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ACS Egham uses the same systems as any large corporation to connect to the Internet. It is a farley basic system involving proxy servers, switches/hubs and a lot of fiber optic connections. The first step is to have a point of entry for the Internet. This comes from an ISP or Internet Service Provider. The Internet comes into the main server room in Magnolia via fiber optic cables were it connects to a hub. This hub takes the connection the the Internet and connects it to the main server for the school. Inside the rack for the main server is a proxy server. The proxy server splits the Internet connection and sends the split signal to all the different locations around the school (Magnolia, Maple, Mansion, Lack, Saville, Reception/Student Center). The signal is again sent around the school grounds using fiber optic cables.

In every building there is a lock box that contains several components. This includes a hub. The hub takes the incoming connection from the main proxy server and splits the connection again. The connection is slip and sent around the different Internet connection points around the building. These can be Ethernet jacks or wireless boxes. This allows for hard wiring computers to the Internet (all desktops in IT Labs) or wireless connection (Laptop Cart or Rouge Laptops)

Viruses are also something that the school wants to protect its computers and laptops from as well as the main servers that hold all the student information on the hard drives. If these were to get infected with a virus it would be able to spread to every computer if it was not caught quickly. To make sure this never happens, ACS (Not just the Egham campus but also Cobham and Hillingdon) use an external anti-virus client. Before the Internet connections ever makes it onto the campus, it goes through their anti-virus company, Massage Lab. Message lab scans every e-mail that is sent to and from ACS to ensure there are no viruses and to make sure no spam is being sent to the campus. Message Lab mainly only scans emails entering the ACS server because this would be the main way that a virus would enter the schools server. Message Lab scans every email and compare them to a database filled with known viruses. If there is an email flagged by the program, Message Lab will send an email to the head of IT support at the specific campus the the email is being sent to. It lets them know that an email has been stopped and if they still want to allow it the come through or not.

Even after all data being sent to ACS passes through Massage Lab, it goes through a firewall located on the main server at ACS Cobham which filters the data one more time. After it passes through this firewall it proceeds onto specific campus. Once it reaches the campus, the data is scanned one more time as it passes through another firewall. These precautions ensure that all data entering the main server is secure and safe.

ACS also uses a programed called Bloxx. I’m sure we have all run into complications with the program and we are not to found of it but it is there for a reason. This is used to monitor exactly what web sites people in the school are trying to access. Bloxx filters all URLs through a database. This database has been designed by ACS Egham IT department. The database is sub-catagroized into different sections. These sections include websites that have key words like education. Bloxx will allow these sites to go through and retrieve the information from the Internet. If a web site includes such words as games Bloxx will flag this site and the person trying to access it will receive an ACCESS DENIED page instead of the data they sent for.

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