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Management of Large Scale Computer Networks: Module Overview

Learning Outcomes

This module is intended to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the issues involved in the management of large scale computer networks. The importance of information security and risk management are highlighted, as are the implications of security compromise and infringement. In particular, the need for network management is discussed, and relevant models to facilitate this are presented. Network infrastructure and capacity planning, together with associated metrics, are investigated, with this being framed in terms of Quality of Service and the use of Service Level Agreements.

Network security concepts and techniques, for example cryptography and encryption, are also introduced in this module. Such topics are particularly relevant to modern computing paradigms, such as Cloud Computing.

A research-infused curriculum is adopted and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues - thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skill. The purpose of this module is to help you to:

  • Develop an in-depth and up-to-date awareness of the issues involved in the management of large scale computer networks
  • Acquire a range of skills and techniques to manage those networks.
  • Understand the security issues and implications involved in effective network management.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Justify the need for network management considering the main network management functions, and be able to discuss the benefits and limitations of each.
  2. Interpret current research and development in the field of network management security.
  3. Critically review the requirements for the design of a network system from a given scenario, and evaluate the aspects of security along with methods of protection.

NOTE: All class announcements and other emails relating to this module will be sent to the University of Derby email address that you have been given. You are expected to regularly check this email account (at least every 3 days). If you fail to do this, you will miss important information. Any emails that you send relating to this module must also be sent from your University of Derbyemail account. Within the title of any email that you send, you should include your name and the course code of this module.

Formative activities are opportunities for you to apply, practice and make sense of the learning materials and content that you have encountered.

In this module, these include multiple choice questions, critical analysis of source materials, and reflection on your learning.

Summative assessments are the pieces of coursework you complete that contribute towards your final grade in this module. You should take the feedback that you receive from the completion of coursework in this module and use it to help you improve your performance in future assessments. Summative assessment in this module is two pieces of submitted coursework. You will be expected tosubmit your summative assignments via the Turnitin assessment points on the Assessment page inBlackboard.

An initial analysis has found the following:

  1. It is a single site company with a factory and office on site.
  2. There are 80 employees in total, 60 in the factory and 20 in the office.
  3. Each office worker has their own PC. There is a mixture of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 computers installed, together with various versions of Microsoft Office.
  4. There are 8 PCs in the factory, all running Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010.
  5. There is no central subscription to anti-virus software. Staff are left to do this themselves.

The network is completely wired and they have not yet started to explore the use of WiFi. If staff bring their own devices to work, they need to make their own provision for Internet access (3G/ 4G etc.)

The network runs on a single Windows Server 2012 server. There is an additional NAS (Network Attached Storage) storage device that will store up 10TB of data. There is no formal backup plan; again staff (and individual teams) are expected to manage their own data. Some do this better than others. For example, the design team have their own NAS storage and additionally copy designs to backup DVD on a weekly basis.

Internet access is provided through an ADSL account with a local Internet provider. This gives a maximum of 10 Mbit/s of bandwidth. They have found that this is not sufficient for their needs.

  1. The company does not have a Web site.
  2. There is a single email address for the company that the MD (Managing Director) and her PA (Personal Assistant) have access to.
  3. Other staff have set up ‘unofficial’ company emails for their requirements, for example, the finance team have a shared email address with a Gmail account that they use for ordering.

No single person has responsibility for managing the network. A previous office manager (who has now left) had some IT experience and supported the network as part of his job. There have been some serious incidents recently, most notably a serious virus infection that was dealt with by bringing in a local IT technician to clean a number of PCs.

The arrangements for printing are as follows:

There is a single inkjet printer in the factory shared between the factory PCs. This printer is networked.

In the office, there is a high volume laser printer connected directly to one of the admin support team’s PCs. This is connected via Windows printer sharing to the other PCs in the admin team but no-one else has access (in the past, if anyone else needed a large number of documents printing they had to email it to a member of the support team).

The remainder of the office use 22 inkjet printers, from a variety of manufacturers. Some of these are connected to individual PCs and some are shared between workgroups.

The organization is considering having a small outlet to in the city centre which can be used to sell their products to the customers. They would like this to be linked into the new network so that staff can access the contents to the factory systems and update their stock list without having to leave the outlet

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