Proposal Project


Network Infrastructure Upgrade Proposal: Measure 91 Compliant
To: Green Thumb, LLC; Writing Class
From: Caitlynn Hawks dba Hawks Consulting, Inc.
Subject: Proposal for Network Upgrade



The following proposal will present Green Thumb, LLC with the information needed to see exactly how Hawks Consulting, Inc. can upgrade their current network infrastructure. Green Thumb, LLC is seeking upgrades that will allow them to become and maintain compliant with strict guidelines set forth and enforced by OLCC for licensees under Measure 91.  This proposal is in direct response to the Request for Proposal submitted by Green Thumb, LLC. The Request laid out guidelines and budget limitations required by them. Hawks Consulting Inc.’s proposal has addressed all concerns and made clear the expenses that will be expected to complete the project. The plan proposed can be enacted without impacting day to day business, and has provided room for the projected growth of the company.


On November 4, 2014, Oregon became the third state to legalize recreational marijuana with the passing of Ballot Measure 91. With the inception of the recreational system, Oregon has created a business sector that is proven to generate a very large profit. Since Oregon already had a very robust medical marijuana program, a lot of businesses seeking to jump into the recreational industry already have a significant amount of product ready. What they do not have, however, is the network infrastructure compliant with the new state-regulated requirements put forth in the bill.

Steve Marks, OLCC - Executive Director, is one of the overseers of the recreational industry

Steve Marks, OLCC – Executive Director, is one of the overseers of the recreational industry



A requirement for applying for any of the four types of licenses from OLCC is that a complaint network infrastructure is clearly laid out in the application, it needs to explain how the network is either currently meeting the standards or what the plans are to upgrade it so that it will. If the application includes plans to upgrade in order to meet the requirements, the license is approved pending a site evaluation. Businesses are currently scrambling to get licenses as soon as possible, with retail sales reaching estimates of 11 million the first week, it is incredibly important for market share that business are up and running as soon as possible. To that effect, a large need has arisen for businesses to upgrade their network to be Measure 91 compliant as quickly and cheaply as possible.


The first thing to be addressed is upgrading Green Thumb, LLC from a residential internt (ISP) package to a business class ISP package. Along with faster connections speeds, business class also offers access to several services or software that can help businesses with day to day activities. A new router, like the TP-LINK Archer C7 (pictured below) with firewall capabilities, should be purchased as well. The router satisfies the Measure 91 requirement of secure data transmission to the government required Cannabis Tracking System (CTS). As an added benefit, it will also protect Green Thumb, LLC’s network from outside intrusion, keeping all internal data secure.



The current desktop needs the RAM upgraded from 4GB to at least 8GB, however, 12GB is the recommendation of Hawks Consulting, Inc. A portable hard drive of at least 2 terabytes should be purchased to both expand desktop storage and to meet the Measure 91 requirement of having an electronic backup process for all electronic records. It is also recommended that Green Thumb, LLC purchase an Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) cloud file server as a secondary backup, to be hosted and managed by Hawks Consulting, Inc.

Green Thumb, LLC already has the required electronic door locks, for physical security, but needs to upgrade their camera setup. IP Cameras should be purchased and installed at the physical location. One will need to be placed at each entryway, to satisfy the Measure 91 physical security requirement.  Hawks Consulting, Inc., also suggests that Green Thumb, LLC look into buying a portable computer or tablet, such as the Microsoft Surface 3. This will allow Green Thumb, LLC to have a mobile platform to view IP camera feeds, do data collection through out the facility, and have the ability to transmit data to CTS in real time, rather than waiting until hard data is entered into the desktop at the end of the day for transmission. It should be noted, that while Hawks Consulting, Inc. believes this hardware could greatly improve day to day business practices, it is not required for Measure 91 compliancy.


The benefits of implementing the recommendations in the proposal will be immediate. As it stands now, the network of Green Thumb, LLC is not in line with the rules stated in Measure 91. Without having at least a contingency plan in place to bring the infrastructure up to regulation, Green Thumb, LLC can not even apply for a license through OLCC. In order to participate in the recreational industry, a business must be licensed. The network upgrade will also provide a significant increase in transmission speeds and data security. As the business grows more and more pivotal information will be stored digitally, and having the tools in place to keep it safe is vital. The recommended upgrade to the desktop computer already owned by Green Thumb, LLC will increase hardware performance and increased storage. Since this is an upgrade instead of a newly purchased system, the same functionality will be achieved at half the cost.


The following upgrades are needed to bring Green Thumb, LLC’s network up to compliance with Measure 91 regulations.  Hawks Consulting, Inc. has made these reccommendations utilizing research, experience, and industry information.

    • RAM – 4GB added minimum – Hawks Consulting, Inc. strongly recommends adding 8GB to allow for future growth
  • TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router [NEW HARDWARE]

  • 4x IP Cameras [NEW HARDWARE]

  • 2 Terabyte Portable Hard drive – Hawks Consulting, Inc. recommends the SSD variety of hard drive [NEW HARDWARE]

  • ISP upgrade from residential to business class – [NEW SERVICE]
  • AWS or similar cloud file storage server for addition backup [MAY BE OFFERED WITH ISP UPGRADE]
    • Can be purchased from Hawks Consulting, Inc.
  • Microsoft Surface 3 [NEW HARDWARE]


At completion of the project Green Thumb, LLC will have a network infrastructure that is compliant with the requirements of Measure 91.  They will also have a faster and more reliable connection due to an upgrade in internet service.  Their current desktop will run significantly better and smoother.  With the addition of a regular backup system, Green Thumb, LLC, can be confident in data integrity and security.  The newly installed IP cameras, that can be accessed from a variety of devices, will provide ease of mind, and allow for more accurate employee oversight.

The return on investment will be incredibly high with this project. While there will be some initial up front cost, being able to apply for a recreational marijuana license will allow Green Thumb, LLC entry into what is currently a 14 million dollar (and only growing) industry. On top of that, since the industry is new, everyone is starting from the same general point, entering the market quickly will allow Green Thumb, LLC to establish market share while competition is low.


Hawks Consulting, Inc. Est. 2011 Local Technology Company

Hawks Consulting, Inc.
Est. 2010
Local Technology Company

Hawks Consulting, Inc., founded in 2010, has already submitted and completed several like projects for similar businesses. That experience provides beneficial knowledge navigating the bureaucratic red tape, an invaluable asset for projects of this nature. It has also provided several opportunities to adjust and tweak the process as technology gets field tested. As a small independent company, they only work on one project at a time, so that the client is guaranteed that all resources are devoted and available to their needs.


The biggest hurdles to scheduling is getting all of the hardware purchased, and the business class ISP service installation appointment.  Once those are completed, actual installation and setup will not take more than two weeks from the date of purchase.  Most of the new hardware can be installed and configured before the network is upgraded, which allows for concurrent task completion, drastically reducing the length of the time between start date and date of completion.

Figure 1 shows order of tasks and additional info



The installation and setup will be done in chunks, and after regular business hours, so as not to disrupt work flow.  Fig. 1 shows the scheduled order of tasks.  The chart also highlights any secondary tasks needed and if the task is dependent on completion of a previous task before it can be started.




As mentioned before, once the hardware is purchased installing will take minimal man hours.  Tasks 2,3, and 4 can be completed concurrently and in a single installation session.  Task 6 has no impact on schedule as it can be completed off-site and during regular business hours.


Fig. 2 breaks down the timeline of completion for all intended tasks.  The task projected to take the longest is the ISP upgrade.  This task is dependent on a third party and subject to their scheduling availability.  Therefore, scheduling the installation appointment should be the first task completed.

Figure [NUMBER] shows the 3 week timeline and tasks

Figure 2 shows the 3-week timeline and tasks


Figure [NUMBER] shows similar packages from competing ISPs

Figure 3 shows similar packages from competing ISPs

Fig. 3 compares two similar business grade internet packages from the two leading ISP providers in town.  While Century Link is a bit cheaper, their service is not as fast, and they are not as established as Comcast.  This would be one of the few reoccurring costs of the project.

  • TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router – $89.98

  • 2 Terabyte Hard drive
    • Non-SSD –  $89.99
    • SSD – $109.99
  • 4GB of ram – $21.99
    • 8GB of ram – $32.70
  • IP Cameras(4) – $269.98

Minium Cost: $471.94

Maxium Cost: $502.65

  • 16 hrs of installation – $320.00
  • Monthly technical support from Hawks Consulting, Inc. [OPTIONAL]
    • M-F; 8am-5pm – $500/monthly
    • 24 hours – $1500/monthly

Hardware & Installation: $771.94

  • AWS file server – $45.00/monthly
    • price includes server setup, management, and tech support by Hawks Constulting, Inc.
  • Microsoft Surface – $474.99


The recreational industry in Oregon is not even a year old yet.  Its potential to grow is only limited by participants in the market.  The first step to getting into the industry is to become a license holder.  With the completion of the proposed project not only will Green Thumb, LLC be ready to apply for a license, but they will have the needed network structure in place to accommodate future growth and regulation.  Hawks Consulting, Inc. has the skills and tools needed to help Green Thumb, LLC complete this project with ease and within expectations.

Source: Sources:

Header: Link

Steve Marks: Link

Footer: Link


Feasibility Report: VPN Capable Router

Gizmobile Northwest, LLC:

Diagram of simple VPN setup IMAGE:

Diagram of simple VPN setup

Feasibility Report – Hardware Purchase

Working for a software company presents some really interesting work flows.  Because of the cycle of development, testing, and release, the amount of work can go from tremendous, to non existent.  When the cycle of work is at its lowest it becomes less important, especially for programmers to actually come into the office.  However, even when working from home, they do need access to resources or programs only accessible within the office.  Luckily there is a safe, secure way to access network resources from a remote location.

We are looking to expand our network infrastructure and capabilities.  Mainly my supervisor wants a Router that has the capabilities of setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN).  A VPN allows for a remote (out of office) user to create a “tunnel” into the office network and access anything that is part of said network, including but not limited to shared files, the office computer’s hard drive, and printers. My supervisor wants a router that at the minimum uses L2TP(layer 2 tunneling protocol) security, at least 100mb(1G preferred) connection ports, and is compatible with current network.


Tech workers are always looking for chances to upgrade their gadgets, so  with the emerging need within the company to have remote secure access to the interoffice network, it is the perfect opportunity to research new hardware.  This need of secure remote access will be addressed by setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN).  In order to do that, the company must have the hardware capability to set one up.  To that end, this feasibility report will offer three hardware solutions that will enable VPN use: Asus RT-AC56U, D-Link DIR-885L, Trendnet TEW-818DRU Dual Band Wireless Router.  This report, additionally, ranked  the alternative solutions, according to its security and benefits.  Router #3, the TEW-818DRU, is the first recommendation.  Router #1, the Asus RT-AC56U, is the second recommendation.  Router #2, the D-Link DIR-885L, is the third recommendation.


As remote access becomes more common in the workplace it is important to maintain security and network policies while implementing a VPN.  The best course is to implement security at the point of connection to the network, namely the router.  It is with that guideline in mind I investigated several VPN enabled routers and will be presenting the most viable three in this report.


As the use of technology increases in business and personal use, so does the access to valuable information.  In the business world, especially for a software company, this can encompass proprietary source code, valuable financial information, and company personal information.  When working in an office setting the network used for communication and sharing of this data can, and is tightly controlled and kept secure.  Access to the internet, or the Wild as insiders call it, is regulated and monitored on both in and outbound channels.  However, when an employee is outside of the office, but needs access to office resources, a connection to the network has to be made somehow.

Without any security measures or policies in place for allowed access to the interoffice network, the data transmitted between the office and the remote employee is easy readable (un-encrypted) and easily accessible for people who are looking for that type of information to steal.  With the availability of free and easy to use tools that allow anyone to intercept and view transmitted data, it is incredibly important for businesses to make sure all data transmissions are secure.  One of the ways to keep remote access secure is a VPN.  A VPN allows for a prearranged, secure connection to be initiated between the remote employee and the office network anytime, anyplace.  VPN, however, is the method, a VPN capable router is the tool for the solution, and what this report will focus on.


The goal of the analysis was to find a piece of hardware that would provide the software needed to establish the type of network the company wanted to utilize, namely a VPN.  The hardware had to be compatible with our current network, meet the security requirements of the already in place procedures, and provide the software we needed to expand our network.

Example of a expanded business network. IMAGE:

Example of a expanded business network.


The amount of routers available on the market can be overwhelming.   The first criteria I used to narrow it down was compatibility with our current network and attached hardware.  While 100mps was the minimum requirement, 1gps was preferred.  Taking price into account, since 1gps is more rare for lower end routers, I decided to aim for that and used 1gps requirement to eliminate quite a few selections.

I knew the third most constrictive requirement was the security measure used for the VPN, using that I was able to pair it down to a very few.  Using a max price of $300 I arrived at the three options I included in this report.

Since company resource security, and network speed are the largest concerns when utilizing remote access the rankings of the routers were based on the following criteria, in order of importance:

  • VPN capable
  • Port Speed and load balancing capabilities
  • Compatibility with current network infrastructure
  • Price
  • User Friendly interface

The user friendly interface will be based on screenshots and user reviews from the following sites: Amazon, Manufacture’s website,, and various forums.  These will be compiled into a user rating score for the purpose of comparison.

It should be noted that the criteria of having L2TP security, at least 100mb (1gig preferred) connection ports, and being compatible with our network are not only import but required as part of the hardware specifications.


Asus RT-56U

Asus RT-56U

The first Router I looked at was the Asus RT-AC56U, While the cheapest of the bunch, it also had the least amount of overall options.  It did rate high on a user rating scale, a 4 out of 5, based on forum reviews, but that was its strongest point, and the least important criteria.

It does offer two types of security protocols for the VPN, but one of them is the weakest offered, and probably wouldn’t be used.  It does however have the 1gps preferred port speed, two wireless channels, and is compatible with our current network.  It is for these reasons that I think it would make a viable second choice.



D-Link DIR-885L


The next router I looked at was the D-Link DIR-885L.  I knew right away, due to the price that it would be the least feasible of the options.  It also was the only one to offer only one option for the VPN protocol. While it is the required one, it is nice to have an alternative, especially since both of the routers under $200.00 offer multiple protocols.  It did have the highest user friendly rating score, but as a software company, user friendly is less important than actual network capabilities.  It does fit all of the required criteria however, but since it offers very little extra for a significant price increase, it would be the third, and last recommendation.


TEW-818DRU Source:



The third router, and first recommendation is the TEW-818DRU.  For very little extra over the cheapest option (Router #1), it offers the most security protocols and highest port speed.  Two very important qualities for expanding a network.  Beyond that, it matches the other two options in wireless channel speed.  While it does have the lowest user friendly rating, the added benefits it does have makes that inconsequential.


Router Image Sources:

TEW-818DRU – Here
D-Link DIR-885L – Here
Asus RT-AC56U – Here

The two tables below help to visually represent the capabilities and flaws of all the options.  The first table, Figure 1, is a general comparison of all three choices.  Represented is all of major criteria each choice needed to meet in order to be considered.

Router General Comparison:
Table comparing routers, with key statistics highlighted. IMAGE: Excel 2016

Table comparing routers, with key statistics highlighted.
IMAGE: Excel 2016
Figure 1

The second table, Figure 2, focuses solely on the price point of the final three contenders.  Using Figure 1 as a general overview, Figure 2 is used to really easily highlight that the 2nd option, the D-Link DIR-885L, is significantly more expensive, for very little extra over the other two options.

Table of routers showing variable prices. IMAGE: Excel 2016

Table of routers showing variable prices.
IMAGE: Excel 2016
Figure 2


I looked at several viable options that met the minimum requirement of 100mps, however looking at price comparisons I realized it wasn’t that much more expensive for the 1gps, which was the preferred port speed.  Once I narrowed my guideline I was able to found three very viable options.  They are, for the most part, incredibly similar and beyond price mostly interchangeable.


I believe that Router #3, the TEW-818DRU is a very viable option to provide the optimal setup to enable and utilize a VPN.  It meets all of the required criteria, is mid-range price wise, compatible with our current network, and has the most available options.  However, all of the routers would provide the needed solution for the implementing remote access, but the other two provided less for a similar price, or more expensive.


The Results Are In

To: Sandy Brown Jensen; WR 227 Classmates

From: Caitlynn Hawks

Date: April 24, 2016

Subject: User Test Report

Clear instructions help guide the audience to a desired result. Photo:

Clear instructions help guide the audience to a desired result.


My topic for the instructional post was how to fold a fitted sheet.  I wanted to target anyone who had ever had trouble storing a fitted sheet.  Based on my personal knowledge, I believed that getting a fitted sheet to lay flat for storage was something that eluded a lot of people.  This memo is to review the results of the testing my classmates preformed against my instructions.


I wanted my instructions to be clear and articulate.  I wanted to make sure something that could seem daunting was presented in an accessible and uncomplicated manner.  The benefit of utilizing my classmates to test the instructions, is that my test subjects where from several different types of target audiences.  There was a step in my instructions that, while they were able to complete, each person mentioned struggling a bit with.  Knowing my test audience was so varied, helps bring validity to their observation.  I am confident that this step will create issues for a very large audience, versus just a subset.  This is turn helps me prioritize where I should focus my energy when it comes to revision.


My first draft was a very good foundation to revise.  The actual wording of the instructions I revised very little.  I reworded step 8, in hopes of achieving more clarity. Erin had a good tip about letting the reader know they can fold up and sideways, as well as the way I displayed in the pictures, so I added a note about that.  My main focus was formatting and adding the superstructure requirements.  I wanted to make sure that my post was visually engaging, so as to catch the eye and draw people in.


“I had a bit of trouble with step 8, but I kept doing it, off camera, and I got it.” – Meredith Blair

My testers where Meredith Blair, Genevieve (Genna)  Baccaro, and Erin Wood.  I believe that they represented a good range of target audiences.  They seem pretty evenly spaced in age ranges, which I think is important.  If I could pick one more type of audience to have, I would say it would have been nice to have a male perspective.  My test location was just a flat surface within the home.  Everyone seemed to be able to do it no problem without having to seek out an outside location.

While I didn’t so any direct information gathering, like asking questions, I did attempt to engage and get them thinking with my introduction paragraph.  I wanted them to be reminiscing about the difficulty of dealing with fitted sheets, which I had experienced myself.

I am happy to report that the user’s that testing my instructions all seemed to do so successfully, and found them useful, which was my main goal.  The did all seem to have an issue with step 8 with is how to hold the sheet before laying it down for the final folding.  They all also noticed that I had forgot to apply all of the superstructure of the post.  Which I greatly appreciated.  I was so focused on getting the table structure of my instructions correct I completely forgot about the other assignment requirements.  To that end, I went through and added the missing heading and sections of my post, so as to be more in tune with the guidelines.


I learned that I can’t always predict what is going to be difficult for other people to understand.  The step I was most concerned about people having issue with, didn’t seem to be a problem at all.  I think that next time I write instructions, I will have other people read them besides myself. It is sometimes hard to think critically about something you wrote yourself.  It is also important to try and think of alternative ways to explain things, as the way that makes sense to you, doesn’t always compute to other people.

I how feel the overall experience went. Image:

How I feel the overall experience went.