You have made Mr. Meany a very happy man. Recently he paid you a fat bonus for work well done. It is one year since the last network upgrade. You have been quite busy. Two months ago Mr. Meany gave approval to hire Christine Roberson, who has taken over general network management. Soon she will provide primary user support. You have demonstrated that you can delegate responsibility and can plan and execute according to that plan. Above all, you have shown Mr. Meany that you are a responsible person. Today is a big day. Mr. Meany called you to his office at 9 a.m. for news you never expected: You are going to take charge of business operations. Mr. Meany is retiring and has entrusted the business to your capable hands.
Mr. Meany may be retiring from this company, but not from work. He is taking the opportunity to develop Abmas Accounting into a larger and more substantial company. He says that it took him many years to learn that there is no future in just running a business. He now realizes there is great personal satisfaction in the creation of career opportunities for people in the local community. He wants to do more for others, as he is doing for you. Today he spent a lot of time talking about his grand plan for growth, which you will deal with in the chapters ahead.
Over the past year, the growth projections were exceeded. The network has grown to meet the needs of 130 users. Along with growth, the demand for improved services and better functionality has also developed. You are about to make an interim improvement and then hand over all Help desk and network maintenance to Christine. Christine has professional certifications in Microsoft Windows as well as in Linux; she is a hard worker and quite likable. Christine does not want to manage the department (although she manages well). She gains job satisfaction when left to sort things out. Occasionally she wants to work with you on a challenging problem. When you told her about your move, she almost resigned, although she was reassured that a new manager would be hired to run Information Technology, and she would be responsible only for operations.
3.1.1. Assignment Tasks
You promised the staff Internet services including Web browsing, electronic mail, virus protection, and a company Web site. Christine is eager to help turn the vision into reality. Let's see how close you can get to the promises made.
The network you are about to deliver will service 130 users today. Within a year, Abmas will aquire another company. Mr. Meany claims that within 2 years there will be well over 500 users on the network. You have bought into the big picture, so prepare for growth. You have purchased a new server and will implement a new network infrastructure.
You have decided to not recycle old network components. The only items that will be carried forward are notebook computers. You offered staff new notebooks, but not one person wanted the disruption for what was perceived as a marginal update. You decided to give everyone, even the notebook user, a new desktop computer.
You procured a DSL Internet connection that provides 1.5 Mb/sec (bidirectional) and a 10 Mb/sec ethernet port. You registered the domain abmas.us, and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) is supplying secondary DNS. Information furnished by your ISP is shown in Table 3.1.
It is of paramount priority that under no circumstances will Samba offer service access from an Internet connection. You are paying an ISP to give, as part of its value-added services, full firewall protection for your connection to the outside world. The only services allowed in from the Internet side are the following destination ports: http/https (ports 80 and 443), email (port 25), DNS (port 53). All Internet traffic will be allowed out after network address translation (NAT). No internal IP addresses are permitted through the NAT filter because complete privacy of internal network operations must be assured.
Christine recommended that desktop systems should be installed from a single cloned master system that has a minimum of locally installed software and loads all software off a central application server. The benefit of having the central application server is that it allows singlepoint maintenance of all business applications, a more efficient way to manage software. She further recommended installation of antivirus software on workstations as well as on the Samba server. Christine knows the dangers of potential virus infection and insists on a comprehensive approach to detective as well as corrective action to protect network operations.
A significant concern is the problem of managing company growth. Recently, a number of users had to share a PC while waiting for new machines to arrive. This presented some problems with desktop computers and software installation into the new users' desktop profiles.