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MDF all about MDF's


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MDF - All About MDF's

Main Distribution Frame

As you will see MDF's come in all shapes and sizes however an MDF is basically a cross connection point between the incoming lines from the local exchange and the building cabling. These two cable routes are designated by internal and external cabling and are separated by the Network Boundary Point which is usually the MDF. By testing Services at the Network Boundary Point faults with services can be isolated to be either in the internal cabling or the external cabling.

The Cables from the Local exchange are Black in colour indicating that they are underground Cables. These cables connect to the "A" side of the MDF and are supposed to be at the Vertical "A" of the MDF.

The building Cables are beige in colour indicating that they are internal Cables and they should be terminated on the "B" side of the MDF.

These two Cable terminations are joined together with Jumpers.
Jumpers are supposed to be Red and White for analogue telephone services and Green and White for Data Services. Data service jumpers can also be Brown and Purple, these colours indicate to the technician that those services are special services and should not be tampered with since the technician is usually unable to hear any dial tone on the service if the service is a naked ADSL or otherwise known as a (Unmetered Local Loop) ULL.

By connecting jumpers from the "A" side of the MDF to the "B" Side of the MDF a circuit is established all the way from the buildings' apartments or offices to the local exchange. In the case of a data service this will connect to the carriers' DSLAM or ISAM. In the case of an analogue telephone service this will connect to the exchanges CMUX. If you need an "A" to "B" jumper installed this means that you have had a new line provisioned from the exchange to your MDF and there is no connection with the DSLAM (Digital Services Line Access Module) All internet service providers (if the service is delivered by copper wires) have a DSLAM in the local exchange and if they don't that means that they go through someone else's. Many customers who's internet service providers don't have a DSLAM in the local exchange will use other companies to establish your connection such as TPG, Telstra or Optus.

If you are an Internode customer there is a real advantage to the requirement of "A" to "B" jumpering. This is due to the fact that a Telstra technician or Telstra contractor should be checking all the connections between the local exchange DSLAM and the MDF of your building. From the other end a Licensed ACMA approved contractor checks all the connections from your desired outlet to the "B" side of the MDF and completes the circuit. Many of these connections may not have been completed by approved contractors and may be substandard resulting in slow internet speeds. By renewing these connections Internode customers are enjoying speeds in excess of 10M/bits/sec. In stating this fact one must recognise that ADSL over copper wires has its' limitations and if you are located more than 3 Kilometres from the exchange speeds are reduced.


Intermediate Distribution Frames

IDF's are a way of truncating services to a floor of a building or other part of a building. An IDF should be located on each floor although some fly by night unqualified installers are placing them in unusual places. An IDF connects the individual apartments or offices via a main cable to the MDF.



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Exchange Email System

In today's competitive business environment, knowledge workers require greater productivity tools and network performance in order to help their organizations succeed. Exchange Server 2003 helps increase knowledge worker productivity while helping organizations reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) in areas such as server and site consolidation. In addition, Exchange Server 2003 provides many new features and enhancements to improve reliability, manageability, and security. Exchange Server, the Microsoft messaging and collaboration server, is software that runs on servers that enables you to send and receive electronic mail and other forms of interactive communication through computer networks. Designed to interoperate with a software client application such as Microsoft Outlook, Exchange Server also interoperates with Outlook Express and other e-mail client applications.

E-mail messages are sent and received through what is commonly referred to as a client device such as a personal computer, workstation, or a mobile device including mobile phones or Pocket PCs. The client typically connects to a network of centralized computer systems comprised of servers or mainframe computers where the e-mail mailboxes are stored. The centralized e-mail servers connect to the Internet and private networks where e-mail messages are sent to and received from other e-mail users.


ISA Server offers a complete Internet connectivity deployment solution as a firewall and a Web caching server secure gateway between the Internet and internal clients. By configuring the access policies, you can prevent unauthorized access and malicious content from entering the network, as well as restricting outbound traffic.

ISA Server in cache mode accelerates Web access performance by caching Internet content locally. ISA can provide access control for Web content, both in forward cache mode and reverse cache mode.

Forward Cache Mode

When a client in the internal network requests a Web page, ISA Server in forward cache mode checks if the content is cached locally. If so, the request is not forwarded to the Internet, and the forward cache server returns the Web pages to the client. If the Web page is not stored locally, ISA Server (acting on behalf of the client) retrieves the Web page from the Internet. ISA Server then saves that Web page in the local cache. The next time a client requests that page, ISA Server can fulfill the request without going to the Internet to retrieve the page. This results in using less bandwidth on the Internet connection. Figure 5.4 illustrates a forward cache mode configuration.

Reverse Cache (Web Publishing) Mode

You can also configure ISA Server in reverse cache mode. ISA Server in reverse cache mode caches content provided to the Internet from the Web server. When an Internet client requests a Web page, the request is sent to the ISA Server–based computer first. If the page is stored there locally, there is no need to retrieve the page from the Web server. This increases performance for Internet clients accessing the Web site from the Internet, as well as increasing security for the server. Figure 5.5 illustrates a reverse cache mode configuration.


Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 is a complete Web server available in all versions of Windows Server 2003. Designed for intranets, the Internet, and extranets, IIS 6.0 makes it possible for organizations of all sizes to quickly and easily deploy powerful Web sites and applications. In addition, IIS 6.0 provides a high-performance platform for applications built using the Microsoft .NET Framework.

Network Load Balancing

For most Information Technology (IT) departments, Internet servers must support applications and services that run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, such as financial transactions, database access, and corporate intranets. In addition, network applications and servers need the ability to scale performance to handle large volumes of client requests without creating unwanted delays.

Network Load Balancing clusters enable you to manage a group of independent servers as a single system for greater scalability, increased availability, and easier manageability. You can use Network Load Balancing to implement enterprise-wide scalable solutions for the delivery of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) based services and applications.

Network Load Balancing has many advantages over other load balancing solutions that can introduce single points of failure or performance bottlenecks. Because there are no special hardware requirements for Network Load Balancing, you can use any industry standard compatible computer in a Network Load Balancing cluster.

Network Load Balancing works by distributing client requests across a set of servers. It is particularly useful for ensuring that stateless applications, such as Web pages from a server running Internet Information Services (IIS), are highly available and can be scaled out by adding additional servers as the load increases. The ease with which Network Load Balancing allows you to replace a malfunctioning server or add a new server provides scalability.

SSL and 128 encryption, Certificate Authentication

It is used for the secure website, such as banking system, online payment system or credit card.
The data would be encrypted when transferring. The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol uses a combination of public-key and symmetric-key encryption. An SSL session always begins with an exchange of messages called the SSL handshake. The handshake allows the server to authenticate itself to the client by using public-key techniques, and then allows the client and the server to cooperate in the creation of symmetric keys used for rapid encryption, decryption, and tamper detection during the session that follows. Optionally, the handshake also allows the client to authenticate itself to the server.
Authentication is the process of determining if a remote host can be trusted. To establish its trustworthiness, the remote host must provide an acceptable authentication certificate.

Sharepoint portal server 2003

Using the combined collaboration features of Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, users in your organization can easily create, manage, and build their own collaborative Web sites and make them available throughout the organization.

Group Policy Object

Group policies are collections of user and computer configuration settings that specify how programs, network resources, and the operating system work for users and computers in an organization. Group Policy can be set up for computers, sites, domains, and OUs. For example, using group policies, you can determine the programs that are available to users, the programs that appear on the user’s desktop, and Start menu options. Although the name “Group Policy” suggests that you might set policies for global, domain local, or global groups, this is not the case. Instead, think of Group Policy as groupings of policy settings that are linked to computers, sites, domains, and OUs.


Distributed File System (DFS) and File Replication Services (FRS) help simplify access to files and folders, system maintenance, help enhance availability and performance, and help lower total cost of ownership (TCO). The goal of most IT groups is to manage file and server resources efficiently while keeping them available and secure for users. As networks expand to include more users as well as multiple physical devices, located on site or remotely, IT administrators find it increasingly difficult to keep users connected to the files they need. Distributed File System (DFS) is a strategic storage management solution that gives administrators a more flexible way to centrally manage their distributed resources. With DFS, administrators can create simplified views of folders and files, that is, a virtual organization called a namespace, regardless of where those files physically reside in a network.


It is used to update the latest service pack or fix to the computers in the organization automatically. Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) enables information technology administrators to deploy the latest Microsoft product updates to Microsoft Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP operating systems.

This MDF is an old copper pin strip type which relies on twisting the copper pairs around the copper strips. These types of MDF should always be filed and soldered for all connections to ensure proper services stability.

This MDF is quite unusual, the black lead in cable can be seen at verticals "A" & "B" and the distribution cables are on vertical "C" The only problem is that there are twice as many lead in pairs as there are distribution pairs. Genius!