Human resource service provider


Hures is a leading human resource service provider. In 1987, to keep up with growing business demands it implemented its first information system, purchasing a mainframe computer that served Altos terminals on the users' desktops.

In 1999, the company ported the application to a client/server network to keep pace with changes in both the business and Information System environment, and also to accommodate the demands of Y2K. The new client/server system initially resulted in an increase in efficiency of 30%. By the end of second year, the company's profit grew by 18%; the reduced cost of maintenance of the network and improved data handling capabilities provided by the Client/Server system contributed largely to this improvement.

The company continued to grow rapidly ever since but has noticed that the network has problems such as difficulty in scaling the servers to respond to the increased load in the distributed environment and a continual requirement for increasingly powerful desktop machines.

But the main problem of the company is the difficulty in configuring applications into client-server modules and in modifying the configuration in response to user feedback. Hures's internal IS staff blame the Client/Server architecture for these problems, whereas the management believes that the problem is largely due the poor design of the service.


  1. Do you think the problems faced by Hures, both past and present, are unique? Why or why not?
  2. Suggest alternative architectures that could be used to overcome the problems faced by Hures' current Client/Server technology
  3. One of the suggestions proposed by Hures' IS department is the use of intranet web technology. Examine the pros and cons of such an idea.
  4. Do you think the popularity of intranet software and the Internet pose threats to traditional Client/Server systems?

Yes the problems faced by Hures, both past and present are unique, because in past, the problems were due to low performance caused by the mainframe architecture. In mainframe architecture, since all the processing is done in the mainframe, the processing time is big.

However, in present, the problems are due to improper configuration and use of low end computer systems in client/server scenario.

This pertains on the issue of continuous improvement and maintenance of the system. As we all know technology changes over night, there are some applications, systems and software that may be applicable or suitable in the current business and industry environment that may not be suitable after a month. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the company, particularly the IT department to do research and development by focusing on the different changes in technologies available in the market. It is also important to focus on the suitability of the system in the current operations and flows of information inside and out the organization. Above all, it is important to focus on always giving room for future improvement or enhancement in order for the system to adapt new technologies and innovations.

The Client-server problem that Hures has encountered is not unique to them. Yes, Client-server computing had a positive impact on organizations, but, as with all new technologies, there are many challenges and questions with hard-to-find answers Primarily, the problem pertains on the readiness of the system to handle the future demands or needs of the business. Based on this, the company or the developer or creator of the system did not focus on the future enhancement or the adjustment of the system, in order to ensure that the system will cater for the future needs and demands, due to the different changes in the both internal and external environment which change or alter the overall flow of information in the company.

Desktop Management Task Force (DMTF), a standard organization founded in 1992, is creating the most important set of standards for network and systems management since the initial version of simple network management protocol (SNMP) was released in 1988. DMTF is tackling the significant problems involved with managing hardware and software of PC desktops and servers. Its specs are completely enough that users can now require conformance from vendors and look for management applications that incorporate the specifications in their architecture.

Vendors that have supported DMTF since it was launched in 1992 are Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Digital, Hewlett Packard, IBM, SunSoft and SynOptics. Since then many others have joined, including AST Research, Compaq, Dell, Symantec and Apple, and hundreds of hardware and software vendors have pledged to implement the DMTF specifications.

It may seem strange that this large group of vendors have decided to work together to make your life easier; historically, the opposite has been true. But the DMTF members aren't altruistic--they're cooperating because they believe that by easing the management burden, customers will move toward client-server computing faster.

To make client-sever networks run smoothly, we will have to be able to manage the desktop. The DMTF members are developing MIFs and helping developers incorporate DMI into products through workshops and publications. The work of the DMTF should make it become possible to manage desktops in a cohesive and simplified manner. Will the DMTF be a success? Absolutely

The alternative architectures that could be used to overcome the problem faced by Hures currently is client/server technology .This uses a passive queue which allows the client instances to communicate directly with each other, which will refine their request from the services (Exforsys Inc n.d.). This is helpful for Hures because it can help to support and prevent any problems that are related with the server. Client queue is used in order to take track of the number of client connections. Therefore, the server can trace which resources the client has obtained, and the server can release the resources after the client connection breaks down (Chan & Leong 2003).

The lack of effective remote management for desktops is a major barrier to widespread adoption of client-server computing. The PC has become the ultimate open system. The complexity problem is even worse at the workgroup and enterprise levels. Workgroups often contain workstations from multiple vendors, some of which have attached printers, others have CDROM drives and each has a different hard-drive capacity and runs different software.

Today, managing these environments requires an arsenal of separate vendor-developed utilities that for the most part cannot be invoked remotely. What is needed is a standardized management agent that the various components can share and a uniform and easily extended way to format management information and commands.

DMTF specs will help save time and money. They will maintain consistency throughout a network and will free managers to work on the kinds of activities that push users forward rather than on the tedious housekeeping tasks that hold them back.

The DMTF has addressed a problem that SNMP never defined: a set of open APIs for accessing a common agent. DMTF's agent is known as the Desktop Management Interface and it defines how management applications request services from an agent through a Management Interface (MI). It also defines how component providers can provide routines that integrate into the DMI agent structure through the Component Interface (CI). These definitions result in an open agent platform that allows vendors to share a common management interface for PCs or workstations.

The DMI is independent of operating systems and protocols. Think of it as an interpreter: It takes requests from management applications and translates them through the DMVs Service Layer, so the component can give the application the information it needs. The DMI also allows components to send notifications through the Service Layer to any application that is registered to receive this type of information.

The DMI enables component-specific agent modules to be executed in response to management commands that come through the DMI interface. It will be possible to remotely invoke disk diagnostics or test routines on specific boards in a machine in a standardized way.

In the DMTF specification, the definitions of management data are called Management Information Files (MIFs), and they resemble SNMP's Management Information Bases (MIBs). A MIF is a text file that contains information about the component, its manufacturer, its configuration and any other information that will help manage the device.

To assure that the information stored in a MIF remains the same, regardless of which vendor creates the product, the DMTF is publishing standard MIF structures for different components. Having a standard way to specify desktop and server configuration information is a key breakthrough, and it will enable us to automatically collect a full inventory of all hardware and software. This will have the same impact on systems management that SNMP's auto-topology and discovery capabilities have had on network management.

DMTF's work is carried out in working groups, which are organized around specific types of devices. Each group is establishing a definition and structure for the MIF information to be stored on its components.

The PC MIF contains information on the CPU, operating system, motherboard, audio, video, BIOS, I/Os, co-processor, power source and expansion slots.

Intranet could be used to provide ease of access, increase performance and lower maintenance and forced upgrades. Alternatively, if the company can budget the expenses for purchasing high end powerful computer systems then such powerful systems can also be implemented which will reduce security risks, increase performance and avoid intranet configurations.

In simple words, intranet is the term that is used in order to describe the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) technology on an internal network (Grimes 1995). Thus according to Lowe (2009), it is a network that is built by using the same tools and protocols and used by the global Internet, but it is applied to an internal network of an organization. It is just like a closed-circuit television system that can only be viewed by those people that are included or member of the organization that owns the system. Therefore, it will be applicable solution to the internal communication of organization, because it enables the employees to be connected to the system, anywhere that they can be connected to the Internet.

The main advantage of Intranet, as have mentioned, is that it can offer great way of offering information to the internal user. Intranet enables the users to be connected to the system in spite of their location. This is the main advantage of intranet towards the wired and wireless network (LAN, WAN). Furthermore, with this, the company will be able to publish the frequent asked questions by the employees as well as the customers, suppliers, government and students that are interested about the company. Therefore, intranet helps to disseminate information in effective and faster manner.

On the other hand, the main advantage of Intranet is that it is expensive to build; there are things that must be considered, particularly the organizational culture, together with the different talents that must be acquired in order to do the system.

Intranet is a network that is built by using the same tools and protocols that are used by the global Internet but applied instead to the internal network of an organization. It can be describe like a closed-circuit television system, which can be viewed only by those people within the organization that owns the system (Lowe 2009). Intranet site is a web site that is viewable only to those within the network of an organization. Even though based on the same protocols as the World Wide Web, an intranet is protected from the outside world either by not being connected to the outside or through a series of hardware and software obstacles known as a firewall (Matthews & Matthews 2003, p. 64).

The main advantage of the intranet is that it can offer a great way of providing information to the internal users. It can publish applications such as applications used for newsletters, policy manuals, price list etc. It can also help to transact application by gathering information that are related on expense and programs (Lowe 2009). Because intranet enables to create a private place in the Internet, the place will be safer and secured, because only those individuals with authority can access the website over the Internet. Above all, it can help to disseminate information to the users in more effective, easier and effective manner.

However, it is also important to consider that there are different disadvantages in considering intranet. First, it is expensive to set up and maintain. Because there is a need to hire special team that will handle the process of managing the resources that are involved in the website.

There is no doubt that intranet software is considered as one of the most taken advantage of networking technology in the business world. This is because it can offer different advantages and pros which cannot be gained by using the peer-to-peer and client-server architecture. It enables companies to take advantage of the wireless and Internet technology, at the same time, take advantage of the privacy and security which can be offered by traditional client/server system. As a result of this, it has been seen that the popularity of intranet software and the Internet pose threats towards the traditional client/server systems. However, it is important to consider that even though intranet and the Intranet is being used and accepted worldwide, there are still parts or aspects of the company which are in need of using the traditional client/server systems.

Just because people have discovered intranets doesn't mean all companies should get one simply because their competitors have got one. Information Technology departments must enter into a dialogue with their firms? senior management in order to try and understand what the key issues affecting the business are, because these should be what drives development, not IT issues. Unless this point is fully understood, businesses run the risk of failing to exploit the strategic and competitive advantages which are potentially available to them through investing in intranet technologies

Yes. There are always risks involved when dealing with working online, regardless of how secure a network might be. The fact of the matter stands that the security risk of running an application of the Internet is more significant than when running an application on a standalone desktop computer. Some applications require more security than others, playing game on a web application would cause little concern, but dealing with sensitive corporate formulas or accounting details in a web environment might be determined risky.


All businesses today have to use the internet, no matter how worrying the security implications might be. Despite the ever growing number and nature of security threats, companies can implement security policies and protect themselves so they can operate with relative confidence. SMEs will probably gravitate towards using UTMs or other solutions covering multiple security threats. Larger companies, with more expertise, will generally have the choice of using these options or adopting individual point security solutions.


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  • Exforsys Inc. Peer-to-Peer and Client-Queue-Client Architecture, [Accessed 3 February 2010]
  • Grimes, G 1995, 10 Minutes Guide to Intranets, Que.
  • Lowe, D 2009, Networking for Dummies, For Dummies.
  • Chan, A T S & Leong, H V 2003, Cooperative Internet Computing, Springer.
  • Exforsys Inc. Peer-to-Peer and Client-Queue-Client Architecture, [Accessed 3 February 2010]
  • Lowe, D 2009, Networking for Dummies, For Dummies.
  • Matthews, M, Matthews, C B & Poulsen, E 2003, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003: The Complete Reference,McGraw-Hill Professional.
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