Assignment Cases Case 1: Mike Koller, “Government Agencies Add Mainframes for Web Apps,” InternetWeek, January 10, 2000, http://www.internetwk.com/case/study011000-1.htm. (A new window will open in your browser.) The chapter discussed how mainframes have fallen out of favor and have become considered legacy applications. However, when connected to the World Wide Web, they are finding a new lease on life. Describe how mainframes are being used in the government agencies discussed in this article. Finally, what general principle(s) did you learn? Case 2 - Mitch Wagner, “eBay Takes Steps to Ensure Site Performance,” InternetWeek, March 19, 1999, http://www.internetwk.com/case/study031599-1.htm. (A new window will open in your browser.) What is eBay’s business? Why is it facing scalability pressures? What servers does it have, and how are the different servers used to provide customer service? Finally, what general principle(s) did you learn? Case 3 - Paradise Groceries: Testing for Bad Wiring It began as a nightmare. Then things got really bad. Glenn Davis was back from one of his many trips. When he came into the office in the morning, his computer seemed slow. In a few minutes, it got even worse. Sometimes, it locked up for several seconds before unfreezing. Glenn walked down to Chen May-Ling’s office. He saw May-Ling and a technician standing by a box with wires coming out of it. They were pulling out wires one at a time and plugging them into a small box. May-Ling stopped to explain that the “protocol analyzer” program on her PC was reporting a lot of transmission errors. This meant that many messages had to be retransmitted. These retransmissions were literally clogging the network. To her, this kind of problem indicated bad wiring. Fortunately, all wires from the office’s client PCs came into the central box, which May-Ling called a switch. She and her staff were unplugging the wires one at a time to check them with a tester box. While she was talking to Glenn, her technician yelled out, “Got it!” May-Ling excused herself and walked over to take a look. The tester’s meter read, “near-end cross talk.” May-Ling ordered her technician to replace the wire with a temporary wire running through the floors and hallways of the office. Later, they would install a new wire properly, running it inconspicuously through the false ceiling. They would also test the other wires in the evening, after most people had left. May-Ling explained to Glenn that a contractor that normally installed telephone wire had installed this wire (and many others) recently. May-Ling had chosen this kind of company because Paradise Groceries’ “Ethernet” LAN uses high-grade telephone wiring. Outsourcing the installation was much cheaper than doing it internally. Unfortunately, the installer had been a little sloppy with this particular wire. You could get away with that sort of thing in telephony, but data wiring at 100 Mbps was unforgiving. Often, as in this case, a single badly installed wire could generate hundreds of dollars in lost time for May-Ling’s staff and even more lost time for users. a) Can you guess what a protocol analyzer does? b) How did May-Ling have to test for problems? c) What was the cause of the problem? Be specific. Case 4 - Lynn Haber, "City Saves with Linux, Thin Clients," Enterprise, April 5, 2002. http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2860180,00.html. Note: this is a multi-page case study. What had the City of Largo been using before the change? What technology did it select? Give some detail. What is a thin client? Why did the city select the technology it chose? Do you think the city's legacy system affected thinking about the new system? Evaluate the decision. Case 5 - Christine Zimmerman, "Ethernet Gets Self-Evident," InternetWeek, February 28, 2000. http://www.internetwk.com/case/study022800-1.htm. (A new window will open in your browser.) Why did Lawson Software need to upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet? What benefits is it expecting? Why did it choose its vendor? What do you think of that rationale for vendor selection? Case 6 – Rewiring a college building (P. 209 of the text book) – Answer questions 1 – 5 on P. 215. Case 7 – Thirty-five years old, Internet remains a work in progress (This study is available on Blackboard under course documents). (a) Trace the evolution of the Internet (b) What are the current projects aimed at improving the Internet? What is Interenet2? What issues does Internet-based telephony face? Finally, what general lessons do you learn from this article? Case 8 - Rutrell Yasin, "Outside Audit Helps Out-Fox Hackers," InternetWeek, June 5, 2000. http://www.internetwk.com/case/study060500-1.htm. (A new window will open in your browser.) What prompted 20th Century-Fox's security concerns? What step did the company take to begin assessing its security weaknesses? What company did it choose? What problems did it find? How will the security company help Fox in the future? By the way, a hardware token is a small device that gives the user a password that changes every few minutes. When the user logs into the network, it types the current password shown on the hardware token. Case 9 - Rutrell Yasin, "Staples Manages Net in Real Time," InternetWeek (May 15, 2000). http://www.internetwk.com/case/study051500-1.htm. (A new page will open in your browser window.) Describe Staples' business. Describe its growth trends. Describe the SMARTS software it uses. What does the Codebook Correlation Technology do? Finally, what general priciples did you learn? Case 10 - David Drucker, "Wharton School: Collaboration Tool Aids MBA Courses," InternetWeek, November 29, 1999. http://www.internetwk.com/case/study112999-1.htm. (A new window will open in your browser.) The chapter looked at e-mail. But e-mail is only the simplest form of a broad class of tools called groupware or collaborative technology. What was Wharton looking for? What technology did Wharton choose? Why? How is Wharton rolling eRoom out? On what platform does eRoom run? What client software do students need? What is the product's pricing? Finally, what general priciples did you learn?
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