Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Information Technology Architectures

CIT 17600 / 3 Cr.

A conceptual and technological survey of the structure of information technology architectures inclusive of: operating systems, network operating systems, distributed systems architectures and distributed application architectures. Interoperability between these architectural components is explored. Current technology and trends in each architectural element are reviewed.


Course Outcomes (What are these?)

  • Define and explain computer terminology, concepts, and acronyms as they relate to computer hardware, construction, and assembly. (CIT a)
  • Define and explain computer hardware/software failures. (CIT a)
  • Evaluate and determine valid solutions for hardware/software failures. (CIT c)
  • Successfully install computer hardware components. (CIT c)
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills as they relate to computer architecture. (CIT b)

CIT Student Outcomes (What are these?)

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the program’s student outcomes and to the discipline.

(b)   An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing and business requirements appropriate to its solution.

(c)   An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs.

  • Computer System Structures
  • Dealing with Customers
  • Operating System Structures
  • CPUs
  • Process Synchronization
  • Deadlocks
  • Virtual Memory
  • File System Interfaces/Implementations
  • Secondary Storage
  • Network Structures
  • Motherboards
  • Memory
  • Storage devices
  • I/O and Multimedia Devices
  • Boot Processes and Command Line Usage
  • Troubleshooting Common Hardware and OS Errors
  • System Security
Principles of Undergraduate Learning (PULs)

1b. Identify and propose solutions for problems using quantitative tools and reasoning.

1c. Make effective use of information resources and technology.

3. Integration and Application of Knowledge

5. Understanding Society and Culture

What You Will Learn

Computer System Structures

  • List and describe the components of computer systems.
  • Locate the components of computer systems.
  • Explain the interaction between the components of a computer system.

Dealing with Customers

  • Understand and comprehend how the following relate to customer service:
    • Integrity
    • Respect
    • Assertiveness

Operating System Structures

  • Identify common operating system features.
  • Describe how an operating system communicates with hardware.
  • Understand operating system / application compatibility.


  • Understand the internal components of a central processing unit.
  • Describe the flow of data through a central processing unit.
  • Explain central processing unit installation procedures.
  • Understand central processing unit cooling.

Process Synchronization

  • Describe how a central processing unit processes data.
  • Define wait time, turnaround time and response time.
  • Understand scheduling algorithms.
  • Describe load-balancing techniques.


  • Understand how deadlocks occur.
  • Explain the impact of a deadlock.
  • Describe deadlock recovery methods.
  • Understand deadlock prevention methods.

Virtual Memory

  • Describe the purpose of virtual memory.
  • Adjust virtual memory settings to optimize system performance.

File System Interfaces/Implementations

  • Identify data file systems.
  • Describe hard drive partition/volume usage.
  • Understand mount points.
  • Identify file and folder properties.

Secondary Storage

  • Understand secondary storage drive types.
  • Describe how hard drives function.
  • Understand hard drive connections.
  • Understand RAID configurations and roles.

Network Structures

  • Identify network types and topologies.
  • Understand network cabling standards.
  • Describe network components and uses.
  • Understand TCP/IP.
  • Describe the OSI model.
  • Troubleshoot a network.


  • Describe the components of a motherboard.
  • Understand motherboard form factors.
  • Identify front and rear panel connections.
  • Select an appropriate motherboard based on user needs.
  • Locate motherboard connections.


  • Describe the purpose of RAM.
  • Differentiate RAM form factors.
  • Select appropriate RAM type for user needs and motherboard compatibility.

Storage Devices

  • Describe types of storage devices.
  • Understand cable and power requirements for internal removable media devices.
  • Compare flash memory devices.
  • Differentiate between optical drives
  • Understand the uses for external drives.

I/O and Multimedia Devices

  • Identify types of media devices.
  • Understand types of input devices.
  • Describe an expansion card’s role.
  • Understand types of computer output.

Boot Processes and Command Line Usage

  • Identify the hardware, software and firmware components responsible for booting a computer.
  • Describe the boot sequence.
  • Access a command line interface.
  • Navigate through the file structure using the command line interface.
  • Understand basic command line commands.
  • Run applications from the command line.

Troubleshooting Common Hardware and OS Errors

  • Understand common OS troubleshooting tools.
  • Troubleshoot boot problems.
  • Troubleshoot motherboard and power supply problems.
  • Update hardware device drivers.
  • Troubleshoot CPU installation problems.
  • Understand RAM troubleshooting measures.
  • Identify hard drive maintenance methods.
  • Troubleshoot optical drives.
  • Troubleshoot input/output devices.   

System Security

  • Analyze security threats.
  • Understand physical security concerns.
  • Apply group management policy.
  • Understand authentication and encryption.
  • Describe network threats.