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Chapter 4 Analyzing Software Requirements Learning Objectives Analyze an organization’s: User base, resources, user access, and user productivity Existing software systems and databases Analyze: Corporate culture and software implementation System performance and security issues

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Chapter 4 l.jpg

Chapter 4

Analyzing Software Requirements

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Learning Objectives

  • Analyze an organization’s:

    • User base, resources, user access, and user productivity

    • Existing software systems and databases

  • Analyze:

    • Corporate culture and software implementation

    • System performance and security issues

    • Backup and disaster recovery methods

    • Technical support, user help, and training

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Evaluating the Company User Base and Resources

  • Operating systems

  • Workstation operating system upgrades

  • User base

  • User-based network traffic

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  • Many disadvantages for networking

  • Not designed to take full advantage of the features of a network operating system like Windows 2000 Server and Active Directory

  • Upgrade to a later version of MS-DOS (6.22) for the most connectivity options

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Windows 3.1 and 3.11

  • Windows 3.1

    • Limited networking abilities

  • Windows 3.11 or Windows for Workgroups (WFW)

    • Peer-to-peer communication opens the way for sharing resources

    • Designed to run 16-bit applications

    • Has a 640 KB conventional memory limitation

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Limitations ofWindows 3.1 and 3.11

  • Cannot search for and view objects in Active Directory

  • Slow; can result in network bottlenecks along with low user productivity

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Windows 95 and Windows 98

  • Full peer-to-peer and network communication features

  • Greater capacity for folder sharing, printer sharing, network communication, workgroup activities, and other network operations

  • Support TCP/IP, NetBEUI, and NWLink

  • Windows 95 introduces a GUI interface

  • Windows 98 adds more networking capabilities

  • Compatible with newer 32-bit software

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Microsoft Directory Service Client for Windows 95/98

  • Enables these non-Windows 2000 clients to profit from three capabilities:

    • Ability to use Kerberos authentication security

    • Ability to view information published in Windows 2000 Active Directory

    • Enhanced domain logon performance

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Windows NT Workstation

  • Has all peer-to-peer and network communication advantages ofWindows 95 and Windows 98

  • Same GUI interface as Windows 95/98

  • Runs in a privileged mode to insulate it from “crashes” caused by software applications

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Windows NT Workstation

  • Disadvantages

    • Some 16-bit programs have trouble running

    • Early versions that do not have service pack updates may lack some drivers that are needed for printers, NICs, pointing devices, sound devices, etc.

  • Advantages

    • Can act as a small server on a network

    • If users have installed service pack 3 or higher, it supports Dfs and Active Directory access to find network objects

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Windows 2000 Professional

  • More networking capabilities than Windows NT Workstation

  • Support for new peripheral devices

  • Full PnP and energy-saving capabilities that are not available in Windows NT

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Advantages of Windows 2000 Professional

  • Written to be fully compatible with Windows 2000 Server and Active Directory services

  • Up to 25% faster than Windows NT Workstation (faster network response)

  • IntelliMirror features help users to be more productive through:

    • Fast installation

    • Automated configuration

    • Versatile data handling

    • Recovery from problem situations

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Windows Millennium Edition

  • Home entertainment features

  • Better handling of PnP devices

  • Enhancements to support broader networking and Internet connectivity

  • Provides automated setup of home-based networks

  • Targeted for the home computer market

  • Includes built-in DSClient capabilities for access to Active Directory on business and professional networks

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  • Can connect to Windows 2000 Server-based networks by using the AppleTalk protocol, or through TCP/IP

  • When AppleTalk is used, Macintosh computers are linked to the network by setting up Windows 2000 Server Services for Macintosh, which includes:

    • File Server for Macintosh (MacFile)

    • Print Server for Macintosh (MacPrint)

    • AppleTalk Protocol

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  • All versions have the capability to act as host computers

  • Can access resources on other computers that support the Network File System (NFS) protocol

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  • For Windows NT Server

    • Support for UNIX clients involves implementing third-party, disk-sharing software that employs the NFS protocol

  • In Windows 2000 Server

    • UNIX computers are supported by installing the Windows 2000 component for UNIX file and print services

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Analyzing Workstation Operating System Upgrades

  • Factors in assessing whether to upgrade

    • How it will benefit the company (new capabilities, increased user productivity, lower TCO)

    • One-time purchase cost

    • Cost in terms of employee hours to perform the upgrade

    • Ongoing support costs

  • Consider how workstation upgrades and rollouts of software are performed, and how upgrades will affect Active Directory design

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Determining the User Base

  • Number of users

    • Total number of users

    • Typical number of users who are logged on at any one time

    • Amount of network traffic the users create

  • Operating systems running on those users’ computers

  • Locations of the users

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Value of Determining Number of Users

  • To help size Active Directory

  • To determine where to locate DCs and global catalog servers

  • To optimize performance by creating sites

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Using Network Monitor to Study User-based Network Traffic

  • Network Monitor Driver

    • Enables a Microsoft-based server or workstation NIC to gather network performance data for assessment by Microsoft Network Monitor

  • Network Monitor

    • A Windows NT and Windows 2000 network monitoring tool that can capture and display network performance data

    • Useful for gathering benchmarks

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Network Monitor Total Pane Statistics

  • Network Statistics

  • Captured Statistics

  • Per Second Statistics

  • Network Card (MAC) Statistics

  • Network Card (MAC) Error Statistics

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Network MonitorStation Pane Statistics

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Analyzing User Access and Productivity

  • Network Monitor can be used to study low, medium, and high use of resources

  • Value of analyzing user access patterns

    • To determine placement and number of DCs

    • To determine placement and number of global catalog servers

    • To tune access to Active Directory and network resources by implementing subnets and Active Directory site designations

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Checklist for Analyzing User Access Patterns

  • What types of user access are associated with low, medium, and high monitored network traffic?

  • What user access patterns exist on local networks and across WANs?

  • How is user access affected by branch offices, subsidiaries, and partner relationships?


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Checklist for Analyzing User Access Patterns

  • How is user access affected by outsourcing relationships?

  • What productivity needs are associated with user access?

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Evaluating Existing Software and Software Systems

  • Accounting software

  • Office software

  • E-mail software

  • Specialized business software

  • Development software

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Analyzing Accounting Software

  • Active Directory issues focus on creating security groups and group policies that establish reliable access and security

    • How different modules communicate in an integrated accounting system

    • How program changes and testing are handled

    • Requirements imposed by company’s financial auditors

    • Potential need for special security access for programmers during upgrades

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Analyzing Office Software

  • May need to create and publish shared data folders for users and to offer Dfs

  • May need to set up security groups to limit access to shared folders

  • Design security and shared folders to enable users to install and upgrade software, if needed

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Analyzing E-mail Software

  • One system or multiple systems?

  • Used in combination with calendar and scheduling software?

  • Firewalls required?

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Analyzing Specialized Business Software

  • Can include all kinds of software for business functions

    • Inventory

    • Manufacturing

    • Marketing

    • Fundraising

    • Management

    • E-commerce

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Analyzing Development Software

  • Consider creating a separate area – such as a development domain – in which to develop and test programs before they are copied into a production domain for users to access

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Analyzing Databases and Data Structures

  • Flat file databases

  • Network databases

  • Relational databases

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Flat File Database

  • Data is stored sequentially in regular files in the same directory on a first-in basis

  • Security is set on files and folders

  • Access to data is slower than for other types of databases

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Network Database

  • A flat file database that uses a simple table structure

  • Security is established on files and folders

  • Access to a table can be faster than for regular flat file databases

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Relational Database

  • Data is stored in tables that can be designed with optimized relationships to one another for fast data access

  • Most efficient type of database

  • Several levels of security

  • Access to data and data queries can be very fast

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Advantages of Relational Databases

  • Ability to normalize the database

  • One or more views of specific data can be created; data can be accessed without having to search entire database

  • Statistics can be generated for a data query or report to document the fastest route through which to obtain data

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Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

  • An application programming interface in Windows-based operating systems and a standard for accessing data inside a relational database

  • How accomplished:

    • Application must be written to use ODBC

    • Must be an ODBC driver that is called by the application and that acts as an intermediary between the application and the database

    • Database must be designed to be ODBC-compliant

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Importance of Analyzing Databases and Data Structures

  • Many organizations use ODBC to enable report-writing software and make most current ODBC drivers available to authorized users

  • Design of Active Directory OUs and security groups can ensure that database access is restricted to authorized users

  • You can know the user base associated with each database

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Analyzing Existing Corporate Culture & Software Implementation

  • Issues related to corporate culture affect Active Directory design in terms of:

    • Delegation of tasks

    • How security is established

    • Who installs and manages software

  • Learn about the corporate culture as a way to understand how decisions are made, reflecting an organization’s relationship to its software assets

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Analyzing Software System Performance Issues Implementation

  • Direct effect on user productivity on a network

  • Find out what software performance is acceptable in an organization and design Active Directory services to match the need

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Analyzing Software System Performance Issues Implementation

  • Security for a VPN can be configured through Active Directory by limiting access via:

    • IP address

    • User account

    • Network subnet address

    • Remote access policies

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Improving performance by placing a database server in each branch office

Analyzing Software System Performance Issues

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Analyzing Software Security Issues branch office

  • Link the software with users

  • Determine what security should be set up for individual software

  • Analyze who is responsible for assigning the security

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Analyzing Software Security branch office

  • Security Configuration and Analysis tool

    • A MMC snap-in that helps monitor and analyze security

    • Creates a database from which to configure group policies on a server and perform a security check of specific group policies

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Analyzing Backup and Disaster Recovery Methods branch office

  • Backup

    • Making a copy of software and data so they can be restored in the event of a system failure or accidental data deletion

    • Full backup

    • Incremental backup

  • Disaster recovery plan

    • Creating a plan to continue computer operations after a disaster (fire, floor, earthquake)

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Windows NT Server Backup branch office

  • Back up the Registry, which contains information about all software and hardware setups on the server

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Windows 2000 Server branch office

  • Back up system state data and system protected files

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Windows 2000 Server System State Data branch office

  • System and boot files

  • Active Directory

  • SYSVOL folder

  • Registry

  • COM+ Class Registration information

  • DNS zones

  • Certificate information

  • Server cluster data

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Ntldr branch office






Windows 2000 Server System Protected Files

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Disaster Recovery Plans branch office

  • Simplest form: have a remote site for storing a copy of certain backups

  • Use Dfs and DCs to go beyond using bank vaults and extra tape sets

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Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan Considerations branch office

  • What type of backup methods are used?

  • What type of backup plans are in place for:

    • Registries of Windows NT servers and system state data for Windows 2000 servers?

    • System protected files on Windows 2000 servers?


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Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan Considerations branch office

  • Are backup tape rotation plans and off-site vault storage used?

  • Is Dfs implemented to provide fault tolerance and disaster recovery for important files and software applications?

  • Is there more than one DC per domain; are all the DCs set up in a topology that enables Active Directory replication for fault tolerance and disaster recovery?

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Analyzing Technical Support, User Help, and Training branch office

  • Technical support

    • Usually a higher support level for major software problems

    • Extensive privileges usually required

  • User help

    • Direct contact with users on a wide range of problems

    • Special security privileges usually required

  • Training

    • Performed in-house or outsourced

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Technical Support, User Help, and Training Considerations branch office

  • Who provides technical support to the computer professionals in an organization, and what type of access do they require?

  • Who provides user help functions in the organization, and what access do they need to perform their jobs?

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Technical Support, User Help, and Training Considerations branch office

  • How is training provided, and what computer resources are needed for training?

  • What access is needed to enable training?

  • Is training software used, and what resources are needed to make it available to users?

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Chapter Summary branch office

  • Evaluating the company user base and resources

  • Analyzing user access and productivity

  • Evaluating existing software and software systems

  • Analyzing databases and data structures

  • Analyzing existing corporate culture and software implementation


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Chapter Summary branch office

  • Analyzing software system performance issues

  • Analyzing software security issues

  • Analyzing backup and disaster recovery methods

  • Analyzing technical support, user help, and training