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Current Projects

These are snapshots of some of our current and continuing projects.

On-Site Consulting

Several of our most challenging clients are large hospitals in the Texas Medical Center. These hospitals rely on CBSS to help maintain their existing computer network infrastructure and to assist in setting paths for future growth as related to their mission-critical systems and applications. Medical systems are often unique and finicky, existing in an environment where equipment and programs are required to be fast and accurate, and downtime is practically unthinkable - lives could literally hang in the balance.

These institutions typically employ over five thousand, and have seen their networking needs expand dramatically in recent years. Many differing computer systems populate these busy networks, including IBM mainframes, DEC VAX equipment, remote communications arrays, hundreds of NetWare and Windows NT servers, several thousand PCs and terminal devices, and high-speed WAN connections to outlying offices. Web servers, Intranet servers, and dial-up access have proven to be very popular, and are assuming more serious roles as the technology develops. A host of proprietary systems inhabit departmental LANs and special-purpose medical equipment. CBSS has participated in the design, planning, integration, and implementation of hundreds of these systems.

In 1995, CBSS conceptualized and designed a plan to consolidate and reinforce the components of one enterprise network. Over 30 NetWare 3.x servers are being replaced by three Compaq ProLiant 5000R "super-servers". Implementation of the first super-server occurred late in 1995, a Compaq 4500R now running IntraNetWare and routinely supporting over 1500 concurrent users. Thanks to a 310 Mbs ATM campus backbone and workgroup switching technology, a NetWare and Windows NT server farm is being built in the main computer room, once again centralizing network resources. A "disaster room" is planned for 1997-1998 that will mirror all PC server resources in real time and provide hot-failover capabilities at all times.

Data Communications

A project to improve data communications for a rapidly growing enterprise headquartered in Houston is producing great results as we near its completion. Implementation began with replacing an aging NetWare server with a Compaq Proliant 1500 and an upgrade to NetWare 4.1, with mirrored drives for more reliability. A combination Web and Mail server using Windows NT was simultaneously installed, followed by adding TCP/IP and E-Mail software to their 100 workstations. A Castelle fax server was installed to consolidate and route both incoming and outgoing fax activity, making fax resources available to all network users. Hewlett Packard printers replaced aging IBM units that were beginning to fail. A Bay Networks Ethernet Switch provides high LAN performance, and a Bay Networks router connected by T-1 to the Internet leaves room to add more bandwidth in a modular fashion as it is required. A Secure Computing firewall protects servers and workstations with its proxy-host mechanism, and utilizes encryption technology to build Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). VPNs are being implemented to extend the network's resources to create an "extranet" over the Internet, connecting their network to branch offices and other organizations. This solution allows headquarters to communicate with their important clients via low-cost Internet mail, Web pages, & secure database access, and brings their branch office employees in other cities and states much closer to Houston. Consolidating voice and data traffic over advanced digital lines is currently being examined.

More to Come ...

There are many, many other things going on at CBSS - these are just a few. Please visit this site regularly to see updates on our projects and expanded discussion of specfic features and products and our experiences with them.

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This page last updated 4.6.98