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IT Infrastructure Services
With omnipresent computing and the power of the internet entering in new era, the IT infrastructure is preparing to be flexible, highly reliable and scalable on the catalyst of high technology world. The challenge is to provide high-speed connectivity and high performance computing of the University, while meeting the day-to-day requirements of users and protecting network resources from intrusion. Provides tools for effective communication and ensuring the availability of critical data is secure, as a part of effective computing environment. Infrastructure Services is highly committed to provide best of the services to meet the pace of ever-changing state-of-the-art computing technology. In order to better manage its IT infrastructure, ITD invested in Microsoft Server 2003 Servers , Microsoft Services helping PMU to get the most out of those Requirements to resolve critical issues along the way, PMU ITD believes that through better system design and more efficient system administration, it can continue to support the university's burgeoning technology requirements in a long-term.
When it comes to IT management challenges Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd University's Information Technology Services ensure the security and reliability of a sprawling infrastructure while providing academic and teaching staff with enough flexibility to use different desktop applications and configurations.

PMU datacenter schematic diagram

The services and products that have been applied and are in use in PMU include:

PMU has F5 Link Controllers which is an amazing piece of hardware that provides high-availability load balancing, fast and extremely intelligent layer 7 switching, granular interactive control, DoS protection, resource pooling and a number of other features to help protect an enterprise Internet presence.
F5's Link Controllers allows PMU multiple wan links to extend the benefits of traffic management to all of their IP-based applications. This is called Application Traffic Management. Pioneered and perfected by F5, Application Traffic Management allows organizations to ensure quality of service and manageability, apply PMU's business policies and rules to content delivery, support increasing traffic volumes, deliver their applications securely, operational efficiency and cost control, and remain flexible to future application and infrastructure changes to protect investments.

PMU is using Packet Shaper's which have a unique system architecture designed to serve PMU's Internet bandwidth as an intelligent overlay to your diverse application environment and IP network infrastructure combining best-of-breed technologies for optimizing WAN application performance in a single appliance it works as a transparent overlay to IT infrastructure Gain intelligence on network and application behavior through passive traffic flow monitoring or deploy in-line and Packet Shaper invisibly delivers QoS, compression and acceleration to create a high-quality user experience across the WAN and Internet.

Cyber Guard is deployed in PMU as Internal firewall, it is a complete internal security appliance for PMU, office network-in-a-box plus security appliance for PMU Local area network with wide area networking tools. a typical single-purpose security appliance that adds one more additional device to PMU network, cyber guard- is networking device for PMU PCs to be networked with one another, connect securely to the Internet, connect to the WAN, and service all remote access VPN needs. Cyber guard handles it all internal traffic by converging all firewalling, networking, security, and remote access requirements into just one high-speed & highly reliable , Securing critical servers, staff offices and PMU labs has never been easier thanks to the rugged and richly featured of firewall/VPN appliances for PMU.

The Blue Coat ProxySG 810 secures PMU Web communications and accelerates University's applications across the campus. The ProxySG 810 Series represents the next generation in high-end appliance platforms ,Located at the Internet gateway, provides effective control of PMU's Internet traffic, including protection from spy ware, malicious mobile code, inappropriate web usage, and potential legal liability while actually improving web performance. The Blue Coat SG810 is for inspecting, controlling, and logging Web application traffic entering or leaving the network.

The FortiGate-1000A Security System is a high performance solution that delivers gigabit throughout with exceptional reliability for PMU network. The FortiGate- 1000AFA2 optionally provides 2 ports featuring Forti Accel TM technology enhancing small packet performance. All FortiGate-1000A products deploy easily in existing networks and can be used in PMU for antivirus and content filtering and deployed as a complete anti spamming protection solution. High Availability (HA) operation and redundant hot-swappable power supplies ensure non-stop operation in mission-critical applications.

Cisco has made inroads into PMU network equipment s outside routing, including Ethernet switching, remote access, security, and IP telephony.

Firewalls: Securing PMU network and information from unauthorized access, while maximizing network resiliency and maintaining business continuity. Cisco ASA 5500 provides advanced application-aware firewall services with identity-based access control, denial of service (DoS) attack protection,

Intrusion Prevention System Defending PMU critical network assets from attack with advanced, full-featured intrusion prevention (IPS) services. Cisco ASA 5500 Series incorporates powerful, high-performance zero-day protection against threats including application and operating system Vulnerabilities, directed attacks , worms, and other forms of malware.

Cisco Secure Access Control Server PMU's network is integrated with Access Control to Enforce Network Access Policy control platform that helps you comply with growing regulatory and University's requirements. By integrating with other access control systems, it helps improve productivity and it supports multiple scenarios simultaneously, Cisco Secure ACS centrally manages access to PMU's network resources for a growing variety of access types, devices, and user groups. These key features address the current complexities of network access control system.

Voice and Unified Communications: PMU has Cisco IP telephony which is a way to extend consistent communications services to all PMU employees in their workspaces, whether they are in campus or roaming in university. IP telephony transmits voice communications over the network using open-standards-based Internet Protocol, Cisco IP telephony solutions are an integral part of Cisco Unified Communications, which unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications in PMU networks enabling users to easily communicate in any workspace using any media, device, or operating system. Using the network as the platform, Cisco IP telephony solutions help PMU's requirements by greater security, resilience, and scalability in addition to the inherent benefits of using a converged network for transport and interconnection.

Wireless Network: PMU is connected through high speed Cisco Aironet wireless access points providing intranet and internet services across the whole campus

Like many institutions of higher education, we have a complex IT environment with limited IT controls. At the same time, we have seen a steady increase in Microsoft based infrastructure at the university, including business-critical applications such as e mail, SQL Database, PMU challenge is to maintain high availability for this growing infrastructure with a relatively small pool of staff.
PMU have Windows2003 servers because for its scalability and in order to promote open source projects. Windows servers make it easier to deploy, manage, and use. The result a highly productive infrastructure that helps makes Universities network and a strategic asset for PMU Windows Server 2003 provides enhanced security, increased reliability, and a simplified administration to help end-users.
It is used a multipurpose operating system capable of handling University's diverse set of server roles as a centralized or distributed fashion. Some of these server roles include
  • Directory services
  • Domain Name System
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
  • Windows Internet Naming Service
  • File and print server
  • Web server and Web application services
  • Terminal server
  • Remote access
Microsoft Exchange Server: Microsoft Exchange is the primary e-mail system for PMU campus faculty, staff. In addition to e-mail, Exchange can provide calendars and scheduling, contacts, notes, task lists and access to public folders. It interfaces with the global address list for all PMU employees, using either e-mail software installed on your computer or a Web browser (Outlook web access). E-mail on Exchange can be accessed via client software installed on your PC or other computing device. The most commonly used PC client software is Microsoft Outlook. A Web-based version of Outlook is also available that can be used to access Exchange e-mail when you are away from your primary computer. Outlook Web Access requires only an installed Web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Microsoft SQL Server: PMU has Microsoft SQL Server as a database platform for its online services and In-house developed applications; ITD is planning to enhance and use it as business intelligence platform for data integration, analysis, and reporting solutions.

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager: System Center Configuration Manager 2007 is the solution to comprehensively assess, deploy, and update servers, clients, and devices across the campus, Optimized for Windows and extensible beyond, used for gaining enhanced insight into, and control over systems Infrastructure.

Windows Server Active Directory and the Windows architecture, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 enhances your insight into, and control over, PMU IT infrastructure. With Configuration Manager 2007, ITD can ensure that IT systems comply with desired configuration states to improve systems availability, security, and performance network-wide. System Center Configuration Manager 2007 includes:

Windows File & Print Servers: File and Print Services in Windows Server 2003 enable PMU IT professionals to create advanced and cost-effective information networks that help maintain data availability and security ease deployment and management, and integrate well with existing infrastructure. PMU File & Print servers are integrated with storage services in clustering mode and it is easier to manage, more reliable, and more available than ever before. More efficient backup and restore operations and increase productivity.

Enterprise Storage Group: In order to fulfill the growing need of storage of data and to provide fast and reliable access to university's community, Storage Area Network has been designed and implemented at datacenter. Enterprise Backup to ensure that no critical data is lost by user's interaction or in case of disaster, ITD has acquired robotic tape libraries and enterprise backup software. Critical applications and data have been identified and policies and operation are in place to take care of the data reliability. The daily backup is already exceeding 1TB daily and growing.

PMU has Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in Internet content security, focuses on securing the exchange of digital information for PMU. Trend Micro is used in PMU for advancing integrated threat management technology to protect operational continuity, personal information, and property from malware, spam, data leaks and the newest Web threats.
Trend Micro data leak prevention security combines endpoint-based enforcement with highly accurate fingerprinting and content matching technology. It protects sensitive information privacy to meet PMU's stringent regulatory compliance standards.

DATA CENTER OPERATIONS : The mission of the Data Center Operations is to provide the highest possible quality of central computing support for the user community and to ensure that University Technology Services' central computing systems are operational 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The computing systems are operational.

Data Center & Communications: PMU Data Communications has a continuing mission to design, develop and deliver the most powerful, robust, high-performance data networks to support the students, faculty and staff, of PMU. The IT Department aim to provide an outstanding professional technical support in a timely and courteous manner to all PMU clients.

Cabling Infrastructure: The existing Data Center's network configuration has power cables run under the raised flooring. This mixing of cable restricts the airflow from the cooling systems, causing interference with the data stream and makes maintenance a real nightmare. Additionally, it exposes the cabling to an increased risk of damage from water leaks.

Overhead data cable management has been installed throughout the Data Center and all data cabling is now contained in the overhead cable runways. The only cabling contained under the raised flooring now are power cables and a small amount of data cabling for the smoke and water sensors.

New Equipment Rack Enclosures: Existing equipment racks have been a mix of configurations. Power distribution within the racks was a mix of input and output voltage and amperage. The non-standard configurations gave a very haphazard appearance to the server racks. New equipment rack enclosures of standard configuration have been installed throughout the Data Center. Power requirements both outside and inside the enclosures have been standardized and are designed to efficiently distribute power throughout the Data Center. These changes have greatly improved the aesthetics of the Data Center.