Evaluate the benefits of upgrading software

Assessment Task

Network Software and Security

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As a member of Small Business Intranet’s task management group, you have successfully completed a basic domain controller in Assessment Task using Windows 2003/2008 Server. This server is to be used as an evaluation tool to help management decide the best possible replacement for the company’s existing domain controller. If you have not completed Assessment Task, please contact your facilitator for further instructions.

This assessment requires you to continue refining the domain controller created in Assessment Task 1. In order to fully evaluate the benefits of a domain controller in Windows 2003/2008, you will be asked to configure the domain controller with the needs of Small Business Intranet, in terms of application software, usability and security.

Before starting this process, please ensure that you have a complete backup (ghost image etc.) of your domain controller. The Windows 2003 or 2008 server will be referred to as a Windows 200X server in the following sections.

Resources you will need:

• Computer capable of running Windows 200X server and operating system software. It should be set up as a Windows 200X server configured with Active Directory, DNS, DHCP and Terminal Services (Administration mode). The server build from Assessment Task 1 is preferable.

• Network cards, cables and modem (for internet access).

• Computer capable of running Windows 2000 Professional or XP Professional and operating system software.

• Windows 200X build disk and service pack 1 available from Martin College.

• Norton’s ghost (or similar product) to enable you to regularly backup your system. (Not available from Martin College.)

• Windows 200X server text (your choice) and internet access.

You will need to complete the following tasks:

1. Research client requirements – application software

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to examine a business’ requirements for application software and recommend appropriate software solutions.

Small Business Intranet is suffering from the use of an out-dated application software package. Office 95 is no longer supported by Microsoft and cannot handle new data types such as embedded video or web content. Its ability to transfer data to other applications is also limited. Management has requested information about what recommendations you have for a new replacement application software. It should include word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software. They would like to add assessment management software to the network in any software upgrade.

You are to:

• Research the requirements of Small Business Intranet for an application software suite. Small Business Intranet currently uses Microsoft Office 95. All information regarding Small Business Intranet’s current system requirements can be extrapolated from WITSIM IT operational plan.

• Evaluate two possible replacement packages, one of which should be an upgrade to the current version of Microsoft Office.

• Evaluate the benefits of upgrading software as opposed to starting with a new produce line.

• Create a report containing your evaluation. This should have an overview of the purpose of the report, a brief (one page each) summary of the two best current application software packages and a recommendation as to which would be best suited for Small Business Intranet.

Additional information may be attached as appendices to the report. The report should include details related to the package’s cost, supplier, after sales support (and cost) and the installation requirements for the host computer.

2. Corporate purchasing procedures – purchase orders

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to research the licensing and purchase details of a software package(s).

You are to:

• Select the most appropriate software reseller to source the application suite recommended in task 1.

• Investigate what licences are available and which is the most appropriate licence for the software.

• Price the total software purchase cost for Small Business Intranet.

• Create a memo detailing this information and requesting approval for the purchase to proceed.

• Create a purchase order that follows the purchasing guidelines and procedures in Small Business Intranet’s IT Operational Plan. The purchase order must follow the Small Business Intranet procedures related to purchasing items.

3. System utilities – system monitor

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to use system monitoring tools to determine the system load of business processes.

You are to:

• Install the network monitoring service on your domain controller. Alternatively, many third party software products exists that will capture the performance of the host computer under working conditions.

4. Software deployment – planning

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to research, plan and document impending system changes based upon an approved system change request.

You have received authorisation for the deployment of the new application software package(s). The authorisation requires you to make every attempt to minimise the impact of the software deployment on the staff.

You are to:

• Examine the application software package to see what tools are supplied by the manufacturer to support the remote installation of application software across a network.

• Examine your operating system for tools which support the remote installation of application software across the network.

• Examine any third-party software distribution tools which support the remote installation of application software across the network.

• Determine the best method for deploying the application software package across the network.

• Determine the best method for restoring the system in the event of deployment failure.

• Document your findings about the most appropriate distribution method in a memo, including your justification and information resources.

5. Software deployment – implementation

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to deploy software over a network with minimal disruption to clients.

You are to:

• Using the deployment strategy decided on in task 4, prepare a procedure for the deployment of software across the Small Business Intranet network. This procedure must include actions to be taken to restore the current configuration should the deployment fail.

• Using the test unit OU and test user account in your Active Directory structure from Assessment Task 1, deploy the software according to your procedure.

• Test the installation by logging in as the test user.

• While installing, record the time taken, network traffic generated and server CPU utilisation during the installation process for the test user.

• Using the resource information gathered from the single user installation, determine the system’s capacity to deploy this software with minimal impact upon other users. This information can then be used to estimate the network resource requirements of rolling out this software to the company’s employees.

• Produce a memo recommending a software deployment schedule for the entire company for both the client operating installation and application software deployment. It should state any bandwidth, server utilisation and time implications.

6. User training – application software

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to research and recommend appropriate staff training for new technologies.

You are to:

• Research the most appropriate update training program for employees of Small Business Intranet who need to update their skills for the new software package.

• Identify the most appropriate and cost effective provider of the training program.

• Design an evaluation questionnaire that could be completed by staff members at the end of any training program. Information from this could be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the training package.

• Produce a memo outlining your training recommendations, complete with information on the training program, the preferred training supplier and the expected cost of the program.

7. Technical training and documentation – change management procedure for software deployment

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to manage, inform and demonstrate system changes.

You are to:

• Produce a small memo/email alerting users to the pending software deployment and the procedures they are required to follow during the installation.

• Document the software deployment procedure for other technical IT staff to follow during the companywide software deployment.

• Demonstrate the deployment procedure for other technical IT staff who may have to implement this in the future.

8. User configuration – user account restrictions

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to ensure that user accounts meet business security requirements.

You are to:

• Ensure that the test user account meets the requirements set out in the IT Operational Plan. In particular, ensure that:

i. The test user account details match the requirements in the Network Security – User Accounts section. ii. The account’s roaming profile matches the requirements in the Client Computer Configuration section. iii. The group policy for the test OU matches the requirements in the Network Security – User Accounts section. iv. The login script for the Test OU matches the requirements in the Network Security – Login Scripts section.

• Modify the default user profile to hold a copy of the test user profile, which should match the requirements of Small Business Intranet. To test that it works, create a new user who should inherit the profile.

• Enable system wide auditing of Logon events as required by the Network Security – User Accounts section of the IT Operational Plan.

• Enable encryption of data on the test user’s home folder.

9. Group policy – user access restrictions

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to create group policy objects which limit the users’ access to the system according to the employers requirements.

You are to create a group policy for the test OU that:

• Redirects users’ My Documents folder to their home directory on the server for all members of the OU.

• Hides the control panel and prevents browsing the network through My Network Places for all members of the OU.

Test this policy using the test user account created in Assessment Task 1. When satisfied, apply to the Administration and Accounting OUs only.

10. Operating system security – security analysis

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to access independent security analysis tools to evaluate equipment in the network.

You are to:

• Obtain Microsoft documentation on default NTFS permissions, security groups and/or group policies for your operating system version. This can be accessed from the site http://support.microsoft.com/gp/hublist by selecting the appropriate operating system. Search the site for the required information.

• Run/download OS vendor security diagnosis tools such as Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser (MSBA) available from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/default.asp.

• Run/download third party security diagnosis tools which examine the security settings of your server. This may include http://scan.sygate.com/. Check your system against a number of such third party security checks.

• Write a brief memo summarising to management any updates that your server would require.

11. Operating system security – upgrades

This task allows you to demonstrate your ability to update your system’s security, based upon the manufacturer’s recommendations.

You are to:

• Solve any problems with your domain controller, raised in your memo (task 10). This may involve the modification of group policies, user accounts or the installation of the service packs. Document all changes made for future reference. Rerun the MSBA tool to view the effect of these changes.

• Identify the latest security patches for Windows 2008 server from the Microsoft site at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com or alternatively, visit the Microsoft download centre. Record the names and sizes of these patches PRIOR to installing them.

• Configure your server to automatically update from the internet or other update source.

12. Demonstration – presentation

Demonstrate the work done in this assessment to your facilitator and other students. This demonstration should consist of:

• A practical demonstration of work done during each of the tasks completed in the assessment.

• A presentation of the main security weaknesses of your domain controller (task 10) and the corrective action taken to address each issue task.

The presentation itself is not assessable, but the quality of your domain controller configuration and your depth of knowledge will contribute to the marks allocated for each task.

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