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Building Server - Exercise

Building the server

Identify the considerations for selecting or building a server
Objective: Identify considerations and make a recommendation for selecting or building a server.
Scoring
This exercise is worth a total of 5 points. To receive full credit, you'll need to evaluate two options based on the needs of your company and write up your proposal, explaining how you arrived at your answer. Once you have completed your answer, you'll submit it to a tutor.
Background/overview
You are the eBusiness architect for an online broker/aggregator based in New York. The company was started and is run by the existing team of ten staff members. The current site runs on two servers based at an ISP in New York with an ISDN connection to your office. One server handles the database while the other is a Web server.
The company has recently received a large investment from external investors who would like to see the eBusiness solution grow and improve. One of the investors is from Australia and has noted that the servers were down for maintenance when she last looked at it. The site is due to be launched with a big promotion in various countries soon after completion of the upgrade, but has already started to receive media attention due to the investment opportunities.
You have not yet made the choice to outsource or not. Your engineering team has come up with a comprehensive list of components needed and the present and future capabilities that will need to be addressed.
You have been approached by two companies, each hoping to sell you on their products and services. Your in-house engineering team has made a strong case for building the solution from scratch. Review the proposals of each company, compare it to the list provided by your team, and make a first-draft recommendation that details:
  1. Considerations for selecting or building a server
  2. Your recommendation to select or build a server

Proposals

First proposal
This company is based in New York and is a subsidiary of the ISP. The ISP is rated as one of the major players in the provision of Internet services.
The proposal is to supply a new application and database to replace the existing one. The ISP will continue to host the servers, but will allocate more servers as appropriate to allow server clusters. The ISP will provide support and maintenance facilities for the servers. The application will be fully supported by the Application Service Provider (ASP) making the proposal. Your staff will assist the ASP in the immediate and future running of the site and its development.
Second proposal
This company is based in Australia with a branch in Boston. It is owned by the Australian investment company that is investing in your company. The company is less than a year old and is growing fast.
The proposal is to host a large server in the server farms run by the company in Boston with a mirror site in Australia. The existing application will be used with considerable enhancement and development. The site will be supported and developed by your team with assistance from the ASP. A 128K dual redundant link will be installed between your office and the new server location.

Instructions

  1. Read the scenario.
  2. Evaluate each option based on the needs of your company.
  3. Write up your proposal, explaining how you arrived at your answer.

Hints

We are interested in technology issues.
We will assume that the cost of each of the options is roughly similar.
We will assume there are not any pressures to make selections based on the interests of investors or any other business relationships.
Consider the following aspects in each case:
  1. Scalability
  2. Security
  3. Connectivity
You may make some assumptions about the companies making the proposals with regards to their experience and resources, but please include these in your answer.

Submitting your exercise

Enter your answer into the text box below. Click the Submit button to submit your solution to a tutor.