 15” monitors to use with each system. We chose 15” monitors over the larger 17” size, due to the limited desk space each student has.
Two Cabletron MicroMMAC-24E 24 port hubs will be used to connect the eight workstations (four per hub). The MicroMMAC-24E is an intelligent workgroup hub combining sophisticated SNMP management with Ethernet repeater functionality and Cabletron\'s BRIM (Bridge/Router Interface Module) technology. The MicroMMAC-24E conforms to the IEEE 802.3 Repeater, 802.1d Bridge and 10Base-T specifications. Each hub with four workstations connected in a physical star topology will be independent from each other in a peer-to-peer environment for that portion of the curriculum. A Cisco AGS+ modular