Current Projects in the IST Lab
Online Networking Environment
The online networking environment project entails creating virtual networks, using Microsoft Hyper-V, to give students the opportunity to perform network laboratory exercise in an online environment. The list of laboratory exercises includes simple tasks as creating a peer-to-peer network and joining workstations to domains to complex tasks including configuring domain controllers with group policies and configuring Exchange servers.
Network Data Gathering
With the grant, the IST department was able to purchase networking equipment from Fluke Networks. Equipment purchased included an OptiView Series III Workgroup Analyzer, a Netflow Tracker, and a Portable Analyzer. This equipment will be used for gathering network data on events like Video Game Days (See Project 7) and Free-For-All-Fridays, which is another videogame event for Penn State DuBois students. In the past, network traffic was generated by going to websites and downloading files, copy files from one work station to another, and other simple actions. The uses of videogames introduce a way to generate network traffic that closely simulates industry conditions. Different videogames generate different types of network traffic, every event does not have the same number of users on the network, the ISTLAB environment has many different types of network topologies are some of the factors that students will observer while gathering network data using equipment gained from the grant.
The Penn State DuBois network lab has never had any VoIP equipment. The new equipment includes a TalkSwitch 484vs Small Business Phone System, several IP Phones, and a Cisco SRW208P 8-port 10/100 Ethernet Switch - WebView/PoE. Some of the lab exercises performed with this new equipment include setting up a VoIP phone system to allow communications between the computer labs, server room, and registration desk for the Video Game Day events.
This project is a cross disciplinary project. Business students at Penn State DuBois will perform classroom exercises and assignments on Microsoft Dynamics GP. The server that will house this software will be in a virtual environment. The business students will need a web browser to access a virtual workstation that will have direct connection to Microsoft Dynamics GP server. The IST students in this project will be supporting the business students and managing the server dedicated to this project.
IT Club Helpdesk
IST students offer their computer expertise to fellow Penn State students as well as to faculty and staff on personal IT needs. If the problem is related to a hardware issue, IST students perform various diagnostic checks on the computer to ascertain exactly where the problem has occured. The IST student can then rectify the problem at no cost (except for the cost of replacement parts, if necessary). IST students are also available to consult if a software problem arises. The IST student will walk through the problem, explaining the process and its resolution. These services are offered in Rooms 105 and 106 in the DEF building during normal school hours.
The IST Network Lab consists of 4 rows of 5 computer workstations. At the end of each
row, a server rack holds equipment for students to use in a lab environment. This
equipment includes Cisco router and switches, 3COM switches, hubs, servers, and other
equipment. Some of the network equipment needed to be updated. The following list of
equipment was acquired: 1 Cisco ASA 5540; 2 Cisco 2821 VPN Routers; 5 Cisco 3750 Catalyst;
Displays with KVMs; Belkin 19 inch LCD Rack Console.
Along with the upgrade to the network equipment, the workstations was in need of improvements. Each of the 20 workstations received the following upgrade: a new video card, installation of a fourth hard drive and a new power supply.
The last upgrade to the lab consists removing the old Cisco PIX firewall and using a Cisco ASA 5540 firewall.
Video Game Day
Video Game Days (VGD) are on a Saturday from 4pm to 11pm. A Video Game Day runs once in the Fall and Spring semester and averages 120 people in attendance. The attendees range from PSU students, high school students, and other members of the community. The IT Club and IST students configure 4 computer labs and multiple videogame consoles for the event on the first floor of the DEF building at the DuBois Campus. The goal of the event is a safe Saturday night event for our campus and the community. VGD events have two major benefits to the IST program. The first benefit is simply a recruitment activity for the DuBois campus. The event is advertise in local school districts. The second benefit has a much more educational benefit. The Penn State DuBois campus is known for the networking program. The VGD events are planned and managed by IST networking students. In the beginning of the semester, IST students use past events, up and coming videogames, and other factors to start planning the for a Video Game Day event. The networking students use tools to gather data on bandwidth, protocols, and other useful network data to generate reports, run benchmark testing, and other testing. For more information regarding Video Game Day events, go to www.istlab.net or contact Jason Long (email@example.com).