CS-75 Intranet Administration July – Dec 2011

Question 1: What is the need to develop an intranet based system when internet based system is possible? Explain with an example. (10 Marks)

Security - allows files to be accessed internally without the added risks from The Internet. Reliability - means a network is still in place if the Internet connection goes down. Cost - means they only need one Internet connection, which everyone can use. Multiple workers and locations working on a project that needs to be updated to each. Sensitive info and inter-office correspondence, like billing, financial departments, research and development.. To share information internally that is not appropriate for public consumption.

Question 2: What is an Extranet? How does it differ from Intranet and Internet? (5 Marks)

An "intranet" is the generic term for a collection of private computer networks within an organization. An "extranet" is a computer network that allows controlled access from the outside for specific business or educational purposes. Intranets and extranets are communication tools designed to enable easy information sharing within workgroups. An extranet is a computer network that allows controlled access from the outside, for specific business or educational purposes. An extranet can be viewed as an extension of a company's intranet that is extended to users outside the company, usually partners, vendors, and suppliers. It has also been described as a "state of mind" in which the Internet is perceived as a way to do business with a selected set of other companies (business-tobusiness, B2B), in isolation from all other Internet users. In contrast, business-to-consumer (B2C) models involve known servers of one or more companies, communicating with previously unknown consumer users. An extranet is like a DMZ in that it provides access to needed services for channel partners, without granting access to an organization's entire network. An extranet can be understood as an intranet mapped onto the public Internet or some other transmission system not accessible to the general public, but managed by more than one company's administrator(s). For example, military networks of different security levels may map onto a common military radio transmission system that never connects to the Internet. Any private network mapped onto a public one is a virtual private network (VPN), often using special security protocols.

Justify your answer.For decades. it is very similar to the functions of the normal Internet except it is used for organizations and businesses. . however. except the content and data that is transmitted and received occurs internally While the idea of setting up an intranet can sound simple.. software. hardware. encryption of messages. Following are the most basic steps in setting up an intranet. is that its interconnections are over a shared network rather than through dedicated physical lines. the issuance and use of digital certificates or similar means of user authentication. employee training costs). These can include firewalls. server management. One of the differences that characterizes an extranet. institutions have been interconnecting to each other to create private networks for sharing information. if hosted internally rather than by an application service provider. depending on your organizations size it can be a daunting task.g. (10 Marks) Answer: Improve An intranet is an internal or restricted access network. • Question 3: What are hardware and software requirements to set up Intranet? Are there any better alternatives to Intranet. such as an online banking application managed by one company on behalf of affiliated banks [edit] Disadvantages • Extranets can be expensive to implement and maintain within an organization (e. and the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) that tunnel through the public network. Security of extranets can be a concern when hosting valuable or proprietary information. The intranet uses the same types of web technologies that the normal Internet (or extranet) uses. Advantages • • • • • Exchange large volumes of data using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Share product catalogs exclusively with trade partners Collaborate with other companies on joint development efforts Jointly develop and use training programs with other companies Provide or access services provided by one company to a group of other companies. An extranet requires network security.

Before you start constructing your intranet. you first have to build a network. Document share . web server software such as Apache or Microsoft IIS and either wifi connections and cards or Ethernet cables and a NIC.The client management function gives the administrator can control the intranet. Some of the essential web features that you will want to add are: Client management function . email address. make sure you know what you want to achieve with your intranet. fax. download drivers and updates and conduct searches for information that they are searching for. Intranet Software While you will usually have the server software on hand. Obviously the size of the organization will determine your specific needs and many organizations will already have all the necessary hardware and server software in place. title and some can even include an organizational chart. Employee directory . such as adding users.A great time saver is the ability for many people within an organization to collaborate on a project whether it is as basic as a mission statement or as complex as a budget.Please note that each organization's needs can/will be different. This can mean important documents such as reports or other types of documents such as health benefit materials.A great feature to have if you work within a work group or small organization is to know others schedules so that you can collaborate or .One of the most used features of any intranet is the employee directory. This usually requires a server. Shared Calendar . running an intranet means that individuals in your organization will access the intranet to find documents. many employees are always looking for contact info. whether it is a phone number. Hardware In order to have an intranet for your organization.Your organization will want to make available certain information for its members when they need it. Take the size and complexity of your organization into consideration and understand how the intranet can enhance your organizations productivity. Plan Your Intranet Implementing an intranet must fit your organization to be effective. removing users and keeping the intranet running smoothly. Project Management .

you can easily incorporate chat and video web conferencing. Company news . you will constantly need to update and maintain your intranet and change things from time to time. Building your intranet not only means putting all the hardware and software components together so that it works efficiently.know project time lines. but it also means that you make available the information and tools necessary for your organization members to use the intranet effectively. In addition. Chat and video web conferencing . While setting up an intranet can be a difficult challenge. have purchased all the necessary hardware and software. you can go about building your intranet.One of the ways that the organization can communicate with it's members is with company news Discussion Forums . Read more: http://wiki. for most organizations it has shown to give back a grea return on their investment.Since your intranet will have similar features as the normal Internet. Implement Your Intranet Now that you have extensively thought about and planned your intranet.answers.These forums are a great way to brainstorm ideas for upcoming projects or to figure out scheduling issues.com/Q/What_are_hardware_and_software_requirements_to_ set_up_Intranet#ixzz1YaNpmCQc Setting up an Intranet Setting up a secure and reliable intranet requires these components: * Web server (hardware and software) * Networked PCs * Firewall hardware and software * Content Management Software * Other Application software .

" the more redundancy needs to be built into the system [source: Intranet Journal]. it's smart to employ a backup server or even a networked server cluster that share responsibilities. For example. then you'll need a large. a company must first consider how critical the intranet will be for day-to-day operations. router Image courtesy of Netgear . it's OK to throw everything in the same box: Web server. The hardware you use for an intranet Web server depends on the intranet's size. applications and Web page content [source: Intranet Journal]. The more the intranet is used for "core business processes. If you're going to use your intranet to host streaming video to be accessed by thousands of employees at once. databases. the rest can still access the databases [source: Intranet Journal]. The most popular Web server software. Apache. In companies where employees rely more heavily on the intranet for Web-based business applications. finds the file and sends it off to the right computer. is free. the content to be published and the number of people accessing the intranet at any given time. if your intranet is text-only Web pages being accessed by five people. As for installing and configuring the Web server in a network. In those cases. A Web server is two things: hardware and software.[source: University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Sciences]. The server software handles all requests for files hosted on the server. The second most popular Web server software is Microsoft Internet Information Server. you don't need a powerful machine running your server software. dedicated server or cluster of servers with significant bandwidth. it's also smart to host databases on separate machines so that if one server goes down. In organizations where the intranet is a low-priority application.

Routers are needed to give employeers access to the intranet. A firewall is essential for intranet security. Firewalls stand between the outside Internet and the corporate intranet. Firefox or Safari. particularly if the intranet includes extranet extensions or allows remote login from outside of the corporate LAN [source: Intranet Journal].they're the gatekeepers. a project management tool or a comprehensive CRM tool like SAP or PeopleSoft. For creating. publishing and managing the content on the intranet. Other software can be loaded onto the intranet Web server or applications server as the company sees fit. their computers need to be connected to the organization's local area network (LAN). monitoring all incoming and outgoing data packets for unauthorized or suspicious requests [source: Vicomsoft]. What is an Intranet? . a Web-based application that makes it easy to create standardized Web content without having to know HTML or other programming languages [source: KM Column]. If you don't want to worry about setting up servers and installing software. You would access the intranet by logging into the service provider's Now let's take a look at the future of intranets. The CMS can be hosted on the Web server or on a separate applications server. most companies use a content management system (CMS). you could subscribe to a hosted intranet service where your intranet is hosted by a third-party for a monthly fee. This may include a Web-based conferencing application. Firewall hardware and software both accomplish the same thing -. For employees to access the intranet. These computers also need to have Web browser software like Internet Explorer.

one can find information about an organization that it might not wish to make known to the public at large. Employee newsletters Sales figures by unit Product/service information Internal product demos Tutorials Employee benefits information Access to the organization's data Project information warehouse Newswire clippings Software libraries Organization phone directory Conference room reservations Internal information libraries Subscription services Policies and procedures Sales support Technology support Competitive analysis Official travel guide Stock quote Performance tracking Surveillance Maps Conferencing Whiteboarding Job notices An Intranet can be used for just about anything that you could and would put online in your organization to share information and collaborate across boundaries. travel and expense reports. An Intranet provides opportunities for multimedia that internal corporate networks often do not. Some organizations have many Intranets set up by units collaborating across the unit but not across the organization. such as employee handbooks. They do not need an Intranet. organizations that open their Intranets to select groups outside of the organization use a different name to characterize their Intranets. An Intranet saves reproduction costs of paper-based information. job postings. It is less expensive. The tools to build an Intranet are the same that you use to build a Web page. An Intranet is available 24 hours day like any other network. The ability to hyperlink on an Intranet provides fast information access that other networks do not offer. Some organizations have internal networks that carry the information they need. Their Intranets do not have standards. The kind of information presented. Inside an Intranet web site. Some organizations have joined units into a coordinated Intranet that allows easy access to information outside of unit boundaries. and the way it is presented. Here are a few things that Intranets are used for. To confuse you further. . Why Use An Intranet? A few reasons: The Internet is built on a technology standard that everyone uses. They call them Extranets.The simplest definition is that an Intranet is the Internet used inside an organization and walled off from the rest of the Internet community. is disorganized. That is a blessing and curse.

If the organization is using the Intranet as a regular means of communicating. such as a newsletter or corporate magazine. If you have an excellent proprietary network that delivers the information you need. Who Uses an Intranet? Anyone in an organization with access to computer resources and the Internet can use an Intranet. If you need quick feedback from internal audiences. you don't need an Intranet.such as interactive multimedia. When Do I Use an Intranet? If you need rapid distribution of information and the Intranet provides you with access to most or all of your organization's individuals. An Intranet allows faster communication.Are there reasons not to use an Intranet? If you are a single location operation of modest size and you are well-served by internal communications. Increasingly. that is everybody. They ignore an Intranet in favor of other media. They still required information by paper memos. Culture. If it is less expensive to use an Intranet over developing a more traditional internal communication. If you are an organization that does not need to coordinate or communicate across unit boundaries. behavior and inertia enter into an individual's decision to use an Intranet. You will most likely encounter all three. you might not need an Intranet. If an Intranet provides you with opportunities for communicating that other media do not -. If the top of your organization needs/wants to speak interactively with the bottom of your organization no matter how dispersed it is geographically. it isn't. If you put an in Intranet. e-mail and voice mail. An Intranet is one more communications medium and tool that you can use to get your organization's message out internally. In reality. I am aware of a high-tech company that built a wonderful Web page with useful information. The senior executives of the firm never looked at the Internet. there is no need for an Intranet. Other groups used the Intranet heavily. promote its use as much as you would any other medium. wider distribution and greater efficiency than many printed and electronic media. Some individuals don't like to go on-line. How Does an Intranet Fit with Public Relations? Intranets complement or substitute most internal employee communications in use. An Intranet was lost on them. even if the media are less efficient. DESIGNING A CORPORATE INTRANET .

is the company’s private face where employees get their information and then get off and go back to work. An intranet is similar to the Internet but it is established for one distinct group of users and has security so that others outside the group do not have access to its contents. Intranets can result in higher productivity because of better access to quality information. Its appearance is simpler and more casual and it’s built for speed. printing and distribution. Spoolstra April 21. 1999 INTRODUCTION Most people know what the Internet is. BENEFITS OF HAVING A CORPORATE INTRANET Corporate intranets facilitate communication and access to information.by Jean C. They allow employees who might normally never meet to collaborate on projects. INTERNET The Internet is a public access network. INTRANET VS. A company’s Web page on the Internet is its public face and the company wants people to spend time looking at all of the information presented on it. They also allow reuse of existing information and can reduce the cost of information sourcing. This external site presents the image a company wants the world to see and it may be built for glamour. not glamour. secure. The corporate intranet. on the other hand. Both use the same types of hardware and software but they are used for two very different purposes. An intranet improves a company’s ability to manage its information and it can also streamline document distribution. They offer a different and exciting way for librarians to use their information organization and handling skills. Corporate intranets are a new and important area of involvement for corporate librarians. open to the world. with many graphics and special features. which is a corporate information network. reliable access to a company’s private information. and many use it both at home and at work. Intranets promote the sharing of knowledge and ideas and provide a single. Another type of network that is less well known but is becoming more important in the business world is the intranet. PROBLEMS WITH HAVING A CORPORATE INTRANET Often the biggest problem when creating a corporate .

hire outside consultants to get the project started and then train library staff to handle the tasks after implementation. The approach to information management on an intranet is open and egalitarian and many people are more comfortable with a traditional structured approach. and access to users. Another problem is convincing people within the company to share their knowledge. and sell them on the idea. 6. The IT department can help with the hardware and software issues. If needed. If it doesn’t help the organization to function better it shouldn’t be created.intranet is convincing management that no corporate secrets will be disclosed to the public. information access. Have a clear idea of the expected costs and the work to be done. HOW TO GET STARTED Creating a corporate intranet may look easy at first. 5. 2. Lastly. If the company has a network in place. Once they are convinced of the intranet’s usefulness. build a prototype. 3. They can help in dealing with funding. Establish a vision for the intranet and write it down. Educate everyone in the company on how to use the . turf wars. 1. Management must know that security is in place (using firewall software) to keep the data safe from the outside world. there is the need for extra funding and staffing for the intranet and this may meet with resistance from management. The intranet must be tied to a business purpose. but it involves a number of steps to follow if it is going to be successful. If departments are allowed to publish documents on the company intranet there may also be a problem with the question of ownership. Identify a key user group. only a Web server and the appropriate software will need to be added. Leverage the equipment and talent already in the corporation. this group can be used to sell the idea to others. Get the support of senior level management. if possible. keep it in place to handle issues as the intranet grows. 4. Set up a committee to decide on the contents of the intranet and.

or to go to a completely different document. 7. If it is not maintained it will die. (See Appendix for a listing of representative software. software. Browser software allows the use of hyperlinks to go from one place to another in a document. The server is a high-speed computer with a large hard disk capacity. After the intranet it is in place. collaboration and conferencing. fiberoptic cables. a Web developer and an information designer will be needed. training and salaries for staff. HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE FOR THE INTRANET A client/server network is the first component needed for a corporate intranet. It contains the network operating system which is the software required to run the network. microwaves or satellites (if they are on a wide area network or WAN). both of whom should be part of the library staff. People will also be needed to . authoring and publishing documents. Remember that a corporate intranet must be maintained and grown by investing in hardware. Web software allows the server to support HTTP so it can exchange information with the clients. and document management access.) Firewall software will provide the security needed to protect corporate information from the outside world. Some companies consider it a cost of doing business while others fund it on a value-based allocation. Firewall and browser software will also need to be on this server. Remember that there will be on-going operating expenses which will usually be greater than the initial expense of setting up the intranet.intranet and also on the benefits it will provide. The clients are computers (PCs) that are connected with high-speed cables (if they are on a local area network or LAN) or by telephone wires. These three are the basic software packages needed for a corporate intranet. (HTTP is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol and is the dominant Internet protocol. This server can also be your Web server if it contains the Web software.) FUNDING AND STAFFING Funding for the corporate intranet can be based on different criteria. A corporate intranet often involves new staffing and consultants may be needed to get the project started. but other functions can be provided by adding software for Internet access and searching. database archive and retrieval.

Security policies must be in place to dictate who has access to what information. All of this is necessary to ensure the livelihood of the corporation isn’t threatened. Return-on-investment can be quite substantial. and how much information they can get. communicated. Security policies must be written down. There should also be links to various departments within the company. the technical reports database. The corporation must also budget for maintaining the intranet and this will usually cost more than what was spent on start-up as it will involve salaries for new staff and possibly more hardware and software as the intranet grows. when they can get the information.000 and $150.000 to $4. and a ‘borrow this book’ button for material to be checked out and put into an internal delivery system to forward to the user. a news release database. and help pages. HOW TO DESIGN THE INTRANET The corporate library should set up a central Web page where users can start on their search for information. SECURITY Security is very important. such as human resources (for benefits and job openings). and to other departments who wish to publish . depending on the size of the corporation. It should have links to the book catalog database. The page can also have a request form for the librarian to conduct online searches of fee-based databases.train employees in using the intranet and this can be done by staff from the library or from human resources. over 1 to 2 years. maintained. Firewall software provides the security mechanisms the intranet will need. Conservative figures place the payback at a low of 23% to a high of 88%. but it also increases its vulnerability and exposure. and constantly monitored. the journal catalog (both print and digital). COSTS AND ROI A corporate intranet can cost very little (from $3. Costs will be reduced in paper dissemination and printing.000 to get started. An intranet extends a company’s reach. Most corporate intranets however cost between $50. but the greatest benefits realized will relate to information flow. enforced.000) if it is done with existing hardware and free software that can be downloaded from the Internet.

Conferencing between departments is another good use of the corporate intranet. The information should be bundled together by area rather than having a large list of applications on the main page. including email. such as text. or Hyper Text Markup Language. and hypertext links to other documents and to other resources. especially for companies with offices located across the country or around the world. WHAT TO HAVE ON THE INTRANET In addition to having access to all of the corporate library’s holdings.) An outside consultant can also be hired to set up the first Web page while the library staff develops skills in this area. newsletters. A knowledge map lets one department know what other departments are doing. there are a number of other features that the company may want on the intranet. and the information sought should be just two or three clicks away from the user. or it can include hypertext links to databases of research materials. and company policies and procedures. This is an easy-to-use guide that shows the knowledge workers within the company and can be as simple as a directory of names. If these features are missing. it won’t be used. It must be refreshed with up-to-date material however if it is to be useful and there may be problems with the question of individual power versus team power that will have to be addressed. The information provided on the page must be kept up-to-date and it must be reliable. is a platformindependent language designed to transmit documents that can contain different media formats in the same document. Databases are good to use for archiving materials to be .their own documents. titles. A knowledge map is something worthwhile that the library can develop for the intranet. (HTML. The design of the page should be kept simple because if it isn’t easy to use. and departments. The Web page must be created in a way that appeals to various users throughout the company. sounds. There is software available to help librarians design Web pages so an expert knowledge of HTML is not necessary. graphics. Companies also use the intranet to provide access to archives of corporate data that can be shared by the enterprise. users will lose trust in the page and it will be accessed less and less.

Their business is to deliver information and services to employees and the corporate intranet is just an extension of this. The company will have to decide if guidelines should be set up for what can be published on the corporate intranet. and may be necessary if users need access to legacy data on mainframe systems. allowing departments to publish their own information will be necessary. Information stored in a database is easier to manage than having it dispersed over many Web pages. but this is usually a worthwhile investment as databases can help keep company data accurate. and search and retrieval features. and it must be secure. revision tracking. including both computer skills and cognitive skills. If the company wishes the intranet to become the sole source of information within the organization. It provides the mechanisms to manage large numbers of documents with version control. They are experts in identifying the best-in-class information available for use . The goal will be to enable employees to create Web information easily and authoring tools will allow them to do this without needing to know HTML. CHALLENGES There are a number of challenges facing the library staff when creating a corporate intranet. wherever they are located and whatever type of computer equipment they are using. The information must also be useable by employees with very diverse skill levels. It may be critical to have this software if the intranet is used to manage large company projects that involve frequent updates. There are many software packages available to meet this need. Special software is needed to access databases. Data will have to be integrated from diverse sources. Access will have to be provided to all employees. WHO SHOULD CONTROL THE INTRANET Corporate librarians are the best people to control the corporate intranet.accessed through the intranet. it must be fast. Document management is another area that should be considered for the intranet. The format of the information must be appropriate to the employee using it. and a mechanism will need to be put in place to archive this information after a certain length of time. Inranet performance must be guaranteed and the service must be available around-the-clock.

and the corporate intranet can be an excellent vehicle for communication. Librarians should work with IT in order to efficiently disseminate high-quality information via the intranet. Librarians are also skillful in communicating with people as the library is the one area that has dealings with almost all departments throughout the company. The computer is just a tool. and by doing this. they will play a pivotal role in intranet creation and maintenance. IT is very good at handling hardware and software but not as good at knowledge management. The purpose of an intranet is to facilitate the storage and . They are 'information finders' and the discovery process is very important in making an intranet worthwhile. Having the corporate intranet centralized under the control of the corporate library has other benefits in addition to ensuring the quality of the data. It also allows librarians to customize links for various users as librarians are good judges of each department’s information needs. Librarians know how information flows through the company and are the best people to package this information for online access. but they should not give up control to the content of the intranet.by others. It allows for better maintenance of the site and can simplify startup and ongoing use. Librarians are needed here because of their skills in professional research and information-gathering. INTRANETS AND LIBRARIANS Corporate intranets offer librarians new applications for their information handling skills. Often the IT department is given control of the corporate intranet and this is usually a mistake. Librarians need to focus their efforts on identifying information needs and facilitating methods for satisfying those needs. value assessors and technology teachers. It can provide consistent navigation for all users if all the links are established on the main page. Intranets move librarians from their roles of information gophers into roles as information organizers. Departments within the organization may be allowed to maintain their own Web pages and publish their own documents. but the core information for the company should remain under the control of the library. The key to success for corporate librarians is not technology but their professional skill in the communication of real knowledge.

Corporate intranets are the ‘next big thing’ for libraries and information centers and librarians must be ready to take on the challenge. wisdom. and ideas throughout an organization. Corporate intranets will hopefully cause librarians to be more highly valued than they have been in the past. and then how to provide access to it across the entire corporate structure. Librarians have skills to enable people to use all these components of understanding and that is what makes them so well suited to create and control a corporate intranet. When data and facts are collected and organized they become information. when information is given value it becomes knowledge. . how to find it. information. Companies may start to realize how much they need librarians as knowledge brokers who know where the information is.communication of data. knowledge. and when knowledge is of a timeless nature it becomes wisdom.