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Friday, 05 April 2013 12:53

Case Study: New Patches Released By Original Coders Featured

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Case Study: New Patches Released By Original Coders


 Policy to follow when new patches are released by original coders

Upon the release of new patches, system administrator will work in collaboration with members of the technology team and close the server room (Stair & Reynolds, 2011).  The server room is the location of computer servers. For a small business, the server room is small and contains smaller group of servers. As a computer administrator, performing daily tasks is essential for keeping up with the vibrant working condition in the company and for compliance with daily business operations. The administrator is the only employee who understands the network topology of the organization (Stair & Reynolds, 2011). The administrator is also the one who have knowledge of application software and how to use the internet in order to find updates. Allowing any other persons to the server would compromise the server. Malicious employee can easily use the internet or physically get into the server and change configurations that may alter the up time of the company.  The limitation of server access minimizes instances of compromise that may result to online unavailability.


 During new patches releases and other times, there should not be any employee using removable devices like flash cards, memory cards, and external hard drives. Apart from using carrying critical organizational information, such devices are likely to introduce malware and computer viruses. To the security of the organization system, threats would mean loss or compromise of personal and confidential information (Stair & Reynolds, 2011). All computers should be protected using anti-viruses and accessibility limits set based on the management level of the employee.   Employees must also be warned against using organizational internet resources to download applications and software online. Through firewalls, a system administrator can ensure that all suspicious downloads are detected and prevented from getting into the organization’s network.


 A system administrator must ensure that all employees are informed of the of any planned system update. System update should be such is made known to all employees so that there is available time to back up important information to avoid loss. Informing employees would gain their cooperation. Cooperation is important as it speeds up the process of installation or software updates thereby lowering the down times.  Given that 90 percent organizational income comes from this system, the less time spent on system update and installation the better. Cooperative employees during the new application releases would mean that the expensive server equipments are prevented from damage since some employees will offer assistance to the administrator. All new releases should be done by system administrators. The system administrator understands the organization’s systems and configurations. Allowing any other person to manage the server risks the organization not only confidential information but also vital uptime. Any system update, software, or network change should be led by the system administrator and no one else should be entrusted with his or her responsibilities.


 Updating from generic standpoint

Since this is a small organization, application update should be done from a generic standpoint. With a generic standpoint, it means that updating process should be done from any point in the organization system. It also implies that any upper level management technical member can carryout the updating process from any point. A generic standpoint improves employees creativity as any employee can work seeks for issues of insecurity threat and modifies it (Stair & Reynolds, 2011). The code can be modified without search for patents. By making the system known to the nontechnical employees then, they will be obliged to detect any system problems and suggest improvements. Additionally, informed employees will have the responsibility to suggest any useful information and creatively come up with better ways to improve the applications.


 From generic stand points, the applications can be modified to fit different situations. Depending on the level of employee, modifications can be done such that fit perfectly to the organization’s need at any time. This is cost effective given that the company only has to purchase new releases and carryout code modifications as suitable for its operations. In addition, any changes in the company will mean that the system can be changed to suit company needs. There is not any specific expertise required to maintain the system configurations.


  Importance of purchasing new hardware and software to create a test environment

Prior to the installation of new software, a systems administrator needs to have a small test lab. This will be important in enabling the test team to learn about the product, prove its concepts, test various scenarios, against the business model, and validate solutions. From the new test lab, the project team can use it as a baseline configuration from where they can add different functionalities in stages. This way, the problems that arise from independently developed component designs will be avoided.


 The test lab will enable the project implementation team to test and verify different system functions. For instance, the test teams can identity the functionality of each of the services and features to be implemented, check their interoperability with the current system components, and optimization of configurations like those of standardized computers.  Purchasing new hardware and software will serve well in upgrading the workplace to suit both current and future needs. With a test lab, it can be used for network upgrades, and new administrative and support processes.


 Rollback strategy

 I disagree with the fact that a rollback strategy is not important after the test environment has been verified as positive. A rollback strategy is very important given that change will be forced into the company and new policies used to replace the old policies (Hohpe & Woolf, 2012).  With a new test environment, organizational issues can be verified if they had not been detected during testing. Forcing the new system means the organizational database system reliability would be improved. This is because the system can work on new hardware as well as operate on huge information. Forcing change would mean that the system speed is improved using the new hardware and software (Hohpe & Woolf, 2012).


 In addition, a roll back strategy is very important given no database information will be lost or altered. Again, changes resulting from the rollback on systems information will be taken care (Hohpe & Woolf, 2012). All problems in transactions resulting from conflicting configurations will be resolved more so those that were not detected in the test lab. As for the team member with the suggestion of the rollback not being important, I thank him. However, I believe we need another team member who appreciates that the future holds transactions that may require our new system specification implementations.


 What if the patch requires system unavailability for 30 minutes?

In case the patch installation requires that the system is down for 30 minutes, I still believe that only the management is aware of the similarity of our database to that of another company (Stair & Reynolds, 2011). In this case, I would take a chance that nothing would happen, until after production hours when it is not inconvenient and costly to run the update. Such a wait is worth it because rushing into immediate installation would mean that may cost installation errors that would cause the company even more down time than the 30 anticipated minutes.

By taking on the option of installing the patch on hours that are less costly and more convenient, it means that there will be enough room to troubleshoot any errors by taking up even more down time. This will mean the system is well verified for its compatibility and interoperability.


 References

Hohpe, G., & Woolf, B., (2012). Enterprise integration patterns. Addison-Wesley. USA.

Stair, R., and Reynolds, G., (2011). Principles of information systems. Cengage Learning. USA


 

Last modified on Friday, 05 April 2013 12:58
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