CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn K. Littman

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Maxine S Cohen

Abstract

In this dissertation, the author examined the capabilities of virtual private networks (VPNs) in supporting teleworking environments for small businesses in the food marketing sector. The goal of this research was to develop an implementation model for small businesses in the food marketing sector that use a VPN solution to support teleworker access to corporate resources. The author conducted a case study of the Marcus Food Company (MFC) VPN implementation in conjunction with the system development life cycle (SDLC) methodology to achieve this objective.

The SDLC methodology was used to support the planning, design, and implementation of the MFC VPN. The SDLC consists of five phases. For Phase 1, the Research Phase, the author examined the business requirements for a VPN, conducted a survey of MFC employees, and performed participant observation. In Phase 2, the Analysis Phase, the author analyzed the data collected during Phase 1 to facilitate the development of a requirements list. Next, in Phase 3, the Logical Design Phase, the author designed and developed standardized diagrams of the MFC VPN implementation. In Phase 4, the Physical Design Phase, the author identified specific processes, procedures, and technologies. For Phase 5, the Implementation Phase, the author described the implementation processes for the MFC VPN initiative. Finally, the author analyzed and interpreted the data collected and then reported the results of the research.

The findings from this investigation demonstrate that the SDLC methodology was a framework for planning, designing, and implementing a secure and reliable VPN solution to support teleworking. Utilizing the SDLC methodology resulted in thorough documentation, including a review of in-place network documentation, results from a survey, prioritized functional and nonfunctional requirements lists, logical design diagram, and specific hardware/software components and configurations. Using the findings from the case study and SDLC methodology, the MFC VPN implementation model is presented. The MFC implementation model may be used in small businesses, of a size similar to MFC, in which VPN initiatives are being considered.

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