Blue Skies Thread, Complete change of school network? in General; I have been asked to look into upgrading our school network next, not this, summer.
We currently have 2 separate ...
30th June 2008, 10:28 AM #1
Complete change of school network?
I have been asked to look into upgrading our school network next, not this, summer.
We currently have 2 separate networks. Curriculum and Admin.
Admin is server 2003 with XP. 2 servers. 50 workstations. Supported by the LA IT support.
Curriculum is CC3. 2 servers. 200 workstations.
I am trying to figure out how I can merge the two networks into one big happy network hopefully without the need for CC3 or support (or lack of it) form the LA IT support team.
I guess I need some suggestions on alternative to CC3 and if anyone can point out any pitfalls I may come across?
I am thinking Ranger across windows server 2003/2008 as although I am pretty efficient with plain Windows I would feel happier having the extra tools that Ranger have to offer.
Has anyone else recently gone through a similar experience?
30th June 2008, 10:37 AM #2
We were CC2 with RM and went vanilla when CC3 launched. My own feeling was we could pretty much do all we wanted with a vanilla solution ,GPOs and a bit of scripting. We have been that way for about 6 years now and it all seems to tick over nicely.
I know Ranger and CC3 pull things together neatly and they have their place IMHO but I really don't think I could justify buying either now.
just my 2p worth.
30th June 2008, 11:01 AM #3
Get Netsupport DNA. It costs but it does the job fantastically, has a helpdesk and application packager. And you get Netsupport School for teachers classroom control free with it too.
NetSupport DNA: The latest evolution in Asset Management and PC Remote Support
30th June 2008, 11:01 AM #4
That's what I want to here, your 2pence worth. It's people like you who have took that leap of faith and proved that it can be done!
Originally Posted by jcollings
Thanks for your feedback.
30th June 2008, 11:06 AM #5
I'll take a peak thanks.
Originally Posted by Dos_Box
Fantastic sig by the way. My fave band.
30th June 2008, 11:07 AM #6
Sounds almost identical to our situation here.
We'll be switching over to new blade servers, with server 2008 running on them. The network'll be purely vanilla, we've currently got Ranger which is going to be removed, or rather not reinstalled on the new network when we re-image all of the PCs.
The admin network, and the curriculum network, are essentially being scrapped. Data is gradually being moved across to our new servers, and the structure's being built up. Testing'll be done over the summer holidays and the whole thing should be live by the time the students and staff come back.
30th June 2008, 11:09 AM #7
We did this a year ago, and things settled down around Christmas. The main thing is do lots and lots of testing. Ideally - setup the "new" network as a test rig which you can then go live with.
PM me if you want more info
30th June 2008, 11:12 AM #8
Will you miss any of the ranger features, such as Lan Ranger or have you found something to replace that with? Also how about package creation?
Originally Posted by jamesb
30th June 2008, 11:15 AM #9
The Admin server and machines can be part of a CC3 network by creating a separate OU for them and block inheritance of CC3 policies. There are a number of people that have done this already.
30th June 2008, 11:17 AM #10
I'd be one of those people.
30th June 2008, 11:17 AM #11
I can see where you are coming from but I would rather have everyone on one big happy network. My last school was a single network and it was soooooooooo much easier to maintain
Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
30th June 2008, 11:19 AM #12
It is one big happy network ... it is just that you are selecting which machines you apply CC3 to.
30th June 2008, 11:22 AM #13
Again another 2p worth.
We moved to a vanilla network for our curriculum last year away from cc3 and as already stated was pretty seemless, will apart from forgetting to disable right cclick on desktop... lol..
This yerar we will combine our admin network as feel its a littel too large a task to do both together.
We setup a small 5 machine network and trialled all our settings between may and july and got it just how we wanted it. Then come the summer hols first week backup all the old stuff then just reinstalled the server and transfered the settings.. then with ghost re installed the network machines and worked well.. since then there have just been the odd tweaking, but must admit out workstaions logon and work alot quicker than cc3........
30th June 2008, 11:32 AM #14
If you are considering a whole new approach, it may be worth asking the users what they want and also seeing what direction the school development plan is going in. It kind of depends how 'bluie skies' the OP is meant.
For instance, in 3 years time you may want to be offering services to mobile users on and off site with devices that are not necessarily owned by the school. Now would be a great time to investigate licensing and security implications of this - is a Windows-based directory going to be cost effective when you have 2000 users with their own devices?
You could use thin client technologies to give access to the admin systems, keeping them separate from the curriculum ones - with access for only certain users, from certain IPs, at certain times.
Server virtualisation is a must for flexibility and a SAN is definitely needed for cost effective storage growth.
If you are able to go back to near enough a blank sheet there is so much you can do. Once you have decided this, then choose your management tools - although from your OP it seems as if NetSupport Manager or DNA would do the trick perfectly for you.
30th June 2008, 11:36 AM #15
We're going to be keeping Ranger Remote control, which is a seperate product. I did consider going over to Lanview but since we already have the license for Remote Control and the staff are all familiar with it we decided to stick with the product.
Originally Posted by reggiep
Package creation is going to be done using Symantec Ghost for original imaging of PCs, with re-imaging on a semi-regular basis or when I get bored. Application packages'll be done through msi and AD.
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