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IT Infrastructure & Security - Fall & Winter 2018


(10/9, Updated 10/16) The LAN Project is due in two parts:

(10/9) End of Term Exam: The exam period will be used for Quiz #3 and retakes of Quiz #1 or Quiz #2 or if a students want to repeat both earlier quizzes an optional exam covering material for both Quizzes #1 and #2 will be provided. The grade from the repeat will be posted, whether it's higher or lower than the earlier. Exams must be taken at the scheduled times, no exceptions.

Exam Schedule:

(10/4) There's a competing event today that had a lot of students out of class this morning, so I jumped ahead to the topic Network Topology and Traffic Management today, will go back to Vizualizing and Securing Network Traffic next Tuesday...

(9/17) Paessler sent an infographic Periodic Table of Network Monitoring that shows what their PRTG network monitoring software does. PRTG, Nagios, PortSentry, RedHat, HyperV, and other software automates monitoring networks, storage systems, and computers. In class, the instructor demonstrates security stuff on servers that are mostly idle with commands like tcpdump -i eth0, where in a real environment the commands get a flood of messages scrolling by too fast to interpret. Network managers use software to notify them of exceptions, faults and threats and take initial steps for fail-over or defense. Managing hundreds or thousands of devices capable of reporting status with protocols like SMART, lm-sensors, or SCADA without monitoring them is not smart, could get you fired or sued...

(8/27) Get Visio! Visio is the de facto standard 2D CAD tool for all kinds of modeling in IS. We use it for network diagrams and floorplans, INFO361 uses it for UML diagrams, INFO364 for database. It's the Swiss Army Knife of diagramming tools. Please use it or have a good reason to use something else. It is a Windows app so Mac users need to get virtualized... I've seen a couple not-as-good-as-Visio drawings with google's office tools, but as yet haven't seen any make a rack diagram that is almost photo-realistic using VisioCafe templated items.

The good news, beside learning to use Visio for technical drawing, is that it's free from the MSDNAA - MicroSoft Developer's Network Academic Alliance! Please don't get any other version, the MSDNAA version won't expire on you in the middle of the semester and it is the 'full version' with all the templates needed for your courses here. Windows users can download it, Mac or Linux users can virtualize or dual-boot their Macs to run Windows OS and apps.

(8/27) Mac Users & Windows Users Hankering to Virtualize: The IS Department's Net Techs support IS Majors' MSDNAA Software and Virtualization issues, especially Mac host with Windoze guest. They're expert with Oracle's Virtual Box, Apple's Parallels & Boot Camp, VMWare Fusion and Workstation (recommended!), HDD & USB, and what combination of all these is optimum for your Mac or PC, or if you've got the space to do it... They've seen it all and are patient, caring types who will help y'all noobs onboard new things.

Most students with Macs who attend one of the Virtualization & MSDNAA Installation Seminars leave with their machine virtualized or dual-booted and able to run Windows & MSDNAA software. The net techs have also been helpful with running Kali Linux

F I N A L Grades from the Spring semester are posted. This Fall's will be similarly assigned, hopefully more Aces.

Current Topics:


(9/27) 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 & Fried Networks... Quiz #2 TBA: Study Questions

LAN Project:

(10/9) 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. (Dlv #1 Due at the beginning of class Tuesday the 16th; Dlv #2 Due at the beginning of class Thursday Nov 1st.)

Data Representation

Computers are Binary machines but they keep and compute all kinds of data. Numbers are represented more or less directly as Binary, Decimal, and Hex Integers, Float, and Decimal. Characters are represented as ASCII, EBCDIC, and UniCode. When data moves from one system to another, there's usually some translation or conversion involved... (Study Questions)


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

Data Structures & Algorithms

Watch this spot...


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

Tech Market Brief & Hands on Linux:

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.

Prior Topics:


(8/23) Syllabus, Provost's Policies, Classroom Behavior &c, No Wandering Out and Back Into Class, Quiz & Makeup Policy...

Security & Professional Standards

(8/23) Continuing security issues; Pillars of Information Security: CIAAN; Protection; EDI; Threat vectors; Professional Standards: COBIT, ITIL, GES, SOX, PCI, HIPAA, &c... (Study Questions updated 9/5)

Data Centers

(8/30) Data Center Fundamentals; Tradeoffs: Onsite vs. Data Center, Mainframe vs. Server Farms... (Study Questions added 9/5)


(9/4) Current Storage Tech: HDD, SSD, Flash, Hyperconverged, Cloud, &c; EDP History: Cards, Tape, Drum, Disc, SSD; HDD Geometry and Management: CHS vs. LBA, Slack Space, Fragmentation, &c; Attachment: DAS, NAS, SAN, NFS, The Cloud; Transaction Logging & Backup... (Study Questions)

G Saunders,
Dept of Information Systems
VCU School of Business

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