Jenny works as a customer care representative in a car company. Her job description is to assist people with issues on their products which may have been manufacturing related over the phone. Her workstation gives her access to customer’s files and pertinent information on the vehicle they have purchased. She also has access to interoffice email with her peers and direct supervisor for clarification and announcements. At the start of the day, she opens her email to check for any updates but what surprised her was an email about the plan to lay off 50 customer care representatives from the vice president of the company. Stunned, she goes through the day preoccupied and during her lunch and breaks she talks to her co-workers about this but none of them have any idea what she is talking about. Concerned, she talks to her supervisor after shift and he denies having any knowledge about the news and is curious how she came about the information.
The issue here is that Jenny got an email well above her pay grade. There was a breakdown in the domain controller which allowed her to receive correspondence which was limited to top management. In Windows 2000 Server, there is a tool called DCDiag.exe. According to Microsoft TechNet, “This command-line tool analyzes the state of one or all domain controllers in a forest and reports any problems to assist in troubleshooting. DCDiag.exe consists of a variety of tests that can be run individually or as part of a suite to verify domain controller health.”1 In the case of Jenny, running DCDiag.exe would have shown there was a breakdown in the control and would have helped diagnose and fix the server so only top management would have received the announcement.
The fundamental networking components are cable, network interface card, hub and switching hub. A cable allows two or more computers to connect via a wire. A network interface card allows you to plug a cable to your pc for transfer of data and regulates the speed of data transfer. The other end of the cable plugged into your nic (network interface card) goes into a hub which allows more than two computers to be connected into the network. Last but not the least is the switching hub which does a more complex job that the hub. With a hub, the network speed is dictated by the pc with the slowest speed. Our switching hub on the other hand, allows each pc to be treated independently and given the speed it deserves.
Protocols are the language which the network speaks or how they interact which each other effectively. They allow PCs to exchange information and data in a timely manner therefore prioritizing the data according to a hierarchy. One instance is TCP/IP which converts strings of letters and numbers for the internet.
Topologies are network “shapes”. The types are ring, star and bus. A ring topology is a network with one computer connected to another directly. A star topology allows PCs to be connected to a central controller. Bus is when a computer is connected to a spine or central system along with others.
An operating system is the software which a computer runs in order to process data. Some examples are Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Each has their own pros and cons but the most commonly used is Windows due to additional software.
In my opinion the star topology is the easiest to manage since all other computers are asking a central “governor” what to do. It can receive and send data from a center point and at the same isolate a pc for security purposes. An example would be if a PC is accessing information which the domain did not allow then it can be monitored and blocked from the network easily.
- Domain Controller Diagnostics. 2008. Retrieved from http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/5237db58-a1e8-40cd-ae8a-7f52848a90f21033.mspx?mfr=true last 15 March 2008.
- Topology. 2008. Retrieved from http://webopedia.com/TERM/t/topology.html last 15 March 2008.
- Win2K-Specific Monitoring Tools. June 2001. Retrieved from http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/20848/win2k-specific-monitoring-tools.html last 15 March 2008.