Upgrading Infrastructure, Case Study Example

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Case Study

IT Service Upgrade Announcement

The Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Gym Masters performed, based on the services and operations offered by Information Technology (IT) in collaboration with the Information technology organization located in the Texas Research facility, the Texas Extension Service. The key purpose of the study is to achieve the prospective for the following

  • Improving IT services and increasing collaboration enterprise-wide (throughout the organization).
  • Reducing operating cost.
  • Obtaining effective risk management for the protection of data.

The studies conducted on Information Technology describes that the major and key services must be updated, standardized and centralized in order to enhance the IT services. In addition, numerous benefits can be achieved by implementing the above mentioned points. Some of the advantages are illustrated below

  • The quality and particular environment of IT services is enhanced.
  • Wide-range of mainstream software implementation for example email and file services.
  • Gym Masters service improvement.
  • IT operational overhead and cost reduction.
  • Capability to gather proficiently IT policy and rules of the Gym Masters head office and its remote offices.
  • Catastrophe revival of electronic information and policy is enhanced.

However, the Gym Masters’s System IT audits performed a study on how to precede the key areas that can be improved in order to perform better. The core areas are mentioned below

  • Email, calendaring, contacts management, and instant messaging
  • Directory services and identity management
  • File services (backup, archiving)
  • Web hosting and application services
  • Network infrastructure (regional centers)
  • Data protection (antivirus, encryption)

The above mentioned solutions can deliberately help the associations and allow them to benefit from the inclusion, mutual and well-organized computing atmosphere. Furthermore, this will facilitate Gym Masters to congregate well with the escalating needs related to the IT operations and data security.  In September 2010, the key engineering efforts and procurement activities are anticipated to be completed. The migration schedule of Gym Masters is under construction and these plans will be settled after evaluating the program.

Overview of IT service upgrades

The solution offered for the Email, Calendaring and Contact Management consist of a particular, centralized and unnecessary policy. The enterprise mail system has been preferred by the Microsoft Exchange 2010. Moreover, workstations based on Windows will be used by Microsoft Outlook. Numerous mobile services, Linux and Macintosh users can avail mail services as, well. Similarly, Email service can be easily reached through a web browser. The instant messaging provided by Microsoft is also considered as a service and the mailbox capacity is also increased till 2 gigabytes (GB).

Directory Services and Identity Management

The Microsoft Active Directory offers Directory services to its users. The Active Directory that is deployed statewide, offers a server that allows its users a single sign-on environment. This single sign-on environment provides a one password and user name admission for the file services and emails from the computer.

File Services (Backup, Archiving)

The enterprise-class storage servers provides File services operations in the provincial centers and locations of the in campus workstations of Gym Masters. The disaster recovery and off-site redundancy is provided by the college station servers. However, the information from these servers can be transferred securely to the college station storage servers. The long-term backup and storage of information and data capability is offered by the Tape Archiving.

Web Hosting and Application Services

In Gym Masters IT environment, a policy is made to host centrally all the websites. The server blade and virtual machine technology is added to the platform in order to provide extremely flexible and consistent services and configuration. Capital investment cost reduction and hosting application server is also a part of this platform moreover, this platform is further supported by Windows and Linux.

Network Infrastructure (Regional Centers)

Implementation of firewalls, deployment of wide area network bandwidth, network switches manage and secure wireless access points updates are offered via Network Infrastructure upgrade system. Within the regional centers, this implementation will offer the clients an additional secure, constant and well-organized network environment.

Data Protection (Anti-virus, Encryption)

Gym Masters will choose relevant anti-virus software. The computer viruses, malware, spyware, inadvertent information related to the social security numbers can be protected via anti-virus software.

Methodology

In the beginning, all the systems that are involved in the investigation have been studied through and three fieldworks are evolved.

Stage 1: With the help project reports and the invoices estimation of the overall cost is determined. Now this estimated cost is then compared with the analogous infrastructure cost on the Gym Master’s network.

Stage 2: The system that is supported by the company B has full information regarding the maintenance issues. This information is researched physically and the support calls are maintained that helps in identifying and analyzing the migration process.

Stage 3: The poster has been constructed with the help of the above mentioned two stages. The six interviews are conducted after the poster has been offered to the employees of the company. An overview has been given to all the employees before conducting interviews on the upgraded and new network services and functionality.  A transcript related to the every interview is being produced and recorded moreover, these transcripts are being analyzed by the two researchers and depending upon the stakeholder investigation numerous issues are recognized. The investigation performed by the stakeholders is based on the methodology and provides prospective benefits. To create a language for communicating with the non-technical staff i.e. senior and executive management, stakeholders etc., there is a requirement of collecting and analyzing all the documentation associated with the systems. Likewise, this process comprises of three stages. Stage 1 is associated with the infrastructure cost, where the cost of all the systems is calculated along with the invoices and project reports. Moreover, the cost of the current infrastructure is compared with the proposed or new and upgraded infrastructure. Stage 2 is associated with the support and maintenance issues of the current systems. Likewise, before migrating or upgrading the servers, all the support and maintenance issues were identified and prioritized, as failing to respond on critical systems may result in a network downtime. In the last stage i.e. stage 3, both of the previous stages are compared to develop a poster, as it will be demonstrated to the Gym Master employees and interviews will be conducted on their premises. Likewise, the interviews are initiated by providing the interviewees a brief overview of server upgrades and the installation of new servers at Gym Masters. Moreover, every interview session was documented and the recording of each interview session took place. The produced documentation and recordings were evaluated by two researchers and different issues were pointed out along with a consensus via stakeholder impact analysis. The stakeholder impact analysis is a methodology for classifying potential sources associated with risks and benefits from a stakeholder perspective, as the input to this process is consider as interviews, recordings and documentation. Likewise, the stakeholder impact analysis consists of following steps:

  • Identification of major stakeholders
  • Identification of changes that needs to be performed in which tasks and how they will be performed
  • Identification of the likely concerns of the modifications associated with stakeholder requirements i.e. time, capabilities, resources, status, values and satisfaction.
  • Examining the required changes in terms of broad relational factors including apprehensive relationship in between groups or individuals associated with the stakeholders.
  • To determine whether the stakeholder will identify the change either procedurally or distributive.

Option 7 – IP Addressing Issues

 The static IP addressing on the Gym Masters computer network is not a flexible option, as it may create many issues. The first issue is the assignment of one IP address in two computers at the same time. As the configuration settings are in the control of end users, there may be a possibility of configuring two IP addresses at the same time on two different computers. As a result, both the computers will not able to perform data transmission and will become useless until the issue is resolved. Moreover, there will be no accountability of the employees using the network resources and services, as the created logs will not identify any specific employee. As a result, inadequate monitoring of network resources and data will not be possible. Moreover, granting and restricting services can be carried out on IP addresses, if any employee changes two to three IP addresses per day, the granted or denied access of different services will not be valuable at all.

Recommended Solution      

The solution for this issue is the provision of Dynamic host configuration protocol along with the deployment of Microsoft Active Directory services. However, prior to deploying Microsoft active directory, a domain environment must be created. The DHCP will ensure that there are no duplicate IP addresses on the network. Moreover, it also provides adequate use of network resources, as the defined IP pool will allow an IP address only when required. This may minimize the traffic on the network at all times. Furthermore, a cost effective way of restricting IP configuration settings is an administrative account on very workstation local settings. The employees will only be provided a limited access, as their accounts will be created as ‘Power Users’.

Option 4 – Server Roles

 Providing a Web site

If Gym masters are maintaining or hosting the website internally, there must ensure that will be no power outage and service availability issues, as customer will be accessing the website every now and then. Moreover, they must also ensure that security will be at the optimum level, as there is a possibility of network security threats internally as well as externally.

Recommended Solution

The Windows Server 2008 will utilize Internet Information Services to publish the website on the Internet. Besides, Gym masters can also avail third party hosting services that may provide a hard drive space, an administrative account for uploading or updating website contents, bandwidth usage allocation and domain name space as well. Likewise, all these services are bundled in different packages and the charges are not too expensive, as compare to host the website internally.

Application Management of the Network

Accessing the server directly will impose risks to the server, as it will considered as a critical asset that is making applications operational in the networked environment of Gym Masters. If the application is dependent to execute only on the server than a virtual instance of a server can be created on another system from where users can access and execute applications.

Offering shared files on a large scale

As mentioned earlier in the report, domain environment must be created. Likewise, active directory will be installed on Windows 2008.  After installing Microsoft Active Directory, it will provide comprehensive file access management options for the internal as well as external network. After deploying the domain environment, the second site of Gym Masters will be connected to the same domain controller that is located in the main site.

Managing Active Directory functions for the domain

Windows 2008 Domains is operational by utilizing a multiple master design with limited master operations available on a master domain controller. Likewise, the purpose is to balance the load on a domain controller, however, there are some operations that can only be executed on a Master controller (Active directory functions ). Moreover, Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) that is executed on a sole controller. Likewise an administrator examines and identify operations that can be carried out on the master controller. Some of the FSMO operation types consist of (Active directory functions, n.d ):

“Schema Master – Makes changes to the database schema. Applications may remotely connect to the schema master.

Domain Naming Master – Adds or removes domains to or from the forest.

PDC Emulator – When Active Directory is in mixed mode, the computer Active Directory is on acts as a Windows NT PDC. The first server that becomes a Windows 2000 domain controller takes the role of PDC emulator by default. Functions pewrformed by the PDC emulator:

Relative ID Master (RID Master) – All objects have a Security Identifier (SID) and a domain SID. The RID assigns relative IDs to each domain controller.

Infrastructure Master – Updates group membership information when users from other domains are moved or renamed. If you transfer this function, it should not be transferred to the domain controller that is the global catalog server. If this is done, the Infrastructure Master will not function”

Offering VPNs

The suggested solution incorporates Windows 2008 server that provides powerful features for implementing a Virtual private network for Gym master. As the primary site will establish a VPN server, the secondary site will dial to the VPN server for establishing connectivity. However, user credentials must be provided for gaining access to network services. Microsoft Windows 2008 server provides a direct access service that is a replacement of remote access. The primary function of direct access is to maintain remote access connectivity, virtual meetings and telecommuters separate from using the VPN. Moreover, the direct access service can robustly connect the users instantly regardless of time and location (Hate your VPN? new features in windows server 2008 R2 could ease your pain ). Furthermore, it provides a similar degree of security. In addition, this service can also be used for updating patches to all the workstations on the Gym Masters network. The authentication mechanism utilizes a multi-factor authentication methodology and with the support of IPv6, split tunnel-routing and encryption techniques can be applied to minimize network data broadcast (Hate your VPN? new features in windows server 2008 R2 could ease your pain ).

Coordinating Printing

As Windows Server 2008 will be operating in a domain environment of Gym Master’s computer network, it will allow network administrators to allow shared printer access to the profiles of relevant users.

Provision of Web-based applications

An intranet server will host the in-house applications that will be accessible by the internal staff of the Gym Master only. Moreover, for synchronizing the application to the other site of Gym Master’s, the application will then be considered as Extranet. Likewise, Windows Server 2008 provides many features to manage in-house intranet applications.

Justification of Recommended Solutions

IP addressing issues will be rectified by the deployment and configuration of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), as it is the most cost effective solution. Likewise, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a communications protocol that facilitates network administrators to manage and automate assignment of IP addresses from a single point in a network. Moreover, every network component seeking for an IP address assignment, DHCP handles this assignment by automatically issuing them to the available active nodes on the network (Dynamic host configuration protocol.2007). However, the second option incorporates an existence of a domain environment. A domain controller operating from Windows Server 2008 is configured to be considered as an Active directory server (Tate, 2000). Likewise, multi master replication is utilized by Active directory that may result in a writable database for all the domain controllers for a domain along with hardware and software infrastructure update. This concludes that the network administrators or system administrators can connect any domain controller for adding, deleting, resetting passwords or perform any other maintenance tasks. Likewise, after making changes to the specific domain, all the other domains residing within the network will be updated (Tate, 2000). Moreover, each server sole is discussed along with the features that are available by installing Microsoft Windows 2008 server.

Executive Summary

For making the Gym Master’s computer network resilient and compatible with current trends and technologies, an IT service Upgrade Announcement was made. Likewise, the primary objectives are a) Improving IT services and increasing collaboration enterprise-wide (throughout the organization). b) Reducing operating cost. c) Obtaining effective risk management for the protection of data. Following with methodology for implementing the IT service upgrade plan, primary tasks were distributed in to stages. Likewise, these stages discussed the overall cost, awareness in employees and illustration of poster. Lastly, several solutions to cater business needs were addressed and rectified justified with cost benefit analysis. In addition, for taking major stakeholders in confidence, some of the factors that were considered are Identification of major stakeholders, Identification of changes that needs to be performed in which tasks and how they will be performed, Identification of the likely concerns of the modifications associated with stakeholder requirements i.e. time, capabilities, resources, status, values and satisfaction, examining the required changes in terms of broad relational factors including apprehensive relationship in between groups or individuals associated with the stakeholders and to determine whether the stakeholder will identify the change either procedurally or distributive.

References

Active directory functions Retrieved 5/3/2012, 2012, from http://www.comptechdoc.org/os/windows/win2k/win2kadfunctions.html

Dynamic host configuration protocol.(2007). Network Dictionary, , 167-167.

Hate your VPN? new features in windows server 2008 R2 could ease your pain Retrieved 5/3/2012, 2012, from http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/remote-computing/hate-your-vpn-new-features-in-windows-server-2008-r2-could-ease-your-pain

Tate, S. (2000). Windows 2000 essential reference . Indianapolis, Ind.: New Riders.

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