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Windows Server Business Case, Part 1: Network Connectivity

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The state university is in the final stages of planning a large Visual Communications College for a group of 250 employees consisting of 150 faculty and 100 staff who will work in two adjacent buildings. Each faculty and staff will use computers that run Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Professional, Fedora Linux, or Mac OS X. The employees work with a variety of software, including word processing, research, databases, spreadsheets, programming software, and mathematical calculation software. The buildings in which they work have no network, and the college plans to network each building and connect both networks. The college has also decided to purchase a Windows Server 2003 and a UNIX server for all to access. Both servers will be in a secure computer room in one of the buildings. In addition, the university plans to connect to an Internet Service Provider so each employee can easily access the Internet.

What equipment must be purchased in order for each employee's computer to be connected to the network? (1.1) To start things off I would ensure that all of the cabling running throughout each building is sufficient for the networks. I would do this by ensuring that either category 5 Ethernet cable or Fiber cables are connecting the computers to the networks. A Star-wired bus topology is the easiest topology to install and maintain. The computers will each need network interface cards (NIC), I would I would suggest either a fiber NIC or Gigabit NIC which would provide 10/100/1000 Mbps auto-negotiation and centralized management over Category 5 or 5e UTP cabling-simplifying your migration to a Gigabit Ethernet later. We will connect the computers to switches which in turn will be connected to the servers and the servers will be connected to routers and then to the ISP via our T-1 connection.

What protocols will you need to set up on each server and on all of the workstations? (1.2a) Since you have both Windows and UNIX running over the same network the best thing to do is remove all network protocols but TCP/IP and PPTP. Why will you need these particular protocols? (1.2b) Both Windows and UNIX support TCP/IP that allows each of them to send and receive over the internet, PPTP will allow for connection to the servers via a VPN.

Forty of the employees travel frequently and need remote access to the network from portable computers that run Windows XP or Fedora Linux. What must be set up on the network for them to dial into it? (1.3a) The 40 employees that travel frequently can login to the servers by way of remote-access, also called a virtual private dial-up network (VPDN), from the various remote locations. In order to allow dial in, you will have to define users and passwords to authenticate them. PPP will authenticate them. Granted after updating the servers the Routing and Remote Access will need configuring and at least one network adapter connected to your private network and an additional network adapter installed for the dedicated connection to the Internet. Because this server will be used as the Internet connection server, you will need to assign a static IP address to the private network adapter. This static IP address should be excluded from the DHCP scope for the subnet to which the Internet connection server is attached. What must be set up on each portable computer? (1.3b) Modems need installed if they are not already part of the remote computers hardware.

What internetworking device would you use to connect the networks in each building? (1.4a) The networks will connect through routers. Do you anticipate a need for routing capability on this network? (1.4b) Yes, routing capabilities will be needed and routers are network devices that examine the IP address field and determine the best route for a data packet, and will only transmit it out of a network segment if it is destined for a node on another network.

The college also maintains four labs. Two of those labs consist of 15 computers running Mac OS X, while the other two labs have 12 computers that run a combination of Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional.

Fifty faculty members use MAC OS X and their students will be using the Macintosh lab. They want students to be able to submit assignments over the network from the lab. In addition, they want to make new assignments available for students to pick up at any time of day through the network. Are these goals possible? (2.1a) Yes these goals are possible. If so, how can the Macintosh computers be set up to accomplish these goals? (2.1b) Mac OS X has TCP/IP-based networking architecture, which includes IPv4, IPv6, and L2TP/IPSec; and the Mac includes a Network user interface for configuration and support from high-level development frameworks. Must they first have a Mac OS X server in the labs? (2.1c) No, the Mac OS X platform supports multiple development technologies including UNIX. So they should be able to interface with the UNIX server already in place.

The Dean wants to set up the new Windows Server 2003 so that four department heads can access their spreadsheets reflecting the college's budget, and several department management programs written and installed by graduate student employees. You are charged with explaining to the department heads how the Windows Server 2003 will be set up to share the spreadsheets and management programs. What explanation would you give in a presentation? (2.2) As a built-in component of Windows Server 2003, Windows SharePoint Services makes it easy to implement a dependable, scalable collaboration infrastructure. Close integration of Windows SharePoint Services with Microsoft Office system, helps users to share the spreadsheets and management programs.

The Dean asks you to show each department head how to access the shared information from computers that run Windows XP Professional. Develop a set of instructions for the department heads, and explain how you would use the instructions to supplement a live demonstration. (2.3) The following are the instructions on how to access the shared information from computers that run Windows XP Professional

1. If you are not logged into the computer, log in with the Domain username that has access to the folder.

2. Click Start > Run.

3. In the Open field type \ComputerName (where "ComputerName" represents the name of the computer you are attempting to access)

4. When the new window opens Double-click on the folder to which you have given access.

5. If your account has permission to view this folder you should not be prompted for a username

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