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Project Outline

You have just set yourself up as an IT consultancy company, and have been approached by a major content delivery company (Pen&ink). They are planning a major expansion of their business, and require you to produce requirements analysis and requirements specification docu-ments. It is likely that you will want to bid for the contract when it is awarded, thus your requirements analysis and requirements specification should be as accurate as possible. They have briefly sketched out the physical layout of the company, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1:

Abstract overview of the company, showing the positions of the routers [SWF][PPT]



An initial meeting with Pen&ink has produced the following notes:

Meeting date:

3 October 2001




Production Department, London.


W.Buchanan (Director), M.Designer (Design Layout Department, New York), You (Consultant).


Director: "Our company (Pen&ink) requires a requirements analysis, and a requirements specification for our proposed network operating system. This will be presented at our next board meeting (March 2002), after which we will grant the contract to proceed with the work. We have asked you to bid for the work, along with several others, and require you to us a technical specification for this development.

"Our company has been extremely successful over the past few years, but our IT infrastructure does not meet our current demands. Our main departments are: Sales, Marketing, Production, Graphics Design, Design Layout, Marketing and IT.

"The work will be managed by our IT Department who are currently responsible for supporting the whole of our network, and thus, in the future, will require complete access to every single element of the new system".

"We currently use PCs for all our work, and are main applications are Microsoft Office, Macromedia software, and many of the Adobe applications".

"I would like you to produce an outline of the specifications that we would require for our basic infrastructure; our network addressing strategies; the security programming for the routers; the distributed file system structure that we should use; and anything else that you think could benefit us".

Outline specification
The IP address that has been granted is 143.20.x.y, with the following specifications:

Router topology.
The router topology of the network is fixed (see pen&ink WWW site). The connection to the main Internet occurs be-tween Router B and Router C.
Department size.
Each department will have their own unique sub-net and have the potential for up to 1000 computers.
Public documents
Each department has public documents which are stored locally within the department, and can be viewed from anyone on the Internet.
Private documents.
Each department has private documents which are stored locally within the department, and can only be accessed by users in the other departments.
User files.
Each user will have a home directory, in which they store their own work, from which they can publish to the private or public documents folder.
Applications and backup servers.
The distribution of applications should be controlled, and the installation of software on local com-puters should be minimised.
As much as possible the system should be robust, and their should be a minimum of disruption when faults occur.
The company worry about Internet access, and require that users can only access the Internet if they have the required permission. Also user computers must be authenticated to the net-work. They would also prefer that details of their own network are not known to the outside world.
The user computers on each site cannot be access by any other user's computer, apart from users in the IT Depart-ment, who will have full access to all the computers.

Other information can be found on the Pen&ink WWW site (

Academic objectives
The academic objectives of the project are:

To design a practical solution to a network operating system.
To investigate alternative solutions to a networking operating sys-tem, and to be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
To be able to present a specification of a solution, including a re-quirements analysis and requirements specification.
To present background theory to underpins the system solution, and to show practical implementations of key technical parts of the project.

Project marking

A possible structure for the report could be:


Introduction [10%]
Objectives, background, methods used. This should be presented in a form that a Board of Directors could understand.


Theory [20%]
Outline of theory which underpins the rest of the report. Examples could include IP addressing, router programming, ACLs, distributed file systems, and so on. This should be presented in a form that a Board of Directors could understand.


Requirements Analysis [20%]
Some conceptual design of the system. This will include an analysis of the main elements of the project, and abstract models. Dif-ferent implementations should be investigated and their strengths and weaknesses identified.


Requirements Specification [35%]
A discussion of the actual proposed system, with important snip-pets which should the operation of the main elements of the project.


Conclusions [15%]
Strong conclusions which summarises your main findings. This should be presented in a form that a Board of Directors could understand, and will provide the basis for your recommendation to the Board of Directors.


2000/2001 archive

The 2000/2001 project was based around determining the structure of a practical network. It was decided to change this for this session as the new project will try and encapsulate many of the major decisions made when designing and implementing a networking infrastructure.

[Project 2000/2001]

Possible references

Active Directories:
[Active Directories]
[Active Directories - Microsoft]
[Why Active Directories? - IT Networks]
[Weaknesses of Active Directories]
[Good and bad of AD]

NDS systems:
[NDS v. AD]
[NetWare 6]
[NDS v. NT]

[NOS file system comparisons]

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