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340 Case Study

In: Computers and Technology

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Solutions to an Expanding Business: The Story of AΩ TechInc

Abstract
Alpha Omega Technical Industries (ΑΩ TechInd) has come to the point where substantial company growth has caused them to be extended well beyond their headquarters located in Los Angeles, California. The growth of ΑΩ TechInd has landed them in a position to where they need to serve numerous divisions positioned around the globe. Technical and network issues such as; data storage, access, and security are areas that AΩ TechInd must address in order for their industry to be able to support their growth. The purpose of this paper will provide details in order to reach a solution on an ever growing demand of storage requirements for ΑΩ TechInd.

Solutions to an Expanding Business: The Story of AΩ TechInc A network can be defined as “a group of two or more computers which are connected in such a way that they can exchange information (or share data) with one another” (Strong, Heer, and Lane, 2012). Since the creation of ΑΩ TechInd, the business has reached high levels of success and is worldwide renowned. ΑΩ TechInd also supports numerous divisions in many cities around the globe such as; Miami, Frankfort, Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, and Shanghai. Because of the major growth that ΑΩ TechInd had achieved, the business’s network in return must also expand in order to sustain the transactions of data and support other information that may occur on a day to day basis. In order for ΑΩ TechInd to meet business demands and to run efficiently between all divisions and their clients, issues such as; storage, security and transactions must be applied to the current network.
Existing Network Set-up The corporate office of ΑΩ TechInd is located in Los Angeles, California. It is in this location that the business’s main file server is allocated. Right now, the primary functions of the business’s single file server is accomplished by a dedicated workstation operating Windows Server 2008 R2. Inside of this single workstation are twin 1 terabyte (TB) hard drives functioning in RAID 1 (Redundant array of Independent disk). However, the location of the server room that houses this terminal does not meet the criteria to store secured information. Full backups of the network are implemented on a weekly basis and kept together with the server in the server room. Network management is controlled through directory services delivered by Active Directory. To make certain that high accessibility of all the information obtained, the file server must run on a platform with a substantial volume of computing and stowing ability.
Data Storage In order for ΑΩ TechInd to remain successful in a growing business, the company will need to be able to store all files linking contract transactions seamlessly. Continuous growth will also cause the company to pull additional resources in order to aid excessive amounts of data that is created by the personnel and their respective clients. Held at the company headquarters, a file server will be sourced to retain all said data from personal and clients. For redundancy, a devoted backup service will provide daily and weekly backups of everything saved on the server. The data the will be stored on the file server will need to encompass several 1 TB hard drives. These hard drives will be operating under RAID 1 configuration because it is an exceptional option that delivers the emulation of data. Other key factors that RAID 1 provides is that it can deliver heightened performance and support features of fault tolerance. It is important that the information will be saved to both disks at the same time because say for example one the hard drive fails, as a contingency the second hard drive will contain a precise duplicate. Fault tolerance delivered through the application of RAID is not a replacement for routine data backups. An assortment of different types of backups will significantly reduce the loss of data in the occurrence of a disaster. Windows Server Backup is a program that that is offered by Windows Server 2008 R2 and it has the ability to routinely backup data centered on detailed factors. For disaster backup, Windows Server Backup has the capability to implement offsite removal of backups and allows saved data written on several disks to be transported to an alternate location. When it comes to storing your back up data, there are many options to choose from. Data has the ability to be stored on different medias such as tape drives, removable media (thumb drives), and an abundant of other options.
Securing Data Like most of your larger companies that deal with client accounts, ΑΩ TechInd’s must be able to provide a secure file server in order to protect the information they have saved. In most cases, files that are saved contain very important data to the company as well as their respective clients. A couple of ways that ΑΩ TechInd can enhance the way they secure the files is implementing heightened physical and digital security. If overlooked, it is possible that transaction files may be compromised that would hold ΑΩ TechInd accountable for the loss of clients and profits. Implementation of physical security is an easy way to safeguard confidential information. In order for AΩ TechInc to certify that their hardware components were free from the possibility of unauthorized access, the business would take steps to designate a server room to store them. The room that has been identified to store these files would need to be secured, allowing only authorized staff to access the area. There are many methods in implementing a sophisticated physical security plan to an area. Approaches to physical security that AΩ TechInd should consider would be the use of; biometrics, video surveillance, Common Access Cards (CAC), key pad, and something as simple as a lock and key. Physical security is best used when you have one or more methods in practice to access a secured area. In addition to securing the room, the physical server must also be secured. It should also be said that the actual server itself should also be secured. In order to keep hard drives from being compromised or even stolen, the server must be fixed within a rack and fortified by some sort securing device. Privacy of data saved to the hard drives should be focused on as well. An easy way to ensure that the data saved on the files are not being compromised is by adding password protection. Not only should data files be password protected but a Discretionary Access Control (DAC) needs to be in place to provide the author of any files authority to regulate access via the Access Control Lists (ACLs). This will ensure that only authorized personnel that are identified on the ACL will have access to open and read the file. It should also become standard practice that all personnel have to sign all forms with a Common Access Card.
Data Exchange In order to reduce the amount of network traffic cause by reading and writing files that are stored on a remote file server, AΩ TechInd can implement BranchCache. BranchCache will be intended to decrease WAN bandwidth and increase application awareness for the divisions who access files from their servers in remote locations. BranchCache has the ability to function on distributed cache mode or hosted cache mode. All divisions of AΩ TechInd would be responsible for supporting need a BranchCache enabled server. This will make it easier for the clients who desire a file contained at the company headquarters. Once the request has been placed, the division’s corresponding server will cache the data. Since the data will be stored on the divisions cache following that initial request, if the client wants to return to the file or another client within the same division needs to access it they will be able to access with ease. Windows Server 2008 R2 has the ability to ensure that auditing function is enabled. The purpose of auditing will document various data about a file once it is created such as; when it was created, who has accessed the file, when or who modified the file, or when or who deleted the file. One issue that can arise from multiple users accessing the same files is the creation and editing of files, causing file concurrency. In order to keep file concurrency from being a problem, file locking must be applied allowing only one user to edit or change files at a time. ΑΩ TechInd must make several adjustments in order to support the demand of a growing business. As the business grows, it is recommended that the procedures utilized to store, secure, and exchange information must be changed. A complete over haul of the hardware running AΩ TechInd’s main file storage server must be able to handle additional storage capacity and processing ability. Physical security will also need to be enhanced to ensure all files are secure and have a lower possibility of being corrupted. Finally, the implementation of BranchCache will need to be enabled on all servers with in the company to reduce the stress and lower bandwidth caused by all divisions sharing the same files within the network.

References
Strong, T., Heer, I., & Lane, S. (2012). Local area networks (LANs): Student guide. (7.0 ed.). Tempe, AZ: Certification Partners, LLC.

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