Thomas Gutierrez, Jon Hill, Daniel Patrick & Kevin Smith

The following report discusses the network system of St. Pius High School. Many observations and recommendations are discussed further in the following report. The recommendations and analysis are based on our understanding of network administration, and the processes/procedures and equipment the school is utilizing, based on their network framework.
St. Pius High School 5301 St. Joseph’s Dr. Albuquerque, NM 87120 MGT. 647 Network Administrations 5/2/2012

Pius High School .Table of Contents Overview _____________________________________________________________________ 3 Description and History of the Organization _________________________________________ 4 Current State & Analysis of Network _______________________________________________ 5 Future State & Recommendations of Network _______________________________________ 9 Estimate of Costs and Implementation_____________________________________________ 12 2 Network Analysis | St.

Pius. Tapscott spent the better part of a morning answering questions and giving us an overview of the operational and technical details of the school’s network. like many schools. Pius regarding this project and were put in contact with Mary Frances Tapscott. Pius is in a unique situation because it is a small. and future growth based on stated needs and our recommendations for best practices. After reviewing and discussing the current state of the internal network infrastructure for St. In the case of St. and recommendations we feel are applicable to the school’s current and future need. Pius. and its established business processes. Pius High School . stabilization. Their budget. the Technology Director for St. Every aspect of the IT division at St. Pius is managed. 3 Network Analysis | St. St. with a mix of in-house IT and outside consulting support. is constrained by its budget. This document will be a review of our discussions with Mary Frances Tapscott and the few staff we talked to. private organization.Overview We approached a staff member at St. Pius High School. all funds are based on tuition with little to no outside sources. our analysis of the network. delegated and authorized within the school while also abiding by policies that are set by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. we have determined that the school’s network is in relatively good shape with some recommendation for improvement. Ms.

All computers were desktops using a Windows operating system. Pius is one of the few private high schools in Albuquerque and the only Roman Catholic high school.000 per year. File sharing was done through the employee’s workgroups and with the use of emails. they operate independently from any other organization. but in regards to their technology. and some hours before and after class hours for study sessions are available when needed. Pius’s founding it has thrived and developed into an institution that prides itself on having a reputation of providing scholastic and athletic excellence and producing quality graduates that go on to college and leadership roles. They operate under the guidelines of the New Mexico Arch Diocese. St. 4 Network Analysis | St. There were no real security policies in place at this time besides the built in windows firewalls. connected to the internet via Cat5. vice principle. and business management for the rest of the employees.000 and $12. The school operates on a typical traditional school schedule where students and staff attend Monday through Friday with classes in session from 8 am to 3 pm. The school has one location at 5301 St. Tuition to attend is roughly between $9. Joseph’s Drive in Albuquerque. There are approximately 120 full time employees at the school serving 800 students. Since St. and ran Microsoft Office Suite. including the Arch Diocese. Pius High School . Pius was founded in 1965 as a co-educational Catholic high school providing college preparatory education to students in the 9th to 12th grades. The system St.Description and History of the Organization St. which was formerly the location of the University of Albuquerque. Pius used before their current one was based on using workgroups to join computers together and not an Active Directory Server. There are no executives or owners but instead there is the typical school structure of a principle.

The bulk of the computer usage by students is access to the internet and creation of office documents for class work. The servers run Windows 2008 with active 5 Network Analysis | St. The servers are all HP with varying specifications. There is some wireless access. The network infrastructure is comprised of a number of technologies from fiber transceivers. There are some laptop systems as well. All workstations are wired with Category 5 cable.Before upgrading to the current system St.X class B network. Current State & Analysis of Network St.X. Pius is using. The ones we saw in the classrooms and libraries are a standard configuration but are not major manufacturer systems. They needed a system that had less security vulnerabilities and was more flexible and up to date. The desktops are all running Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003.16. Pius High School . The servers are stored in two locations with some services split between both for redundancy and availability. Pius supports an estimated 920 users on its computer network. and higher end 100mb managed switches. their workgroup approach to networking had accomplished the basics of their needs but the basics was not enough. This led them to upgrading to their current network configuration. The network is configured with a non-routable 172. There are 10-15 servers available. There is at least one system that is intended to be used as a replacement in case another system goes down. not all of which are in use. We were unable to test these connections during our site visit but it is our guess that they are 100Mb based on the transceivers we observed in the server room. each connected to the others via fiber optic connections. small network devices (4-8 port switches). The campus is comprised of multiple buildings. There are roughly 350 workstations joined to the schools AD domain. but it is confined to a very limited area and is currently considered a test network and not a fully functional network.

There are a number of security technologies in place to protect the network and restrict access to content both on the local computer and access to the internet. We also were unable to view any update systems running on the desktops. There is a LightSpeed content filter that is designed specifically for educational environments. GPO’s are not being used so there are some concerns about client configuration and management. The systems also use script logic for systems management as well. We would suggest making sure WSUS is running on the servers to push updates to the desktop computers. The software appears to perform many of the same features of group policy settings. and staff accounts. The desktops are protected by Fortress software which has an established presence in libraries and schools. The combination of systems is likely based on legacy needs and the software has simply been maintained as other options have become available. Pius High School . The responsibility of network management is split between Mary Frances Tapscott. If there is not a Antivirus software installed or running we would definitely suggest adding that. Pius’s technology coordinator.directory and an OU created for each class by graduation year. We were told that the servers all have redundancy of some form in the disk subsystems. and J&J Technical Services. Mary Frances manages the day to day 6 Network Analysis | St. St. but we were not able to verify any of this information as we did not have access to the actual systems. There are two Sonic Wall devices at the network perimeter to filter network traffic in and out. but at this time we cannot make that conclusion. We noticed no Antivirus information on computers but because we were unable to dig into the workings of the proprietary software used on the systems this item could be taken care of within one of those.

Backups are performed at least daily from what we could verify. and redundancy between the two server location all provide a decent level of fault tolerance. fault tolerant disk systems. The multiple backups (which are stored in multiple sites through the United States). If a client system goes down. Because there are no performance intensive uses of the desktop systems. Local backups to external hard drives and off-site backups managed by a third party and managed by J&J. This can only take place if the hardware is available and if the machine is of the same make and model of the current image done through Symantec. Pius High School . Because the systems are managed with Symantec each template is built for the specific hardware. Because there are very few servers and each performs a specific task. but are unclear if they are incremental or differential. Because of this process the time to create a new deployment for a machine is time consuming because of the hardware specific aspect.needs of users and performs account management and J&J is used for infrastructure management. there is no server deployment in place. there are replacements waiting that can be installed and installed using the base image. a standard configuration based on generic hardware is suitable for their needs. There are two forms of backup implemented on the system. Desktops are managed using standardized windows images deployed with Symantec. Data that is used by faculty and staff is stored on the server and shared out via standard windows shares and mapped drives. 7 Network Analysis | St. It takes 30 minutes or more to image a system if a new system needs to be installed.

and general information for students. a company specializing in websites portals for education environments. This website is strictly a public website for informational purposes only and does not house any sensitive data for students or faculty. and attendance. Mary Frances stated that she believed it would take in upwards of a day to recovery a server if it were to fail. athletics information. The school does host its own website onsite. Edline can also be used as a communication tool for staff or faculty to contact parents via email about changes or notices taking place at the school. Edline. parents. But this recover process does not take into account if there is replacement hardware on hand. Unfortunately there are also some systems that are heavily relied on for day to day operation and there is not enough redundancy in the service provided that they could continue to access those critical services. The site provides calendar. is used for handling all pertinent student information. and staff. Students and parents have access to this public website from any device that has a internet connection. 8 Network Analysis | St. Pius High School .The backups are bare-metal backups such that if a system fails it can be restored to a new system. faculty. It is also updated with academic information and school events. This is the primary area we will focus our recommendations given new technologies available and unused systems available. This includes grades. homework.

we feel that technical as well as business policy related practices could improve the over functionality of the network. With currently 3 times as many different exploits available on a Windows XP machine compared to Windows 7. the security of the system and the information stored on the system is at risk. They would like to make use of Group Policy (GP) and other deployment services. The current IT Chair knows little about the configuration of the servers. It is also our recommendation that 9 Network Analysis | St. As we have learned firsthand with our GPO lab that the proper implementation of GP can help with managing users and applications available to those users. Utilizing GP will help them to manage their applications and information to be more effective and efficient.Future State & Recommendations of Network Due to the sensitivity of the information stored on the computers and the knowledge base of the users of the computers systems at ST. but the sooner it happens the better for the overall system. It is also recommended that the first thing that happens within the high school is to migrate the entire network system to Windows 7 SP1 OS machines. Currently AD is only used as a monitoring tool where it could be used along with GP to eliminate the need of the outside software Script Logic and Fortress. With the support of Windows XP ending in April 2014 the upgrade is inevitable. Pius High School . Group Policy needs to be implemented across network to fully utilize the benefits of the Active Directory that is in place. we recommend that this person becoming more aware of the exact architecture of the servers or bringing in a part time IT technician to know how the servers are operated. Pius High School.

Creating a central site for the storage and retrieval of documents could streamline many processes at St. They currently have enough space to house additional servers if needed. This process is cumbersome and antiquated for the population of the users that need access to documents. maintenance. Pius High School . 10 Network Analysis | St. If the SPXAdmin machine was to fail there would be no alternate server to takes it place. We would also recommend a SharePoint site (or something similar to it) to be installed and managed. Some of the current severs being utilized are at their end of life state and will hopefully be replaced soon. Virtualization with Blade server technology can also be used to increase performance.additional servers be brought into use for the redundancy of key elements at the school the SPXAdmin and SPXStudent have only backup of the data available but no actual backup to the hardware. Virtual machines are where most companies seem to be heading. each VM may show unstable performance. Some advantages to running virtual machines are: Multiple OS environments can co-exist on the same computer. high availability and disaster recovery. Currently all documents are stored in folders that are accessed via shared drive mapping. Some disadvantages are: Less efficient than a real machine when accessing hardware directly. application provisioning. but because they have already implemented virtual servers we recommend that they continue on that path. There are several ways to implement the utilization of Virtual Machines and virtual software making businesses more efficient. Pius. and as we know from the VLAB at UNM when multiple VM’s are concurrently running on the same physical host.

This expansion of more users. we think it would be important for the school to step up its communication efforts with staff and student population. They have protected as much as they can with the lack of resources provided. etc. This all depends on the amount of growth the school sees in the future. In order to accomplish this. and other implementations will require more resources. routers. and data are all fault tolerant but. It can be difficult to expand with current economic instability. This will require greater network bandwidth and tighter network security to handle the support of outside devices. servers. The high school cannot know for sure how much growth they will see so there is only talk about certain steps forward. For example. not as much as it should be. Network. they have been considering adding a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative to the school. They try to implement the most of the latest fault tolerance tools in the industry to keep maintaining their backups. They have considered that they will need more ports. Pius High School . Lastly. Fault tolerance is very important in any business. and envelope more fault tolerance for the department. The use of virtual software will help trick the memory of its servers. Currently their support is small and again on a one on one basis using a manual process. A better understanding of who owns what processes would greatly help with problem resolution and overall operations. a clear agreement will have to be developed to identify all processes and who ultimately is responsible 11 Network Analysis | St. switches. routers. We feel the redundancy built in to the system is adequate so long as it is maintained as the network grows. With expansion of the network they will look at utilizing more industry defined practices and currently do not have the personnel to maintain this area to where they would like it to be.

Depending on physical DVDs and time-frame this subscription can range anywhere from $499 to $1437 dollars according to Microsoft DreamSpark site per year. With the DreamSpark premium subscription the operating systems for the workstations and laptops could be upgraded to at the latest Microsoft operating systems.for the work encompassed within those processes. which is currently Windows 7 Service Pack 1. This would allow the needed upgrade of XP to Windows 7 on all school systems. We believe that if a proper base image is done on a base machine using the current Microsoft Sysprep that is available for free one standard image can be created in approximately 30 hours. Pius would be to purchase a subscription to Microsoft DreamSpark. Estimate of Costs and Implementation The first thing we would like to implement at St. This process should take an additional 30 hours if proper inventory is 12 Network Analysis | St. Pius High School . This will give network administrators a better understanding of what is in place and what is missing from having a more function network design. This could be done during off hours or in the summer time frame as the time frame would be perfect and would not have to fit into a certain schedule as the whole summer would be available. Implementation of this service would just require time and patience as all workstations and laptops would need to be added and upgraded. The cost of this subscription starts at $499 US for electronic delivery for 1 year. Having a solid work structure in place will also allow for better customer service. The pricing options and use of actual physical DVDs will increase that price. Once that base image is created additional drivers would be needed to add to the base image for additional machines that are not of the same make and model of the master machine.

Pius is already comfortable dealing with. We feel that since J&J is already under contract with St. problems such as the network bounce.available to know the different machines and hardware that are spread among the school. but based on the audit and recommendation St. Pius. The cost here is around $628 dollars per server that R2 is installed on. St. this problem should be looked into further and tests run to make sure this is not a common practice. This would not only make use of a current contract. Whatever the reason is. Once these two items are done all computer systems could be re-imaged with a base image that would include all the proper software that faculty and staff needed within a period of 160 hours. The one discouraging aspect of this network bounce was that Mary Francis did not see it as a issue when the network bounced. J&J is the current outside contractor that is working with St. Pius could decide how the want to proceed. but would employ someone that St. From the total 10 servers 13 Network Analysis | St. Pius High School . but adding the Windows Server R2 Standard with server virtualization would allow for even more redundancy within the network. or it could turn out to be a issue that is beyond their control (issue from provider). and congestion could be looked into. This either implies that St. Pius needs to look into this to make sure it is resolved and the issue is in front of J&J. slow speeds. When we were on site completing our physical assessment we did notice a network outage for a short period of time. The cost of course is not set. The servers are already running Windows Server 2008. J&J should come out and preform their own audit. Pius has gotten use to this or the network is not used enough to notice this small bounce. During the course of this audit. Pius. This network bounce could be the start of a large issue that is looming.

This would also give real time recovery from the virtual servers. Pius High School . Pius network. Pius as during the install training and usage mechanics of GPO’s could be taught. Once this is completed the maintenance and upkeep could be done by St. This would require the hiring of a temporary system administrator to come in and set up a current GPO system. the cost of the upgrade here is about $6280 dollars for all servers. With a total cost of around of around $16. The cost here would range from $50 to $100 dollars an hour for the system administrator to implement a solution. No one on staff at St. Pius employee has a brief training on WSUS and the benefits of it to make sure that it is completely operational and operating within the guidelines that the school needs it to operate within.000 dollars this would be a great start for an increased security presence and redundancy for the St. Once these items are completed we would recommend that a St. something that is not currently in place.that are running this network. not including labor. or renegotiating a contract with J&J. Pius should move from the legacy software that they are using in the form of Fortress and Script Logic and move into Group Policy Deployment. Pius knows about GPOs and the way they work. Finally we would like St. With all the AD cleanup and basic understanding of the system this would entail a final cost of around $8000 dollars or 80 actual hours of work would be needed. As stated this would bring the school forward in server technology and also give an added state of redundancy that would be an additional gain to the current onsite and off-site backups that are already in place. We are not factoring in labor of current employees because they are already paid staff members and this would just 14 Network Analysis | St.

Pius High School . This is a lot of money for a tuition driven school. but for the headaches and time spent in the long term plans of the network it is worth every dollar spent.require a shift of duties. 15 Network Analysis | St.

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