Unit 44 Local Area Networking Technologies

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To provide learners with an understanding of Local Area Network (LAN) technologies and the delivery of a wide range of networked services across a LAN infrastructure.

 Unit abstract

LANs have become ubiquitous in all but the smallest of enterprises and their implementation has become the realm of skilled designers if the best advantage is to be made of available technology. Whist it is now the case that simple networks can often been installed by users with little previous knowledge, the design, implementation, testing and management of extended LANs requires considerable technical knowledge. The impact of LANs across an organisation can require upskilling of staff, changes to the physical  environment and changes to commercial procedures. It also requires changes to the access, security and ownership of the data which passes across the LAN. In this unit learners will understand that consideration must be given to not only the physical LAN but the organizational culture as a whole. Learners will understand the importance of considering both physical and logical environments including network addressing, best use of media, and network segmentation. Learners will also study Quality of Service (QoS) in order to best manage the network traffic. Once a LAN is installed and operational learners will study methods of measuring and maintaining performance in a proactive manner using a range of tools.

Learning outcomes

LO 1 Understand the impact of LAN technologies

  • LAN technologies:standards eg IEEE 802 LAN standards, IEEE 802.11 wireless standards, STP (Spanning Tree Protocol), VLANs (Virtual LAN), VTP (VLAN Trunking Protocol), standby routing, ether channel, ISL (Inter Switch Link), DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol);
  • LAN hardware: eg layer 2 switches, layer 3 switches, layer 4 switches, wireless devices, network interfaces, client devices
  • Traffic intensive services: quality of service management eg DSCP (Differentiated Service Code Point), IP precedence, queues, base rules, 802.1q frame tagging; quality of service need eg Voice over IP, video streaming, audio streaming;
  • LAN security: security need eg VLANs, switch port control, ACLs (Access Control Lists), MACACL’s, MAC (Media Access Control) address filtering, wireless security, port spanning

LO 2 Be able to design LAN infrastructures

  • Devices: expected average number and types of devices on system; anticipated participation
  • Bandwidth: expected average load; anticipated peak load; cost constraint
  • Users: quality expectations, concept of system growth
  • Applications: security requirements, quality of  service needs, redundancy
  • Communications:suited to devices, suited to users, supportive of quality of service
  • Scalable: able to support device growth, able to support addition of communication devices, able to cope with bandwidth use and trend change
  • Security: device access, VLAN membership, traffic management, system monitoring
  • Traffic intensive services: application of rules, prioritisation
  • Technology: VLAN design, STP design, DHCP address allocation design, wireless infrastructure design

LO 3 Be able to implement LAN infrastructures

  • Devices: installation of communication device, allocation of addresses, local client configuration Services: directory, authentication, DNS (Domain Name Service), email, network file, printing
  • Specialised configuration: VLAN, VTP, standby, ether channel, STP
  • Security: ACLs, VLAN membership
  • Traffic management: system monitoring, traffic intensive services, traffic precedence
  • Connectivity: suitable bandwidth, cabling, wireless infrastructure
  • Testing:external access eg WAN access, access to internet; security; bandwidth

LO 4 Be able to manage LAN infrastructures

  • LAN performance: network monitoring tools, user access, traffic analysis, bandwidth monitoring, checking configuration, checking rules
  • LAN issues:using troubleshooting methodology; proving resolution


This unit has links to the Level 4 and Level 5 National Occupational Standards for IT and Telecoms Professionals, particularly the areas of competence of:

  • IT/Technology Infrastructure Design and Planning
  • IT/Technology Service Operations and Event Management
  • IT/Technology Management and Support
  • Change and Release Management.


  • Cisco Networking Academy – CCNA Exploration Course Booklet: LAN Switching and Wireless, Version 4.0 (Cisco Press, 2009) ISBN-10: 1587132540
  • Dean T – CompTIA Network+ 2009 In Depth (Delmar, 2009) ISBN-10: 1598638785 Xiao Y, Pan Y – Wireless LANs and Bluetooth (Nova Science, 2005) ISBN-10: 1594544328

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