UC College of Applied Science Sr. Design Update

Monday evening kicked off the Senior Design II at UC’s College of Applied Science. The seniors in the IT program have been working hard to implement practical solutions to real-world problems. Today, and over the next three Mondays, we’ll review the progress of their functional prototypes after design freeze.Overall, the seniors received solid reviews of the draft papers they wrote to accompany their presentations. I had a moment to say hello to David Parks, Erin Osterfeld, and Brian Krahenbuhl before the presentations began. From a distance I said hello to Jonathan Ring, and I saw Craig McRae. Also in the room were a number of professors including department head, Hazem Said.

First up is Kurt Roberts who’s project is VMWare Server Consolidation, Terminal Services Thin Clients. Kurt brought an elaborate hardware setup to the presentations, and because of setup time, the organizers moved Kurt to the first presentation slot to allow additional setup time before the presentations began. Kurt graphed minimum and maximum CPU usage on two servers based on real-world data as an example of the wasted CPU and memory on most server hardware. Kurt identified 10 servers targeted for virtualization. Kurt would redeploy these 10 server images onto two physical servers, each running VMWare ESX server, for a total of 5 virtual servers on each physical server. Testing plans include measuring stability, performance, and manageability of the deployment in a staging environment before moving to a production environment. In conclusion, Kurt outlined how his client would save space, time, and money implementing a virtualization strategy. Performance monitoring in a test environment is complete and will run for a month in order to capture traffic during month-end billing cycles of his health care client.

Next up is Amy Hansel and Scot Rosenhoffer with their Optometry Data System for The Sight Shop. Amy and Scot propose to solve the problem that the current system and other off-the-shelf packages do not fulfill the medical and business requirements. So The Sight Shop will mimic the MaximEyes application in use today as well as add requested user functionality. Users of the system perform multiple roles in the office, and all employees need access to all teh system information. Per HIPPA requirements, each user will have a unique login ID, and at each employee login or logout the system logs that ID. Primary user functionality includes entering patient, billing, and vendor information, receptionists create appointments, and the doctor performs the medical exams. Built in .NET 2.0 with C#, three namespaces manage the assemblies in the solution: Connection, Business, and Presentation. SQL 2005 Express is used as the data store for a database comprised of over 20 tables. The prototype boots up well into a patient data-centric interface with scrolling and find functions that make finding patients fairly easy. The application will face a battery of unit and functional tests as well as non-functional testing to ensure continuity across source code naming conventions and user expected performance. The users will have the final say on application success.

Nathan Schroeder followed with his windows mobile StuffIt! game. Nathan commands control in front of an audience as he describes his project. Nathan is well on his way to creating an easy to play game that does not require a lot of time to play. The StuffIt! platform allows for uploading game data and comparing scores against other players. The idea of StuffIt! is to drop enough shapes on the required surface area in the minimal amount of time possible a-la-Tetris. StuffIt! targets the casual user of a Windows Mobile device. The game’s development platform is C# for the .NET Compact Framework version 3.5 using LINQ as the ORM. StuffIt! encrypts local data and the mobile device calls web services to upload data to the remote website. The prototype worked remarkably well. We watched as Nathan played the game on his phone real-time on the overhead screen. Sound effects reinforced user moves as well as successes and failures. The submission of game scores to a central server succeeded. The website that allows review of scores is up and running and Nathan navigated to the website prototype for review. Nice job for the prototype stage of this application.

Jason Maloney, Anthony Grismayer, Kurt Scherer, and Kyle Miller discuss their 802.11n Wireless Technology for the University of Cincinnati next. UCit needed feasibility research completed on the new 802.11n standard, and what it would take to provide 100% campus wireless coverage. The team will provide a recommendation to UCit of an 802.11n implementation. The team is developing models and will provide the final models to UCit for future scenario modeling. The team created a vendor scorecard based on hardware performance, security, compatibility, and cost/value features of each potential solution. To perform technical analysis, the team will use visual heat maps to display coverage, as well as review Novarum Reports that describe the a/b/g protocol limitations and use these as a basis to develop an 802.11n model. Finally, the team will compare live UC network traffic against the models to determine feasibility. They will deliver OPNET models that cover OCAS as well as the UC Core Network for UCit to modify for future modeling needs.

Next up is Brian Rappach demonstrating his Information Security Dashboard implemented for LexisNexis. Information Security requires timely and accurate information to make security decisions that affect the enterprise. Brian developed an internal dashboard that consolidates enterprise security data and reports in an ad-hoc fashion on a SharePoint site that displays the reports. On the back-end, a scheduled job triggers the application every 15 minutes. Brian built a C# console application that interacts with a MySQL and SQL Server 2005 data store. Users of this system include executives, information security, and anyone else in network services. All the groups view the same information and interpret their view to make decisions at the appropriate level. Testing occurred over a three week period of time and included users across the US and Europe. After successful testing, the application moved into a certification environment. During these three weeks the application only experienced downtime when the SQL Server databases were brought down for scheduled maintenance. Not bad! The application currently runs in production with executives reviewing the functionality and reports on March 12th.

Unfortunately I had to leave at 7:00PM to attend to some personal matters. I’m looking forward to the next meeting next Monday evening, although I’m torn as to whether or not I’ll make it to the SharePoint group that evening. With two cancellations and some sparse turnout over the last three months, however much I want to be at SPUG, I’m not sure it’s worth the investment given other ways to spend my time.

Tonight I missed the following presentations:

  • Daniel Secrist – Virtualized Open-Source Network Security Appliance
  • Eric Tribbe – Automated System Setup Service
  • Andrew Wilson – UNIty
  • Brandon Slaby – Bearcat Campus Life Assistant
  • Brian Sargent and Jimmy Lehn – ATA over Ethernet Implementation for the College of Applied Science Networking Lab



~ by Andy on March 4, 2008.

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