Do I use a Star Topology since NY,NY is the main source of the internet and is the headquarters?

I was given the task and am not sure how to go about it:

There are seven company locations each containing one building including the corporate headquarters in New York, NY – 1000 employees, San Diego, CA - 250 employees, central research in Houston, TX - 750 employees, Madrid - 500 employees, India – 50 employees, London - 150 employees, China - 300 employees and 500 remote users - sales force.

There is a diverse computing environment with no standards in place including a combination of devices (e.g. network printers) and desktop operating systems (e.g. Macintosh OS, UNIX, Linux and Microsoft Windows). There are three different data centers in operation. The first data center is located in New York, NY being used as the main corporate data center (e.g. email, file, print, database and intranet web servers) the second is located in San Diego, CA being used for R&D (e.g. high performance computing, technical application servers and video-streaming services), and the third is located in Houston, TX being used for disaster recovery. The company does large file transfers (e.g. video and graphics) between San Diego, CA and Houston, TX. There is one Internet connection located in the corporate data center that services all company locations.
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Trent SmithCommented:
Just to make sure that I am understanding your question I want to ask a few questions of my own.

1.  Do you want all remote sites to use the internet from the corporate office?
- If yes then WHY?  If all sites connect to corporate to access the internet you are going to get an extremely slow connection.  I would set it up to do a site to site connection for each site but make it so that the internet out is dependent upon the location you are at.  They can still access the files from any other site.
2.  The first thing I would do is suggest that if you don't have the same firewalls at all locations to replace the existing ones with new and identical models at each location.  2 reasons for this.  If you have the same firewall at each location then you will not have to learn 2, 3, or more firewall systems and have less headaches on your end for support.  If you purchase an extra and keep it on the shelf you can load it with the configuration file and send it to any location provided they are having issues and not have to keep multiple spares on the shelf.
3.  Much the same as the firewalls I would start to replace the switches at the different locations with the same style (Manufacturing Company) at each location so that yet again you don't have to learn and remember what switches are where and what it takes to connect, configure, and work on them.

How is this being accomplished at this time?  If the system is up and operational at this time then I suggest that you start small.  Pick one location and plan to replace their equipment to mimic the equipment at corporate (if that is where you are).  Then you fly out and slowly start the process of replacing the equipment.  The first step would be firewall and one of the best things to do is keep the IP address of your systems the same at each plant.  such as we use 10.x.100.1 at our location for one system but the only thing that changes in the number is the x and that is based on what site you are accessing.

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sol_21Author Commented:
I need to design a LAN and WAN with remote access for 3500 people. There being 7 company locations:

New York, NY - 1,000 employees (Corporate HQ/Data Center, e.g. email, file, print, database, and itranet web servers)
San Diego, CA - 250 employees (Data Center, e.g. high performance computing, technical servers, and video-streaming services)
Houston, TX - 750 employees (Data Center, e.g. used for data recovery)
Madrid - 500 employees
India - 50 employees
London - 150 employees
China - 300 employees and 500 remote users

The company does large file transfers (e.g. video and graphics) between San Diego, CA and Houston, TX.

I need a single internet connection in the corporate data center that services all company locations. Also, I need to know what type(s) of media (fiber/copper), network devices (switches & routers), protocols, WAN circuits, connectivity, remote access method and authentication, fault tolerance and security.
Trent SmithCommented:
The media type will depend on the evironment.   obviously for longer runs you will want to have fiber between the switches.  as far as the switches I typically stick with HP layer 3 switches.  You will want at least 1 GB switch ports for faster speed.  Firewalls are based on what you feel comfortable with.  There is Sonicwall, Fortinet, WatchGuard, and Cisco to name a few.   I would strongly suggest getting a backup Internet connection to each facility.  This way if the main connection goes down you are still operational.  You can also set it up so that you are using both Internet connections and if one fails the users may see a speed difference but they will continue to be operational until the problem is fixed. Also as you are creating this network you need to document everything so that you can set up all the sites identically.
sol_21Author Commented:
Would you be able to show me on a diagram where all the components go? For example, where do I set up a LAN and WAN for each of these 7 locations. What goes where?

Thank you so much for your information. I'm getting a much better understanding!
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