Systems Administration

Systems Administration

You are expected to prepare a report by answering all the questions at the end of case

study. Your report must include the following Sections:

– introduction

– literature review

– findings

– other details

– conclusion

Case Study:

“Middle East College is one of the leading private higher education institutes in the Sultanate of Oman with more than 5,000 students. The college offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in different areas of Engineering, Business, and Technology. The college has upgraded the infrastructure which includes the student hostel and training unit. As the new building are added there is a requirement of computing infrastructure. The college is thinking to shift its IT infrastructure and services to a low cost and secure solution. The college has hired Mr. XYZ as a consultant for the upgradation of computer hardware and software. Mr. XYZ has a wide experience in IT consultancy industry. He is able to propose a one-stop solution to the college requirements, to upgrade the IT environment from proprietary solutions to Open Source for the software systems while simultaneously upgrading the networking infrastructure. All staff at the college now have laptops, and the college wanted to link these to the network wirelessly.

The college had specific software requirements for the teaching environment, nearly all of which are met and exceeded by standard Open Source software packages such as, MySQL and The Gimp. These have a huge advantage over their proprietary counterparts because the students can also run them at home/hostel on their PCs without needing to worry about software licensing.

Mr. XYZ has proposed a low-cost solution that fully met the objectives of Middle East College at a fraction of the cost of the Windows-based proprietary equivalent. The solution has Linux at its core with a desktop based on KDE kiosk-ised to reduce administrative complexity and cost.

A crucial component of the Linux-based solution was a switch to thin-client workstations accessing software running on two central application servers. This allowed all of the existing PC hardware to be re-used without any upgrades. When the PCs boot they no longer use local hard drives but download copies of the Linux Terminal Server software from a central server instead. Running that software, they become clients for the application servers. Instead of spending significant amounts of money on upgrading the hardware, this has prolonged the life of the workstations by several years at least (and as a consequence also reduces the load on the local landfill site). Since the workstations no longer need hard drives, their power consumption and their noise output is noticeably reduced. As discussed later, the thin-client model also slashes administration effort. The Linux-based desktop uses a range of standard applications, amongst them which provides word processing, a presentation package and a spreadsheet; all of them are able to save and import files in their native XML format whilst retaining compatibility with Microsoft formats. Quanta is used as the HTML editor, the KDE education package provides an assortment of educational software components, Scribus is the desktop publishing package and The Gimp is an excellent image manipulation tool with a wide range of capabilities.

Every student has a personal quota for file space and printer usage. Their personal FTP space is accessible both inside and outside the college and is used to share their files between home and college. There is additional shared FTP space administered by staff, used for setting assignments and sharing background documents. Email is provided to students and staff through Squirrel mail which gives a web interface very similar to Hotmail or Yahoo mail, this too is visible from home as well as from college. The shared-calendar features of Squirrel mail are also proving popular.

Overall, the project has been a resounding success. Mr. ABC, Director Teaching and Learning committee commented: “I can’t believe how easy it has been to move to Linux. The systems were installed and working within a week and it has been a revelation how simple and painless the process has been. I have saved thousands of pounds per year and got a brand-new ICT infrastructure at the same time.” He added: “Without switching to Linux, I would have been forced to cut back on our ICT hardware and software provision. There simply wasn’t the budget to upgrade to the latest versions of the software nor to keep replacing suites of PCs on a three or four year cycle. Now I have no licensing costs to worry about for the Open Source parts of the solution. We shall be moving to a complete Open Source basis as quickly as is practical and hope to start working with other colleges interested in this type of development to share ideas and best practice”. The students have taken to the new system without any difficulty whatsoever. They much prefer it to the Windows systems they had been using before, commenting particularly on the reliability of the system and one observing that he was astonished to discover, having accidentally switched off his workstation before logging out, that KDE’s session-restore facility returned him back to where he had been previously when he logged in again.

The administration overhead of the previous Windows-based classrooms had kept the college’s ICT technician working twelve hours a day. The new system has greatly reduced this workload. The director said “Significant amount of additional work that will arise as a result of our new status would have made his job impossible had we remained with our Windows based network, and we would have been looking to increase our technician staffing to cope. This would have been another significant ongoing cost which we now feel we can avoid. This funding can now be better spent on developing materials for the staff and students to use rather than on keeping the network running.”


  1. Do you think implementing the low cost solution proposed by Mr. XYZ was a success? If “yes” provide appropriate justification or if “no” then provide appropriate reasons.
  2. How selecting the Linux based solution technically helped the Middle East College.
  3. Discuss how the low cost solution can be further enhanced with some more services.
  4. Considering the above case study do you think single technician could now administer

something between three and five separate colleges if they all used cloud based systems

like those in place at Middle East College.

  1. Critically evaluate the security issue and challenges that you feel still in proposed solution.



*** The document should not be equal 15 pages.

*** In-text citations and references using CU-Harvard style.



 15 pages  Systems Administration

Answer Preview…………….

The implementation of efficient systems is important as it helps in improving the functioning of the organization and the analysis of the different routines that the organization continues to undertake. Middle East college motivation is to focus on the change in the operations of the school and the motivation towards embracing the change in the environment. The analysis of the cost-efficient methods is to help in the management of the growth of the……………..

APA 4437 words