First meeting of INFS 750: IT Infrastructure, Technology, Network, Management… the whole shootin’ match!

We open with a review of library research from Mary Francis of the Mundt Library

Research note: Dr. Moran declares Wikipedia an acceptable source for our papers! He notes that Wikipedia articles on network tech are generally above average (and quickly corrected).

Google Scholar is cool, but you can’t access a lot of the stuff without going to the Mundt databases anyway. Still, I’m of the impression the search capability of Google Scholar gets us to relevant titles more quickly. Then I can track down that specific article in the database and fan out to related material from there. Even in ABI/INFORM, if I start searching, I may get results that aren’t held in that database, requiring me to go use the Journal Finder to see if that title is available anywhere at DSU, just as I do after a Google Scholar search.

Oh! Check out this INFS/INFA 700-Level Research Guide!

  • including this fun outline of the graduate student research process (funny, it doesn’t include Cheetos and Mountain Dew…)
  • Mary says that computer science types might like having a nice step-by-step checklist for conducting research. Mark reminds her that we are information systems people: we’re more humanistic, less nerdy! That’s also why we use APA style instead of IEEE: to signify our inclination toward the humanities.
  • Oh! See the Mundt’s very own style guides!
  • By the way, Word 2007 will do APA etc. for you! And Mark says Word is good enough for him in this class.
  • Big 3 infosys databases:
    • ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)
    • ACM Digital Library
    • IEEE Computer Society Digital Library
  • ethical use of information:
    • copyright is automatic! You don’t have to stamp a little ¬© on your notes to make them your own…
    • …but give credit where credit is due! you should definitely make sure you give Mary Francis proper credit for the fine things she’s telling you about intellectual property!
    • citing sources gives proper credit, supports your text, and lets readers check your sources (see for yourself: so very bloggy)

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Lecture Part 2: Dr. Moran does the course intro

Our text is by Ray Panko! Mark is buds with him! Panko likes canoeing. (Panko also digs spreadsheet research.)

Early papers graded more on APA style, refs and such than content.

Expect about 100 points worth of work each two-week cycle. We have three assignments this first cycle:

  1. Assignment 1 from the text
  2. Network plan
  3. Pick a Big Paper topic
    1. doesn’t need to be a big honking doctoral paper! just a knowledge paper! history, background, how-to… maybe even a position paper!
    2. Draft due in March

Assignments generally due the night before class!

TCP/IP is a big deal: you can’t come out of a networking class without knowing how TCP/IP works!

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Panko, Chapter 1: An Introduction to Networking

Four ways to identify a computer on a network:

  1. Physical address (a.k.a. MAC: Media Access Control; doesn’t change unless you’re hacking to hide yourself)
  2. IP address (changes a lot)
  3. name (Microsoft likes that)
  4. port (usu. stuck w. IP)

Network basic def: communication system that allows application programs on different hosts to work together

Host: anything attached to network; anything with an identifier

Application standards (a.k.a. protocols) govern communication between application programs

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) standardizes communication between browsers (clients) and Web servers

  • HTTP is an open standard (thank you, DoD)

ARPANet:

  • created by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency circa 1970
  • served researchers doing business with DARPA
  • connected several sites nationwide
  • some of first networked apps created for ARPANet
  • eventually became the Internet (1980)
  • ARPANet evolved into Milnet (very secure, very paranoid)

Other early networks:

  • CSNET in computer science
  • BITNET in biz and soc sciences
  • Ethernet: Xerox came up with it before APRANet, made it free (and thank goodness)

Internet:

  • DARPA created 1980
  • became commercial 1995
  • 1996: Bill Gates gets serious about Internet
  • almost no gov’t money keeping ‘Net afloat now

Traditional Internet Apps:

  • File Transfer Protocol
  • E-Mail
  • World Wide Web
  • E-Commerce

Internet is a global transmission system. WWW is an app!

Newer Internet Apps:

  • Instant Messaging
  • Streaming Audio/Video
  • Voice over IP
  • Peer-to-Peer Apps

[ITCTel runs fiber-optic to Lake Madison; Mark gets his TV over IP!]

Web 2.0, ERP (DSU does PeopleSoft/Oracle because USD got SAP, and SAP only works with one university per state)

Quality of Service:

  • indicators of network performance
  • this is really important! the network must work! people count on it like air!
  • lots of diff metrics (speed, error rates, latency and jitter…)

Security:

  • attacks can be costly
  • ARPANet once had 4 nodes: who needed security?
  • cryptographic protections
  • shades of getting away from the bear: you at least want to be more secure than the other guys

Ethernet: switched networks!

  • messages are called frames
  • switched networks use MAC addresses (media access control) in hexadecimal!
  • DSU: each building is its own domain, separate network; relatively small camppus-wide network with just a couple thousand computers
  • core switch and workgroup switches

Routed networks use IP addresses (and those can change! that’s why routed networks are slower!

  • routers have to be faster because they have to ask other routers where things are (smarter, take more processing time)

ISP subscriber payments finance the Internet

WANs, LANs, and PANs (personal area networks!)

  • big distinction: go from LAN to WAN and you lose control of the delivery mechanism (gotta use Qwest, DDN,…)
  • WANs and LANs all can be routed or switched

Network Management much more automated now

  • When Mark started here, we had just 600+ students, but we had more network tech managers than we do now, since so much had to be done manually

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP):

  • manages multiple devices from central location
  • collects info about each managed device
  • can sometimes reconfigure managed devices remotely

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Possible topics for Cory’s semester paper:

  1. Community wireless networks (WiMAX impact)
  2. rural broadband, impact of infrastructure stimulus
  3. replacement of in-house networks with virtual/WiMAX
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