The First Educational Organization | FNU

Added on - 16 Sep 2019

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1Network Redesign for FNUOverviewBusiness Domain:The network redesigning is required at The First National University (FNU). FNU is a highereducational organization for long distance learning. This is the first educational organizationproviding online courses in the country. The university runs online training and courses; it requires anetwork infrastructure of very high performance to provide Quality of Services to the end users. Theuniversity covers 5 regional campuses and 10 metropolitan campuses and a main campus to runsuch a huge educational institute. University offers undergraduates programs and postgraduateprograms through distance learning. Moreover it provides Vocational and Educational Training (VET)as well as short programs for professionals to increase their skills. FNU teaches 45,000 students atboth undergraduate and postgraduate level for various programs on-campus whereas 15,000students are studying off-campus for distance education at FNU. To ensure services to be deliveredat all the ends, FNU’s network is designed to divide into 3 facility centers. Firstly, Headquarters,where main campus is located. Second, Operation i.e. Data Centre which is located 50 km away fromheadquarters. At the Operations center, the technical staff is appointed for managing andperforming IT related tasks required for proper functioning of the network. The third division is theBackup Facility. Backup facility is located 1000 km away from the main campus. This is becausebackup facility is needed only when operation facility breaks down.Apart from the main campus, all regional and metropolitan campuses are very similar in terms ofsize, staff, and technologies. Their IT infrastructure uses relatively old and complex technologies.FNU still uses a number of protocols to enable campus communication to the main server farmlocated at the Operations.Each campus is connected to the university backbone through old Multiservice Platform Routers forflexible LAN and WAN configurations, easy upgrades, and the handling of various protocols at theinternet and transport layers. The router enables the campus to communicate with different FNUcampuses located in different sites.To support the day-to-day learning and teaching activities, academics and administrative staff atFNU also deals with a dozen (12) of external partners including hospitals, research centers, vendorsupport, and technology partners in many different ways, non-necessarily compatible each other.Network Issues:1.As discussed above, due to heavy number of users on the network, it may result in network slowdown. The online submission is the key facility provided by FNU for ease of submission andevaluation for the students as well as staff members. Due to online submission for both on-campusand off-campus students, it has been observed quite a few times that the network problemsappear which makes the late submission for most of the students which in turn results in the bad
2grades.2.FNU has no Bring your own device (BYOD) and Work at home (WAT) policies embodied in thenetwork which is highly needed by the students and staff to make it possible to work from theirown devices. For this purpose, the secure wireless network should be implemented whichsupports BYOD and WAT.Immediate actions to take in regards of the identified issues:1.Scalability for 50% increased enrollment in next three years.2.Improvements with issues in online assignment submissions.3.Implementation of bring your own device policy by adhering wireless network in the campus.This enables the students to work on their own laptops, tablets, notebooks and smartphones.4.With WAT it will allow users (students and staff members) to access network facilities fromtheir homes.5.Security measures must be taken to safeguard data from the hackers.6.Providing Quality of Services to the network users both at on-campus and off-campus.Identify Organisation’s Needs and ConstraintsIn response to the senior management call, the IT department at FNU developed a list oftechnical goals that should be implemented as soon as possible:1.Redesign the current network including provision for wirelessservices.2.Overhaul the IP addressingscheme.3.Increase the bandwidth of the Internet connection to support new applications and theexpanded use of currentapplications.4.Provide a secure, private wireless network for students, staff and visitors to access thecampus network and theInternet.5.Provide a network that offers a response time of less than a second for interactiveapplications.6.Provide a network that is available approximately 99.9 percent of the time and offers anMTBF (mean-time-between-failure) of 6000 hours and an MTTR (mean-time-to- repair) ofless than 90 minutes.7.Provide security to protect the Internet connection and internal network fromintruders.8.Provide a network that can scale to support future expanded usage of multimediaapplications including onlineteaching.9.Automate the majority of the network tasks and services including plug and play,network configuration, network management, troubleshooting, networkmonitoring, resource sharing, load balancing, updates, and data backups.Existing Network
3Current ICT infrastructure SummaryICT infrastructure at Metro and Regional campusesHardwareStaff equipped with Desktop PCs running Windows 7 (dualmonitors)Staff PCs equipped with first generation headsets andwebcams4 networked Laser Printers in eachfaculty10 computer labs, each equipped with 24 PCs running Windows and a printerOne Network Attachment Storage for local storage100Base-TX SwitchedEthernetICT infrastructure at Headquarters (main campus)HardwareStaff equipped with Desktop PCs running Windows 10 (dualmonitors)Staff PCs equipped with latest generation headsets andwebcams20 networked Laser Printers (also capable of scanning and photocopying)50 computer labs, each equipped with 24 Desktop PCs running Windows 10 and a printerOne Network Attachment Storage (NAS) for local storageStaff equipped with VoIP videophones100Base-TX SwitchedEthernetICT infrastructure at Operations siteOperating systems: Combination of Windows and LinuxserversStaff equipped with Desktop PCs running Windows8All operational servers including file, web, mail, DHCP, DNS, Authentication, Blackboard, DomainControllers, Database, SAN, Load Balancing and video streaming servers are concentrated in thisfacility. The Operations facility also contains the infrastructure to support FNU’s learningmanagement and student information systems; and ERP services.ICT infrastructure at Backup siteAs mentioned, the Backup is a warm-site facility that can take over within minutes in the event thatthe Operations facility fails. The backup site infrastructure mirrors the Operations facility.Wide Area Networks (WANs) at FNUCurrently, FNU supports its wide area network operations using a mesh topology of three (3)Layer2 VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Service) point-to-point circuits. This mesh guaranteesredundancy between the Headquarters, Operations (Data Centre), and Backup sites.Each regional and metropolitan campus is also redundantly connected to the major facilities (links toHeadquarters, Operations and Backup respectively) via Frame Relay permanent virtual circuits (PVC).
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