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IT Infrastructure & Security - Fall/Winter 2017


(12/20 mid-day) End of Term: All Points and critique for LAN, HOL projects, and Refs & Brief are posted here: Points & Critique.

(12/14) If your Progress Report shows a red number for Spec Errors but there are none highlighted in red when you click on the link, please disregard the red #. This was pointed out by two, now three, students and needs to be debugged. Meanwhile we'll continue beating the programmer until he gets smarter...

(12/12) To Clarify Bonus Points for Putting up a Server: 5 points will be added, after the average is calculated, for setting up a server and putting a copy of your HOL website on it. Another 5 points will be posted for securing it so the mail server will send mail that will be accepted for my email at vcu.edu. The server must be a real or virtual server you control with your domain -- not a 'hosting service'. The class demo followed these steps: Setup and Secure a Centos 7 Stack at Rackspace.

About slow turnaround: I must continue to ration close work, like grading and editing stuff, to avoid eye-strain which provokes my inflamed optic nerves and I've been taking weekends away from any reading. My new tech, 75" monitor 12' away and special glasses, appears to be working, slowly. There have been a few occasions lately where my vision has recovered to better than perfect, 20/5 corrected, which is exciting to see after my eye doc predicted permanent loss of acuity from swollen macula, but eye-strain can still make my eye that was rebuilt for reading go blind with so much 'noise' I can't see details. I'm hoping the winter break will settle my eyes for good and surgeries to restore my vision a few years ago will be a 'lifetime fix'...

(11/30) Quiz #3 will be given at the start of the exam time for your class. After that either Quiz #1 or Quiz #2 may be repeated, will be similar to the first issues of the quizzes, except the pool of questions will be re-sampled. An optional final exam that covers material for both Quiz 1 & 2 may be taken following Quiz #3. Scores earned on retakes or exam _will replace_ earlier scores regardless of whether they're higher or lower.

Exam Times:

(11/29) <wisdom>Validate Early! Validate Often! Get Started on the web work! Make a 'skeleton' of a valid, mobile-friendly, responsive, and easy to navigate site before putting much content into it. Since it's easy to make errors that will affect all the following code, it's best to debug the structure while you can still see the beginning and end in your editor! Perfect indentation helps immensely when building a complex structure.</wisdom>

Make sure to impress your outline into the html for your market brief. Please re-read the specs and don't show me stuff that doesn't demo understanding of semantic markup for pages and content.

I've glanced over skeletons of sites from several students and most don't validate! They're all headed to excellent sites. One is completely responsive and mobile friendly with about a hundred bytes of css, and another's got JavaScript plus thousands of bytes of css, all are good to see. Lots of our students start their careers working with websites in one way or another so having a good, clear example of a semantically marked-up, responsive site in your portfolio, built at the command line, can get lead to quick rewards.

Spec violations in the progress report without any explanation on the spec compliance report are probably because invalid html is wierding out the recently coded routine that flags errors in the specs, but this remains an open issue...

(11/19) Don't lose points needlessly! Specs on the HOL page were updated 11/19. Please keep all the specs in mind as you work for HOL Part #3 and the References & Tech Market Brief, especially these:

(11/18, 19) HOL Part #2 was scored from these progress reports and snapshots of command line activity:

(11/3, 10/30) Due Dates for HOL and Tech Market Refs & Brief, updated 30th to include Points:

Prior notes have been moved to Prior Notes.

Current Topics:

Topics are arranged in approximate order of presentation, are dated as they're covered in class...

Tech Market Brief & Hands on Linux:

(10/31) Working server-side with linux command line and the vi editor. Develop an outline for a brief on an approved topic about the IT marketplace, suitable for a blog or portfolio at LinkedIn. Publish the brief as a mobile-friendly website, responsive, standards-compliant, a clear example of semantic markup that fits the outline.


(10/16) Current Storage Tech: HDD, SSD, Flash, Hyperconverged, Cloud, &c; EDP History: Cards, Tape through SSD; HDD Geometry and Management: CHS vs. LBA, Slack Space, Fragmentation, &c; SSD & Flash vs. HDD; Attachment: DAS, NAS, SAN, NFS, The Cloud; Transaction Logging & Backup... (Study Questions)

Security & Professional Standards

(11/30) Continuing security issues; Pillars of Information Security: CIAAN; Protection; EDI; Threat vectors; Professional Standards: COBIT, ITIL, GES, SOX, PCI, HIPAA, &c... (Study Questions)

Data Representations

(12/5) Binary, Decimal, Hex; Data Types and Representations; Character Encoding Standards... (Study Questions)

Data Centers

Data Center Fundamentals; Tradeoffs: Onsite vs. Data Center, Mainframe vs. Server Farms...


4 or 5 Generations of Programming Languages; Types of Software: Malware, Security, Version Control & Divers Others...

Data Structures & Algorithms

Watch this spot...

Prior Topics:


(8/24) Syllabus, Provost's Policies, Classroom Behavior &c, No Wandering Out and Back Into Class, Quiz & Makeup Policy...

First Three Topics:

(8/24) Info Tech Infrastructure, in recent tradition, is roughly divided into three major technologies: Computers, Networks, and Storage. The course starts with these major topics. For a few decades, we've seen these as separate boxes built by companies like IBM, Cisco, or Seagate. In 2017 we're seeing these technologies virtualized and hyperconverged...


(8/24) Platforms: Hardware, Software, Dependence, Independence, Cross, Scalability; VARs, Vertical Markets, CPUs; Operating Systems: FOSS & Proprietary; 7 Modern OS Functions; Range of Hardware Platforms: Embedded through Super (Study Questions Updated 9/12)

LAN Project:

(9/26) Memo From the Boss, Visio demo, Intro to Networking, DMZ Firewall, Rack Diagram, Office Floorplan with Network Drops, Read and Follow Directions, Prep Purchase Orders & Summaries of up-front purchases and recurring costs. (Due at the beginning of class Oct 24th 19th.)


(10/1) Definitions; Sketch Internet & Ethernet; Visualizing & Securing Network Traffic; Setup a LAMP Stack; Infrastructure & Regulation, Management; Data Centers & IX; LANs; Network Management and Security Tools; Visualizing Traffic: Internet, LAN, WiFi Analysis, RF Spectrum, Firewall & its Logs, Packet Sniffing, Port Scanning; Networks Surveyed by Name, Size, & Technology; PSTN, Ethernet, Internet, VPN, Real Private Networks; The Ground... (Study Questions are complete 10/30)

G Saunders,
Dept of Information Systems
VCU School of Business

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