CS 338 Computer System Administration - Syllabus

This course covers a wide range of system administration topics. Listed below are topic sections, student learning outcomes (SLOs), and associated lab work. Additional homework and reading will be assigned with each topic, see Moodle for additional information.

Overview and Hardware Review

SLOs

    • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify the roles of all computer components and how they affect computer processing.
    • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the differences between servers and consumer client PCs. Students will be able to justify the value of servers in systems engineering over using consumer client PCs.
    • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the different server form factors and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Labs

Networking Overview

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to explain the roles of the various hardware components of a typical small-business network, including NICs, routers, switches, firewalls, ethernet cables, fiber-optic cables, and wireless APs.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of packet switching, LANs, VLANs, and subnets.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to differentiate between packet switching and packet routing.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will appreciate the importance of the creation and identification of interfaces on networking entities (hosts, switches, routers, etc.).
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will know the 5 layers of the TCP/IP model and the role of each layer.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the important role DHCP plays in a computer network.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the important role DNS plays in a computer network.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the usefulness of having a company-wide shared file system.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of account management on networking devices.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to explain the important role a firewall plays in securing a small business network.

Labs

Virtual Machine Introduction with VMWare

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define virtualization and describe the role of virtualization in systems engineering.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to enumerate and describe the pros and cons of virtualization for a business.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to differentiate between type-1 and type-2 hypervisors.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe what components make up a virtual machine.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to summarize the current state of the virtualization industry, including the major companies, products, and benefits of these products.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to identify hardware resource constraints, and diagnose problems with hypervisor design.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to understand the virtualization specific concepts of storage snapshotting, thin vs thick storage, storage expansion, storage movement, VM migration, resource reservations, and resource oversubscription.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the major components of an enterprise virtualization platform, including networking, SAN/NAS storage, and redundant hypervisors.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to utilize the VMware vSphere platform to:
    • Log into a ESXi server
    • Perform hypervisor performance monitoring
    • Create a new virtual machine to given hardware specifications
    • Snapshot and restore snapshots of virtual machines

Labs

Windows Installation and Configuration

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to give major differences between Microsoft Server operating systems and desktop operating systems.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the major versions of Microsoft Server operating systems.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the licensing models for Microsoft Server operating systems.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the different installation modes available in Server 2016.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to install Windows Server GUI and no-GUI versions from CD/ISO files in a virtual machine.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to partition a storage device according to given requirements.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to correctly license a Windows operating system.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to assign networking addresses from the GUI and command line.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to join Windows Server and consumer desktops to an Active Directory domain from the GUI and command line.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to identify what changes about a local machine when the machine is joined to Active Directory.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the need for up to date operating systems.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to be able to update Windows Server from the GUI and command line.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to upload an install packages and install 3rd party applications from the GUI and command line.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to install and configure Windows Roles and Features from the GUI and command line.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to utilize server manager to control their local machine and other servers remotely.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the need for remote access in light of different hosting situations.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to connect to Window Server using Remote Desktop, Powershell, and PSTools.

Labs

Configuring Windows Server for IIS services

Labs

Active Directory

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define the purpose of Active Directory Domain Services.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify and describe the basic software services that make up Active Directory.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to able to describe the function of Kerberos within Active Directory. Students will be able to describe how Kerberos authenticates users over insecure mediums securely.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe basic LDAP distinguished names for organizational units, groups, and users.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the basic layout of Active Directory. Students will be able to describe the default OUs within Active Directory.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the object types that exist in Active Directory.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to create organizational units in Active Directory.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to utilize AD Users and Computers to connect to an Active Directory system.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to obtain the latest Remote Server Administration pack and add AD Users and Computers onto a machine.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify and define the purpose of the operations masters in an Active Directory system.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define what a Active Directory tree and forest is.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define what an Active Directory schema is, and the importance of the schema to Active Directory operations.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define what a Global Catalog server is, and how it is used in Active Directory.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to utilize AD Users and Computers to create, modify, move and delete user account objects.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand user account restrictions and how to best utilize them for business best practices and cyber security.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to utilize AD Users and Computers to create, modify, move, and delete group account objects.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the purpose of groups, the different types of Active Directory groups, and how to best utilize them for business best practices and cyber security.

Labs

Group Policy

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the purpose and design of Group Policy, and how it fits into the toolkit for managing PCs.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to create, edit group policies, and apply them to groups of computers by linking the policy to an Active Directory OU.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able compute correct Group Policy application by using Group Policy Inheritance, and Enforced policies. Students will be able to utilize Group Policy Modeling to simulate Group Policy application.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to use Group Policy Results (RSoP) to debug application of Group Policy for a machine and logged in user. Students will be able to debug group policy from a remote server, as well as utilizing gpresult on a locally logged in machine/user.

Labs

Scripting

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the purpose and design of batch scripts.
  • Knowledge and Action SLO: Students will be able to write batch scripts to automate installation of program installers.
  • Knowledge and Action SLO: Students will be able to write batch scripts to manipulate files and file permissions.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to use batch scripts to access, manipulate, and create Active Directory objects. (dsquery)
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the purpose and design of Powershell.
  • Knowledge and Action SLO: Students will be able to write and debug Powershell through the Powershell ISE.
  • Knowledge and Action SLO: Students will be able to write Powershell scripts to manipulate files and file permissions.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to use Powershell to access, manipulate, and create Active Directory objects.

Labs

Configuring Windows for Remote Administration

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the need for remote access, and how remote access differs from direct computer access via KVM.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to enable, and log into a remote Windows machine via Remote Desktop for Administration.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to differentiate between Remote Desktop for Administration and Remote Desktop Services.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to use Powershell to connect to a remote Windows machine for administration.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to utilize the PsExec utility to launch processes on a remote system.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify and provide a list of differentiating features for other popular remote administration tools, including VNC, TeamViewer, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC.

Labs

Planning, building LANs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to build a star topology network and will be able to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of this topology.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to articulate the advantages and disadvantages of setting up VLANs in a network.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the need for VLAN tagging and trunking.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the purpose of ARP and STP.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the roles, assignments, and representations of MAC, IPv4, and IPv6 addresses.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the role subnets/VLANs play in the planning and deployment of a small-business network.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the utility of a NAT.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will know what information a DHCP server sends to hosts.

Labs

Installing, Configuring Switch/Routing Devices

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to read and understand a routing table on a router and host.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to demonstrate how a routing table is used to forward packets across multiple networks.

Installing, Configuring LAN Services

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to explain the functionality of TCP and UDP.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the roles and assignments of TCP and UDP ports.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to convert fully-specified IPv6 addresses into addresses with zero-compression.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify the 3 kinds of IPv6 addresses.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to distinguish between IPv6 Unicast Global, Unicast Local, and Unicast Link-Local addresses.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the purpose and use of the IPv6 zoneId.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify a multicast IPv6 address.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe how SLAAC is used to generate a unique IPv6 address on a machine.

Labs

Wireless Networks

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the components in a modern wireless infrastructure.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to be able to describe the differences between autonomous, lightweight, and cooperative control access points.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to the describe the differences between infrastructure and peer-to-peer networks, and mesh networks.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the basic properties of WiFi radio signals, including the basics of electromagnetic radiation.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the the pros and cons of using 2.4Ghz vs 5Ghz wireless signals.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the importance of channel planning in regards to channel overlap, and channel interference.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand how to measure wireless signal power, and calculate SNR.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand how walls, obstacles, people, and technology all can disrupt and degrade a wireless signal.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand how a wireless signal propagates from a transmitter.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define signal reflection, refraction, diffraction, scattering, and absorption.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify how 802.11 works in the layer 1 and layer 2 models of OSI.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define the differences between 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave2
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify which wireless standards operate on the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency bands.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify the maximum theoretical bandwidth supported by each wireless standard.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the different types of WiFi security, including WEP, WPA, WPA2, PSK, and WPA2 Enterprise 802.1X security.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the weaknesses in WEP and WPA that have lead to their discontinuation of use.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand what a RADIUS server is and how it performs AAA functions.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the 802.1X and EAP security process.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe what a site-survey is, and why it is important in wireless planning.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand how wireless signal propagation in 3D affects site planning.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to do wireless site planning using a building floorplan.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to join a wireless access point to a given wireless management system (Ubiquiti UniFI)
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to configure wireless channel assignments per AP.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to provision WLANs including security settings and apply them onto an AP.
  • Action SLO: Students will be able to connect a client wireless device to an AP and monitor usage statistics.

Labs

VPN Technologies

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the need for technologies to securely connect remote users and campuses to primary enterprise networks.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students be able to differentiate between remote access and site-to-site vpn technologies.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define and provide the advantages and disadvantages of multiple types of site-to-site VPN technologies. Students will be able to describe the advantages of disadvantages of point to point (or point to multipoint) VPNS.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the pros and cons of different types of remote access VPNs.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to apply routing tables to correctly route traffic over remote access and site to site VPNs.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the different VPN protocols and encryption types, and which methods are still deemed “secure” from surveillance.

Labs

Configuring Firewalls

Labs

Storage Technologies and RAID

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify the advantages and disadvantages of using a NAS in an organization.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify two possible set ups for a network containing NASes.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify characteristics of the iSCSI protocol.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to explain the relationship between NASes and a SAN.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of a SAN.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to identify the two primary ways to create a network to support a SAN.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to explain the various RAID levels, and their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to explain what a URE is and why RAID 5 is not as effective as it used to be.

Configuring DNS and Private Email

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to explain the functionality of DNS.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will know the 6 main DNS record types.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the parts of a domain name.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the basic operation of how a DNS query is resolved.

Labs

Backups, Continuity, and Disaster Recovery

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to define the parts and pieces in a traditional backup system.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to differentiate between full, incremental, and differential file backups.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the how virtualization and snapshot technologies affect backups.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the need for system quiescence in backup projects.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to justify the need for off-site backups.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the pros and cons of multiple off-site storage technologies.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to make a business justifiable defense of why continuity and disaster recovery planning is important in IT.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe different disaster recovery data center options, and the differences between hot, warm, and cold sites for IT.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to understand the role of a business continuity plan in IT.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will understand the difference between recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs).
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to outline the basic pieces of a DR recovery plan.

Data Center Design and Trends

SLOs

  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the common infrastructure components of a data center, and their role in providing uninterrupted service.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the different types of UPS devices, and the pros and cons of each type.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to properly design a data center for optimal air-conditioning (A/C).
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the business need for full infrastructure redundancy for data centers.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the different tiers of data centers.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to differentiate between traditional, converged, and hyper-converged hardware systems.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to make a business justification for converged and hyper-converged hardware systems.
  • Knowledge SLO: Students will be able to describe the differences between traditional networking and software-defined networking.