Tonys Chips: Process of Relocating to a New Site

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Discuss what it will take to build Web architecture, move an existing Website with minimal downtime, and provide a disaster recovery solution to ensure the site is always available.

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Tonys Chip has been bought by a new company. The management of the new company has seen it fit to relocate its website to a new site that is hosted internally; currently it is operating on a site that is hosted externally. The current site is very superfluous and as such the new management needs a backup site to be created. The website needs to be internally hosted rather than externally hosted and it needs to be redesigned as this will enable clients to order and buy goods online. So as to build the architecture, its imperative to relocate the current website together with incorporating the capability and capacity for clients to be able to order products online. To deal with the redundancy and obsoleteness of the website, a system development life cycle (SDLC) will have to be developed.

The system development life cycle contains five main stages and steps, these are; the planning, analysis, designing, implementation and the providence of support plus security. These five main steps are core for the above project. In the creation of a Web Architecture, the first step, which is the most vital, entails the system planning. If this phase is not successful, then the whole project is bound to fail. In this phase, all information and data that is needed for the successful creation of an efficient and effective Web architecture is collected. The preferences of the new management in regards to will be noted down to ensure that the end product fits their predisposition and taste. It also at this stage when the infrastructure of the Web architecture is laid down. Its important to know that every decision made in this phase will either have a positive or negative effect on all the other phases, as such; the decisions have to be accurate and correct. In this phase, the IT professional will acquaint themselves with the operations of the company so as to create a system that meets the prerequisites and stipulations of being an internally hosted website, together with possessing a counter for the redundancy issue while at the same time enabling clients to buy and order for goods online. In this planning phase, a study of an assessment and practicality of the project at hand is done to know the potential costs and benefits. This information helps the IT expert in providing recommendations on what will be done having taken into consideration all the financial, operational, practical and timely elements.

The second phase involved in the creation of the Web Architecture entails the system analysis. In this phase, a three dimensional representation of the architecture will be created. Investigations and enquiries that began in the first phase will continue and more surveys, examinations, interviews, scrutiny, inspection, evaluation and assessment of all documents regarding the project will be conducted so as to collect more information and have a deeper comprehension of the whole system. After the assessment and review are carried out, you will come up with a systems requirement document which will point out the expenses that will be incurred and the benefits that will come with the created system. The document will also state the requirements that pertain the management and the user and give a general description on alternate fallback development plans.

The third stage in the system development life cycle is the system design. A large physical representation of the system is built and it has to be in line with the documented essentials and prerequisites. It is at this stage where the hardware and software that will be used are selected, after the selection there will be system design specification, detailing and designation. This will then be forwarded to the administration and the users who will evaluate it and give their consent and authorization.

Since Tonys Chips is a small company, it does not require a big, comprehensive and thorough Web Architecture; it just requires a simple one which will work efficiently with its present web site. The management that has taken over has instructed the need for redundancy in the new system and as such, this will be deliberated upon and planned it. A built in redundancy system will need more equipment which will have to be purchased; it will also require a new infrastructure to enable its effective running. As such, the Web Architecture will need to have two main web servers, two main database servers together with a duplicate server which will be installed to ensure that there is a support program and system redundancy to deal with the primary system has either broken down or closed down. It is also essential to establish connectivity with a telecommunications network or computer network that is able to extend over a large geographical distance. This will enable many clients to be able to access its website globally, not just locally. A computer system or network designed to block unauthorized access while permitting outward communication will be installed and this will protect the site from hackers. A DMZ (Demilitarized) A physical network or logical sub network that contains and exposes an organizations external facing services to a usually larger and untrusted network, usually the internet will be created. This will grant access to products information to the customers and enable them to make orders. The database servers together with the duplicate server, which are to be stationed behind networks, both hardwares and softwares, that are designed to stop any unauthorized access to or from private networks. The main purpose of this firewall is to protect the website and forestall or debar private users who want to access the database servers. It will also debar hackers from gaining unauthorized access to data and manipulating it for their own benefits.

All the systems software which are needed in the creation of the site is to stem from an open source web development platform (these have their source codes publicly available). The open source web is known as LAMP. This is an archetypal model of web service solution stacks and it contains four open source components. These are the Linux operating system, the PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) programming language, MySQL relational database management system together with the Apache HTTP server.

MySQL is an open source relational database management system and are mostly used in the development of web applications. Linux is an open source operating system that is modeled on UNIX. PHP is an open source, server side; HTML embedded scripting language that is used in the creation of dynamic Web pages while Apache HTTP is web server software. Each of these elements is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Because they are free, they will cut on costs incurred in the implementation and installation of the system. Using the Windows Model for the same purpose will increase costs as it is not an open-source.

Other than cutting on costs, using a system that uses Linux provides better security features that those current present in the Windows Model. It is critical to ensure that migration of the site to an internally hosted site, from its previous external hosted site, will be conducted with little downtime advance groundwork. Before the migration is launched, the new servers must be fully operational and functioning and all set for access. There will be the application of pilot operations in the migration process, these make the transition to be without hitches and hindrances. All the relevant and essential data and information should be loaded into the new serves before the commencement of the migration process. The duplicate server should be working correctly and satisfactorily to guarantee the duplication of transactions from the former site that is hosted externally to the new current site which is hosted internally. A built in redundancy system must be incorporated in the Web Architecture to provide a suitable disaster recovery technique.

Another important aspect is to ensure these is backup for all the primary hardware. This will see to it that the database and web servers are easily accessible. Other than a backup for the database server and the web server, a duplicate server should be installed in the Web Architecture to ensure that the databases on every server are simulated and reproduced by the other. Proper planning and implementation will ensure that even when the primary servers break down, the customers will still be able to access the site, order for goods and products and make purchases online.

Evaluate alternatives to the company self-hosting the site.

There are several alternatives which the new management could use instead of self-hosting the website. The first one is hosting the site using an external server. This external server should have servers together with services already installed. The main disadvantage of this option is that it limits the level of control and power the company has in the administration of the site.

The second option is using a Web hosting company. These companies offer several options, either renting or lease holding whole servers which are online. The servers are stored at the site of the Web hosting company rather than at Tonys Chips. The main advantage of this option is that it gives the management power over the servers and they dont have to store them. It also saves on maintenance costs as this is the responsibility of the Web hosting company. The second advantage is that downtime is lowered. Most of these Web hosting companies run 24/7, their security system is top notch, they have highly qualified skilled security personnel, they provide an efficient infrastructure and will save Tonys Chips on costs they would incur in coming up with their own system.

Build a Gantt chart using Microsoft Project software, showing all tasks associated with implementing the Website.

Gantt chart

The Gantt chart above indicates that all the tasks carried out during the migration process, to a new internally hosted system from the current externally hosted system, take place at the same time, running parallel. An example is that the installation of the web server can be taking place while the database server is being installed as well. However, the assumption here is that both servers are operating on two distinct machines.

The chart should include a minimum of five (5) tasks, each with three (3) sub-tasks

As can be seen from the chart, here are five tasks: Planning and Analysis, Physical Setup, Software Installation, Code Replication and Data Migration and each has three sub tasks.

Explain and justify the system architecture you have selected.

The System Architecture that I have chosen will give primary web servers, database servers together with an additional server which acts as a backup web server. The system architecture will also have two firewalls and this will grant the clients access to the main web servers. These firewalls will also debar external users from having the ability to get to the web servers, the database servers together with the duplicate servers.

The above system will also allow for the internal hosting of the Website, provide options and abilities for backup, enable clients to make orders and purchase goods online, make the system more secure through the prohibition of any unauthorized entry into the database and duplicate servers and reduce downtime. The new management wanted a backup site where even in a shutdown, customers would still be able to access their services and site, and this has been catered for by the system architecture that I have chosen. There are two databases together with two web servers which have been primarily installed for this p...

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