NOS Project (2000/2001)


Module number:


Module name:

Network Operating Systems

Module leader:

Dr William Buchanan, School of Computing, Napier University, Edinburgh, UK.


PDF reference:



Many networks are a hybrid of different types of networking operating systems. Napier University has three main networking operating systems: Microsoft Windows NT (NetBEUI and TCP/IP), Novell NetWare NDS (IPX/SPX) and UNIX (TCP/IP). These networks have to be carefully designed so that users have optimal access.

The connection from the desktop connection can be traced by determining how servers are mounted onto the local workstation. Typically, at Napier, this is done either with NTFS, NFS or NDS (see Figure 1 for the current setup). These connections can be viewed by examining the properties of mounted drives.

For the TCP/IP networks, software tools for TCP/IP can be used to determine how networks interconnect and the services that run on them. IP implements the network layer of the OSI model, and is responsible for network addressing. It is possible using software programs, such as ping and traceroute, to determine how networks interconnect. The results from these programs can give information on the subnets within the network, and how they interconnect. TCP implements the transport layer of the OSI model and is responsible for setting up sockets and ports. Servers run programs which listen for connections to specific ports, such as 21 (FTP), 23 (TELNET) and 80 (HTTP). It is possible to determine the services that run on a network by performing a port scan on all the hosts on a network segment.

Coursework Aims

The aims of the assignment are:

To investigate the logical infrastructure of the network in the Craiglockhart Campus.

To investigate the location of TCP/IP servers and the basic services that they provide.

To contrast the methods used in building a large corporate network, especially in relation to NDS, UNIX and NT, and how this relates to the network operating system infrastructure within Napier.

To critically appraise the network operating system provision at Napier, especially related to the provision of services to the desktop.


Coursework Brief

Using software tools, such as a port scanning program, ping, traceroute, and so on, determine the network infrastructure of the network within Craiglockhart and the TCP/IP services that servers listen for Investigation may involve:

Logical connection of subnets and routers within the Craiglockhart Campus

Logical location of TCP/IP servers, and the subnets that they are connected to

Determination of the services that the servers respond to, such as TELNET, FTP, DNS, SMTP, and so on.

To any determine weaknesses in the current provision

Investigate the desktop connections and the services which they provide. Also how NDS, UNIX and NT are used to provide services.


TCP/IP programs, such as ping, telnet, and so on

Port scanning program

Windows 95/NT network utilities (such as NetLab 1.4, Wsock, Ping Pro, and so on).

PC/Network connection.

Assessment Criteria

A report should be submitted which will normally have less than 30 pages of typed A4 (quality is more important than quantity). This report should assess the relative merits for the implementation of networking operating systems over a corporate network and also investigate the infrastructure of the network and servers within the Craiglockhart Campus. The practical investigations should give some in-sight to the strengths and weaknesses of the network operating system provision at Napier.

Marking Schedule

The assignment will count for 60% for the final mark of the module. The marking schedule which will be used is:





Corporate Network Operating System Infrastructure


Network Infrastructure




A possible structure for the report could be:


Introduction [10%]
Objectives, background.



Theory [15%]
Introduction to TCP/IP, IPX/SPX. NetBEUI. TCP/IP commands (Ping, nslookup, tracert), methods used.



Corporate Network Operating System Infrastructure [25%]
Outline of UNIX, NT and NDS. Contrast methods used in networking operating systems in creating a corporate network infrastructure, especially in relation to providing network services.



Network infrastructure results [30%]
Desktop provision, organisation of NTFS/NDS/NFS, logical location of servers, test results of scans, infrastructure of network, location of subnets, location of routers, etc.



Conclusions [20%]
Strong conclusions which summarise your main findings.


Related Links

Napier NDS structure
Why NDS (written by Novell)?
Viewpoint on NDS (Network Computing Journal)
NDS v. Windows 2000
Integration with Windows 2000

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