Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rockets Help Desk Goes to NaviSite!



On February 27, the Rockets Help Desk student techs along with other student leaders and our teacher, Mrs. Gallagher went to the NaviSite data resource center in Andover, MA. Mrs. Gallagher connected to Jeffery Dorey, the regional sales director of NaviSite, at a conference sponsored by the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.  The Andover location for NaviSite is their largest data center. This specific data center provides world-class hosting infrastructure for internal IT or commercial cloud enablement as well as protection from security breeches. While on the field trip we were given a formal tour of the company as well as an interactive presentation to teach us what they do and their background.

What We Learned

During the presentation Mr. Dorey told us about the companies that NaviSite supports as well as the onsite work that they do for those in need of backup after a security breech or system crash. A specific example I found interesting had to do with Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY. They had hundreds of thousands of files on hand to keep track of their applications, transcripts, and other official documents. These specific documents were all kept in an old file locker which was completely devastated once Hurricane Sandy hit. This resulted in the college contacting NaviSite to have a place to backup their files. Now, NaviSite is the host of the backup files for Kingsborough Community College, along with many other companies that have been through similar trying times.


The demonstration of what happened to the files at Kingsborough Community College during Hurricane Sandy 
Another example that we were taught about had to do with a security breech through a company dropbox by Anonymous using ransomware. Ransomware is a type of virus that restricts access to a particular computer system or application. Anonymous deployed the virus and then demanded a ransom to be paid in order to take the virus off the computer and unlock access to files. NaviSite helps with the backing-up of these applications if they get affected by ransomware as well as preventing ransomware attacks.
This is a photo representing the hacking software talked about in the NaviSite presentation 


The different forms hacker group anonymous is presented as 

Other information we learned about involved the company and their general history. They taught us the history of cell phone data and how our technology has evolved over-time. With a hands-on experiment they had students demonstrate the use of cell towers and their servers. In order to show their evolution, Mr. Dorey had 6 students stand up and throw a single orange (representing a data packet) around to each other to demonstrate how while one person (server) is doing all of the work the others are dormant. This showed the beginning stages of servers. Then he added 5 more oranges to the mix to show how it was a much faster process when all of the servers worked together. This entire process showed the idea of virtualization which was when the servers were redesigned to do more at the same time. He then continued to tell us how now all of the servers are programs that host a single server, making the connection speed for our devices much faster.

video
Here is a video of six students completing the activity described above.

The screenshot of the presentation that Jeffery Dorey used to teach us about the above activity

Why Learning Outside of the Classroom is Important

While we were at NaviSite, we learned a lot of very interesting information. While it doesn't supplement our everyday common core classes, we learned a lot of information useful in everyday situations. It was important to learn what is behind our technology that we use in class. We learned what is behind all of these systems, which is especially important in our technological courses in school. This presentation really helped us find out what is behind the programs that we use and love and what other companies do to make them secure and stable.  I would say that the field trip to NaviSite was worthwhile because it left those of us who may have been misinformed about the data systems (specifically the cloud), set straight. Now we all know what happens when we save information to the cloud and can continue to help others with our technological advances by furthering our knowledge about technology. 

Besides the bettering of our education, the NaviSite field trip was worthwhile because it was a wonderful experience to learn from professionals. It was very important to learn from the professionals who know so much about their craft. While learning through teachers is great, I am personally a hands-on learner, so learning from these professionals who have all of the equipment they need to demonstrate and teach us about, provides a more relevant education. The people at NaviSite were very intellectual and were obviously well-informed, but they also knew how to present and talk to kids at the high school age. While the presentation could at some times lose me due to all of the new information I was learning, Mr. Dorey, who was giving the presentation, was free to any questions and answered them gladly without skipping a beat. This field trip helped all of us understand what it really takes to supply a tech-integrated school and with that, I believe we are even more grateful to have the technology that we have readily available for us day to day.

The general census of the field trip: It was awesome! We all really loved the presentations given as well as the little goodies we received at the end of the day :)

RMHS students listening to the informational slideshow from NaviSite employee, Jeffery Dorey 





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