Saskatoon (West) School Division completes Information Technology Upgrade

ESTI is pleased to announce the successful completion of an Information Technology systems upgrade for the Saskatoon (West) School Division board office. ESTI was asked to provide hardware and software recommendations, and consulting services to complete the upgrade and migration of existing data and email.

After analyzing the requirements three main software needs were identified: Operating System, Email, and Spam/Virus/ Spyware defense (Internet defense). The software selected was: Microsoft Windows 2003 server for the Operating System (OS) to facilitate data, printing, and web services, Microsoft Exchange 2003 server to provide secure Email services, and Symantec Anti Virus Enterprise version 9 for Internet defense.

ESTI Analyst Grant Andres with Ron Walter, Secretary Treasurer - Saskatoon (West) School Division

To run all the new software an HP Proliant ML370 server was loaded with 2GB RAM running RAID 5 on three 72GB U320 15,000 RPM drives.

As everyone is aware, IT time devoted to Internet defense is growing at an alarming rate. The software upgrades have put the Saskatoon (West) School division in an excellent position to take advantage of the new functionality to automatically defend their network. Microsoft has built SPAM detection into its mail server when installed and running on Windows 2003 server which will supplement the Symantec mail security detection software. Combined with the mailguard functionality on the Cisco pix firewall, this configuration provides a triple defense system for the network.

IT managers are putting security into the forefront of most system upgrades these days. As a response, Windows 2003 Server offers the most secure OS ever released by Microsoft. Services such as SMTP and IIS are disabled on a default installation. The added security features are part of Microsoft's new secure computing initiative.

Microsoft Exchange 2003 server has included an upgrade to the client user interface for Outlook Web Access. The new interface has been modeled after the Outlook 2003 client interface and includes functionality for a spell checker, task lists, and HTML content blocking. Outlook Web Access was also configured with 128-bit SSL encryption providing secure communication for division office employees when checking email away from the office.

Outlook 2003 Web Access

ESTI analysts installed and configured Symantec Anti Virus Enterprise, including Symantec Mail Security 4.5. The SPAM filtering has been enabled for the school division office and the application has detected almost 50% of all incoming email as SPAM. The new anti virus client installed on the workstations also has the ability to protect users against spy ware and ad ware.

Once the new server was properly configured, all the new software loaded and tested, the next step was to migrate all the existing data and email. Finally the entire system was tested to insure the integrity of all data and that all existing software continued to function correctly.

Congratulations to Saskatoon (West) School Division for implementing this major initiative to secure their network and data.

ESTI provided the following services to the Saskatoon (West) School Division for this upgrade:

  • Project management
  • Data migration
  • Printer migration
  • Email configuration including SSL for Outlook Web Access
  • Firewall configuration
  • Operating system configuration
  • Quality assurance
  • System testing
  • Backup configuration
ESTI Analysts Grant Andres and Joel Schmaltz