In order to fully and efficiently utilize our proposed vendor managed inventory system, we have performed extensive research of numerous hardware and software configurations. Among the many obvious requirements of the system are cost, scalability, compatibility, and ease of use. Some methods for consideration are outlined below.
Cost - In order to keep costs down, we have decided to utilize the Internet. Vendors would be responsible for providing their own computer system in order to access the VMI. Our role would include maintaining a dedicated server, supplying software, and providing access.
Scalability - In an effort to apply forward-thinking, we are recommending a system that will provide all of the functionality and resources that we currently require while also allowing the capability for long term scalability.
Compatibility In order to maintain the necessary analysis and reports, this system must be compatible with the company's current infrastructure.
Ease of Use Simply stated, it is our intention to keep this as easy as possible for the vendors. On the following pages you will find detailed information pertaining to the hardware and software configurations that we have decided to utilize. Again, we believe that we have attained the most efficient and cost effective design for our vendor managed inventory system. Hardware
Our hardware solution will require a firewall and a server. The firewall provides security. It is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to our network. Although firewalls can be both hardware and software based in this case a single hardware solution will suffice. Any traffic entering or exiting the network passes through the firewall. The firewall using stateful packet inspection, which examines each packet's header and contents for verification, should suffice for our security needs. The server will need to be fast and provide adequate storage. A solution is required that will satisfy current needs without going overboard. It is important that the server chosen is scalable for growth. As the demands for the VMI system increase the demands on the server will increase. The hard drives chosen will be IDE as opposed to SCSI. In the past SCSI has offered significant advantages in performance over IDE. However, IDE has closed the performance gap and as a result the price difference outweighs the existing small performance advantage of SCSI. The existing dual 120-gigabyte hard drives should provide sufficient storage space for the foreseeable future. When the time comes for expansion there is room for three additional hard drives. The Random Access Memory chosen is one gigabyte of PC2100 DDR --Double Data RateRAM, which can perform two operations per clock cycle or "double" the performance of SDR or single data RAM. The motherboard is expandable to two gigabytes of RAM. This should provide excellent performance for our system. Hardware specifications are as follows:
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