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Bachelor of ICT

Bachelor of ICT Assessment Cover Sheet

Assessment Title

Consultancy Report

Student Name

Hussain AlMukhtar

Student ID

201101942

Course Title

Operating Systems and Platforms

Course Code

ITB6004

Due Date/Time: 11:55 pm on Sunday 8th December 2013

Please Note:
- Requests for extensions should be made in writing to the Course Coordinator 48
hours before the deadline. You must have a valid reason for requesting an extension as
you are not automatically entitled to one. Students are only permitted one extension
per subject per semester.
- Late submissions will incur a penalty of 5% per day

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Table of Contents
Consultancy Report ................................................................................................................................. 3
Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 3
Collected Data (Questions and Answers)............................................................................................ 4
Category 1: IT environment ........................................................................................................... 4
Category 2: Domain ........................................................................................................................ 5
Category 3: Roles and Features ..................................................................................................... 5
Category 4: Printers ........................................................................................................................ 6
Category 5: DHCP and DNS ............................................................................................................ 6
Category 6: Storage and File Sharing ............................................................................................. 7
Category 7: Deployment ................................................................................................................ 7
Category 8: Data backup & System recovery ................................................................................ 7
Category 9:Security ........................................................................................................................ 8
Category 10: Problems ................................................................................................................... 8
Category 11: Virtualization ............................................................................................................ 8
Category 12: Terminal service........................................................................................................ 8
Category 13: Future outlook .......................................................................................................... 9
Analysis and Recommendations (with Reply Summaries) ................................................................ 10
Reflection .......................................................................................................................................... 13
Appendices........................................................................................................................................ 14
Tutors approval of the questions ................................................................................................. 14
The reply from the company about the recommendations ......................................................... 14
Full reply received ......................................................................................................................... 15
References ........................................................................................................................................ 18

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Bachelor of ICT

Consultancy Report
For [[Mr. SayedMajed]]
Of [[Batelco]]
By: [[Student Name: HussainAlMukhtar

Student ID: 201101942]]

Introduction
This report looks at the servers in the real-life atmosphere for existing company which is
Batelco. Bahrain Telecommunication Company has the largest share in the
telecommunication market here in Bahrain. The headquartered is located in Bahrain and it
has other branches in different countries.
I interviewed Sayed Majed Fadhul from the IT department in Batelco. He is the team leader
of that organization as "Infrastructure development manager". I sent the questions to the
manger to get an overview about what the interview will be about. The questions and
answers will be included in the report. After analyzing the answers, a set of
recommendations that explain how to get better and efficient environment will be given to
the company. The recommendations and the customer feedback will be included also in the
report, showing whether the company agree or disagree about the recommendations with
the reason stating why. The end of the report will include my reflections about what I
gained from this report.

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Collected Data (Questions and Answers)


Category 1: IT environment
1. How many servers do you have? What are the server's types?
The company use more than 300 + servers. The types the company uses are HP
blade and rack mount... Others.
2. Which Operating System installed on your servers? And Why?
The company installed different types of operating systems on their servers such as
Windows 2000/2003/2008/2012, HP UNIX, Red Hat and others.
3. Are you satisfied with the current Operating System? Why?

The company satisfied with the current operating systems as it is covers the
company needs.

4. What are the servers specifications (CPU RAM Storage space)?

The company uses a different type of servers depends on it uses. For


example they use Single CPU with 16 GB Ram with San Storage and Dual
process with 16 core and 128 GB Ram with San storage and others.

5. How many clients does each server serve?

The company serves the clients depending on the applications they use for
example if we are talking about the LPAM which is record data base
information's server, this server serve around 80 clients. For the intranet
server it serves more than 1200 clients.

6. What is the topology of your servers structure?

The company use almost all the topologies structure for example cluster
database on two physical servers and load balance (front end), single servers
such as (LPAM and Gicom), and failover (Active - passive) both connected to
the same san Storage in case one of them crashed the other one work as a
backup. Others.

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Category 2: Domain
1. How many domains does the company have?

The company use one main domain and two other domains for special
requirements.

2. How many domain controllers does the company have?

The company has eight domains controller.

3. Does the company use the same domain for the other company branches? Why?

The company uses the same domain between both branches Hamala and
Telephone House, which include redundancy and backups.

Category 3: Roles and Features


1. What are the roles and features that run on the servers, and what they are used
for?

The company uses different roles and features such as:


-

Active Directory for authentication, authorization and others.

DHCP used for assigning unique IP address to clients

IIS used to transfer data and information's through the network and
enables the clients to access the internet through the protocols thats
support such as HTTP, HTTPS.

SFTP which stands for secure file transfer protocol thats used to secure
file transferring across the network.

2. How does the company make the roles fault tolerance?

They have more than one Active Directory installed in case one of them
crashed the other one works by the (round robin) which checks the other
active directory works.

3. Do you use NLP to control traffic for web server?

They use NLP especially with the ISS.

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Category 4: Printers
1. What is the topology of the printers in the offices?

They use shared printers in each department.

2. Do you have printer server?

They don't have a printer server.

3. Does the printers have network adapter?

All of the printers are connected through the network adapter.

Category 5: DHCP and DNS


1. Which DHCP infrastructure does the company use centralized or distributed?
Why?

The company use distributed infrastructure because each VLAN from a


segment to another are different, servers and clients have more than one
VLAN also.

2. Does the company use the 80 20 rule to ensure continue DHCP services? Why?

They do not use this rule.

3. Does the company use failover clustering in your DHCP services? Why?

At the moment they don't, they use a separated DHCP by site for each one.

4. What is the IP lease duration of the IP address?

The IP lease duration is 48 hours.

5. How many DNS servers do you have?

The company has 6 DNS servers.

6. Does your company encounter slow Internet performance?

They haven't encountered any slowness performance.

7. What does your company do to reduce the amount of DNS traffic passing over the
internet connection?

The company use a domain controller to forward Internet domain name resolution
requests to the ISPs DNS server
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Category 6: Storage and File Sharing


1. Does your IT administrator use quotas in order to manage users data store such
as hard or soft quotas? Or it is managed by the user?

The company does use soft quotas and it is managed by the administrator.

2. Do you use file sharing between the branches? How?

They use windows file sharing.

3. Do you have private storage in the server for each user? Or the users have their storage
on their own PC?

The company uses both, storage on the server and on their PC hard disks.

Category 7: Deployment
1. Does your company use the servers to deploy operating systems on the
network? Which tool do you use? What is the process of deploying?

The company use virtualization to deploy operating systems but especially it


used to deploy applications. Also they use in each site the SCCM technology
which helps to deploy operating system.

Category 8: Data backup & System recovery


1. What is your backup policy to avoid loss of data?

The company has daily, weekly and monthly backup which depends on
requirements.

2. Is there a certain period to keep your backup data before erased?

They are retention policies from months to years and it depends on the data
that they decide to keep before they erased.

3. What is the action if one of the servers crashed?

In case of one of the servers crashed they use the backup server
immediately.

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Category 9: Security
1. What is the security plan for the company?

They have a security plan but they prefer not to declare it.

2. Where do you keep your servers? Who can access them?

They placed the servers in a data center room, and it has a different security
levels, first two are with an access card, third level is only limited persons can
access to it, fourth level is that the servers are locked with keys, and the keys
kept in different place.

3. Have the company encountered any security issue before?

No, the company hadn't encountered any security issue previously.

Category 10: Problems


1. Have you encountered any problems previously with your servers and how the company
deals with it?

Yes, first the problem sent to the local competent authorities if they need a
help the have a vender supports for both (hardware and software).

2. How often problems occur?

The problems occur rarely because they do a regular maintenance.

3. Do you integrated support and ticketing plus 24/7 telephone support?

Yes, as they have vender support for both hardware and software.

Category 11: Virtualization


1. Do you have virtualization services? (If yes )Where do you use it and why?

Yes, the company uses it in Gicom, LPAM, active directory and small
applications.

Category 12: Terminal service


1. Do you have terminal service? Is it use for all programs or certain program? Why?

Yes, the company use it for secure SSH and Remote Desktop.

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Category 13: Future outlook


1. What is your future plan about the servers situation?

The company would like going to virtualization.

2. Will you add more services or roles in the future?

Yes, they think to use the features on windows 2012 data de-duplication (DeDup).

3. Do you think of upgrading your Operating System? Why?

Yes, to be up to date.

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Analysis and Recommendations (with Reply Summaries)


First I gathered information from "Sayed Majed ", the answers of the questions have been examine
and analyzed. A set of recommendations include what the company could do to have a better and
efficient environment using the servers sent to the customer to get a feedback from them. After
that, the replies I received from the customer included in this section.

The company mentioned that they have more than 300 servers, and this is a
huge number and a huge cost for both buying and maintain the servers.
Which I recommend to consolidate the common features or roles from
several servers into one powerful server. Which will reduce the number of
servers, will save money and avoid wasting time maintaining them.
We will be considering consolidating the common features.

Currently part of the company servers are using windows 2000 -2003. Where
the company can upgrade those two windows operating system. Because
there is no support for Windows 2000 and by the end of 2014 there will be no
support for the Windows 2003. I recommended to put a plan to upgrade the
company Windows servers.
We will consider migrating to windows 2008 or higher.

Generally there are some features are installed on the company servers such
as Windows 2012 but they are not used. So I recommended removing the
unused software elements which will make the server more secure and more
efficient to install other used features.
The company agree to preform and will do it through the infrastructure
team.

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After looking around in some departments I noticed that each department


contains more than 5 printers. This is costly for the company by buying the
printers and for the printer's maintenance. The company can implement a
print server which can help the clients by avoiding queues or delays. Also, the
printed data will not be lost even when the printer is rest because they are in
a print queue. Moreover, that will reduce the number of printers in each
department which will reduce the cost as well.
We would plan to have the print server and then reduce the number of
printers.

As mentioned in your answers that the company dont use the 80 -20 rule. I
recommend your company to use the 80/20 rule for your DHCP servers to
ensure continues DHCP services for client when requesting a lease. You can
split each scopes between two servers applying an 80% of IP address range
for primary server A / and 20% for secondary DHCP server B.
The company will investigate to find the best architecture to implement.

As mentioned in your answers that the IP lease duration of the IP address is


48 hours (two days). I recommended increasing this duration to be up to 120
hours (5 days). Because your DHCP server would be overloaded with many
DHCP requests from the clients which will be a reason for congestion inside
the network.
We will consult the network team to make sure that applying this
recommendation will not affect the other systems.

As stated in your answers that the company use windows file sharing
between the branches. I recommended the company to use SharePoint
rather file sharing to gain more secure environment, efficient storage and
document management system.
Also, I recommended the company to use Distributed File System (DFS),
where the user can access the files even if the server that it saved on is
turned off because more than one target can be chose for the file. So the
user can access it from another place.
Using DFS will be a good solution.

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In the discussion, you mentioned that your company doesn't use the
Windows AIK in your Windows server 2008. So I recommended that your
company starts using Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) in your
Windows 2008 server. This tool reduces the configurations time for the
computers. Furthermore, the company may use this tool to deploy any
versions of windows Operating system in several computers through an
image file stored in the network at the same time.
We will investigate the efforts needed to implement this feature.

As mentioned in the answers the company uses soft quotas to manage the storage
of the users. I recommend to use hard quotas as it is prohibits user from exceeding
the allotted space from him. That will limit the load over the network storage. Also,
it will allow saving more space.
We will consider this recommendation.

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Reflection
This report was a challenge for me by finding authorized person of a company to gather information
about its infrastructure. After that, we have been asked to prepare questions of at least eight
different categories. I find difficulties when writing questions that have fit the person I am aiming to
interview and where I can give recommendations about. I faced some difficulties gathering the
answers during the interview especially when I asked questions about security methods. The next
challenge was writing recommendations and I found it hard because the company was audited by
another company regarding their infrastructure and security. On the other hand, I obtain an
experience by doing this report which covers a lot of things. In the beginning I learned how to
implement and connect what we are studying into the real life atmosphere. Also, I learned how to
find the gaps of an existing infrastructure by analyzing the information's received from the customer.
Then how to give the solutions in order to cover these gaps and improve the environment to be
efficient.

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Appendices
Tutors approval of the questions

The reply from the company about the recommendations

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Full reply received

1. The company mentioned that they have more than 300 servers, and this is a
huge number and a huge cost for both buying and maintain the servers.
Which I recommended is to consolidate the common features or roles from
several servers into one powerful server. Which will reduce the number of
servers, will save money and avoid wasting time maintaining them.
We will be considering consolidating this especially for web sites having
IIS and MS SQL, having less servers will be a good solution.
2. Currently part of the company servers are using windows 2000 -2003. Where
the company can upgrade those two windows operating system. Because
there is no support for Windows 2000 and by the end of 2014 there will be no
support for the Windows 2003. I recommended to put a plan to upgrade the
company Windows servers.
Old windows versions as in your recommendation will be considered to
be migrated to windows 2008 or higher as this is dependent on the
application hosted if it supports upgrading the windows server.

3. Generally there are some features are installed on the company servers such
as Windows 2012 but they are not used. So I recommended removing the
unused software elements which will make the server more secure and more
efficient to install other used features.
I agree and this will need the infrastructure team to work with
Application Teams to go through the servers and identify which to be
removed.

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4. After looking around in some departments I noticed that each department


contains more than 5 printers. This is costly for the company by buying the
printers and for the printer's maintenance. The company can implement a
print server which can help the clients by avoiding queues or delays. Also, the
printed data will not be lost even when the printer is rest because they are in
a print queue. Moreover, that will reduce the number of printers in each
department which will reduce the cost as well.
We would plan to have the print server and then reduce the number of
printers based on best practices.

5. As mentioned in your answers that the company dont use the 80 -20 rule. I
recommend your company to use the 80/20 rule for your DHCP servers to
ensure continues DHCP services for client when requesting a lease. You can
split each scopes between two servers applying an 80% of IP address range
for primary server A / and 20% for secondary DHCP server B.
This needs more investigation by network team as we have more than
one site and need to find the best architecture to implement this, but
good point to rise.
6. As mentioned in your answers that the IP lease duration of the IP address is
48 hours (two days). I recommended increasing this duration to be up to 120
hours (5 days). Because your DHCP server would be overloaded with many
DHCP requests from the clients which will be a reason for congestion inside
the network.
The policy implemented is not to fix the IPs for a long time and thats
why the IP lease is set to 48 hours will need to consult the network team
to make sure there will be any impact on other systems.

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7. As stated in your answers that the company use windows file sharing
between the branches. I recommended the company to use SharePoint
rather file sharing to gain more secure environment, efficient storage and
document management system.
Also, I recommended the company to use Distributed File System (DFS),
where the user can access the files even if the server that it saved on is
turned off because more than one target can be chose for the file. So the
user can access it from another place.
This needs will depend on file types and size which some are not
recommended to be hosted on SharePoint, while using DFS for them will
be a good solution.

8. In the discussion, you mentioned that your company doesn't use the
Windows AIK in your Windows server 2008. So I recommended that your
company starts using Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) in your
Windows 2008 server. This tool reduces the configurations time for the
computers. Furthermore, the company may use this tool to deploy any
versions of windows Operating system in several computers through an
image file stored in the network at the same time.
As we have SCCM implemented we need to investigate the efforts
needed to be done to implement this feature.

9. As mentioned in the answers the company uses soft quotas to manage the storage
of the users. I recommend to use hard quotas as it is prohibits user from exceeding
the allotted space from him. That will limit the load over the network storage. Also,
it will allow saving more space.
We will consider this recommendation after discuss it with concerned team.

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References
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batelco

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