CAN YOU PROVIDE MORE EXAMPLES OF CAPSTONE PROJECTS FOR NETWORKING AND SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATION

Implementing a Virtual Private Network (VPN):
A large project would involve setting up a VPN server and clients to allow remote access into an organization’s internal network. This would require installing and configuring VPN server software like OpenVPN on an internal server. The student would then need to obtain appropriate certificates, set up user accounts and authentication, configure firewall rules, test connectivity over the internet, and document the entire setup. Performance testing under various usage loads could also be assessed. Troubleshooting unintentional outages would provide real-world experience.

Implementing an Enterprise-Grade Firewall:
This project involves installing and configuring an enterprise-grade next-generation firewall like Cisco Firepower or Palo Alto to protect an organization’s perimeter. Tasks include hardware/software installation, initial configuration, defining security policies, creating rules for traffic inspection and filtering, integrating with directories for user/device authentication, load balancing traffic, setting up VPN or SD-WAN capabilities, high availability/failover, and reporting/monitoring. Thorough testing is critical to ensure policies work as intended under various scenarios. Logs and change management must be documented.

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Implementing an Active Directory Domain:
For a medium-large network, a student could deploy Microsoft Active Directory on Windows Server. This involves installing domain controllers, integrating them with DHCP and DNS, defining organizational units and group policy objects, creating user and computer accounts, permissions, security groups, and login scripts. Certificate services and federation with partners could expand the project scope. Upgrades, backups, HA, and disaster recovery plans increase complexity. Extensive documentation and testing deliver a production-ready directory service.

Deployment of a Software-Defined Wide Area Network:
A advanced project is to design and deploy an SD-WAN connecting multiple branch offices using virtualized network overlays. Tasks involve requirements gathering, network assessments, equipment selection, configuration of SD-WAN controllers and edge devices, setting up routing/security policies, traffic steering, application definitions, performance monitoring, central management, and demonstrating how policies adapt to topology/link changes. Integration with existing MPLS or internet links adds complexity.

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Configuration of a Private Cloud:
Building a private OpenStack cloud involves procuring servers, installing hypervisor software, creating networks and subnets, deployment of controller/compute/storage nodes, configuring authentication, defining flavors/images, creating virtual machines, implementing high availability and backup solutions, conducting stress/failure testing, documenting processes, and demonstrating utility/value. Additional services like load balancing, identity federation, automated scaling increase depth.

Design of a Large Campus Network:
For a large-scale project, a student could analyze requirements, prepare detailed designs, bill of materials, and documentation for all network, computing and security infrastructure needed across a sizable campus environment. The project would include core/distribution/edge switching designs using hybrid technologies, comprehensive wireless LAN planning, switching/routing protocols for redundancy, robust SDN and software strategies, virtualization, security zones and systems, unified communications, video surveillance, building management, and more. Crew training, implementation, testing and change management deliver a turnkey solution.

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These provide in-depth examples of potential capstone projects that network/systems administration students could undertake to showcase their skills. The projects require extensive planning, design, implementation, documentation, testing and troubleshooting – hitting all the key areas expected of real-world job roles. Choosing projects that are sufficiently large in scope yet manageable delivers a meaningful learning experience to cap off a degree. Completing one or several such projects provides compelling evidence of skills and preparedness to potential employers.

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