Unit 44: Local Area Networking Technologies

Unit 44: Local Area Networking Technologies

Unit code:L/601/1547

QCF Level 5:BTEC Higher National

Credit value:15


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 organisational 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

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

1     Understand the impact of LAN technologies

2     Be able to design LAN infrastructures

3     Be able to implement LAN infrastructures

4     Be able to manage LAN infrastructures

Unit content

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), MAC-ACL’s, MAC (Media Access Control) address filtering, wireless security, port spanning

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

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

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

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

Assessment criteria for pass

The learner can:


Understand the impact.of LAN technologies

1.1 critically evaluate different LAN technologies

1.2 critically analyse traffic intensive services and their performance

1.3 discuss LAN concerns and make recommendations to sustain network security, reliability and performance


Be able to design LAN infrastructures

2.1 design a LAN infrastructure to meet a given requirement

2.2 critically evaluate the suitability of LAN components


Be able to implement LAN infrastructures

3.1 build and configure a LAN (including services) to meet a given requirement

3.2 implement network security on a LAN

3.3 critically review and test a LAN


Be able to manage LAN infrastructures

4.1 monitor and troubleshoot a LAN

4.2 resolve LAN issues to improve security, reliability and performance

4.3 critically evaluate the performance of a LAN.


Links to National Occupational Standards, other BTEC units, other BTEC qualifications and other relevant units and qualifications

The learning outcomes associated with this unit are closely linked with:

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Unit 5: Managing Networks

Unit 24: Networking Technologies

Unit 45: Wide Area Networking Technologies

Unit 9: Computer Networks

Unit 25: Routing Concepts

Unit 46: Network Security

Unit 10: Communication Technologies

Unit 26: Design a Small or Home Office Network

Unit 32: Networked Systems Security

Unit 27: Network Operating Systems

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.

Essential requirements

Learners must have access to a live or ‘detached’ network environment to create the network infrastructure and develop their skills; this may also be successfully accomplished using virtual machines.

Learners must have access to facilities, which allow them the opportunity to fully evidence all of the criteria of the unit. If this cannot be guaranteed then centres should not attempt to deliver this unit.

Evaluation of current systems and solutions, commercial practices, social conditions and the culture surrounding the system in use is of as much importance as delivering work supporting potential understanding of the technological systems the and the services they offer.

Learners must have access to a range of suitable networking hardware (eg hubs, switches, routers) and software (eg operating systems, management and utility software) as it is important to undertake as many practical activities as possible to reinforce theoretical learning. There are many virtual, emulated and simulated systems that now support delivery. If used they must contain the elements pertinent to the core of this qualification unit to assure delivery.



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




Employer engagement and vocational contexts

Working with a live system will present many risks, that the centre, employer and learner must be aware of. Using a current vocational context to deploy an additional or alternate solution will enhance the learners’ experience and enable understanding of wider technical application.