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BSF Thread, Durham School rolls back ICT in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by PEO who manages Druham Johnson IT system? Durham County Council have set up a partnership between the ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEO View Post
    who manages Druham Johnson IT system?
    Durham County Council have set up a partnership between the LA who deliver the 'managed service' and Capita who did the design & implementation. Capita are in partnership with Carrillion, part of the Inspired Spaces Consortium. Originally Morse were the ICT provider, then they withdrew and Carrillion IT Services (CITS) were brought in & later CITS were sold to Capita.

  2. #32
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    hmm Carrillion I've heard nothing but bad things about them. Thank god there not going to be involved in our county BSF

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    Quote Originally Posted by PEO View Post
    hmm Carrillion I've heard nothing but bad things about them. Thank god there not going to be involved in our county BSF
    Inspired Spaces were one of three short listed bidders for Durham, two of them withdrew...... leaving one as the only player in town.....

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    Although I'm wary of BSF, I'm still genuinely interested in what sort of problems caused them to rollback. I guessed it hasn't got to the point of a complete changeover and they encountered an issue that couldn't be solved quickly enough to avoid disruption.

    Information about what problem they had would helpful for the rest of us facing BSF style chaneover in the coming years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenWonder View Post
    Although I'm wary of BSF, I'm still genuinely interested in what sort of problems caused them to rollback. I guessed it hasn't got to the point of a complete changeover and they encountered an issue that couldn't be solved quickly enough to avoid disruption.

    Information about what problem they had would helpful for the rest of us facing BSF style chaneover in the coming years.
    I don't think the details behind the decision have been made public; if & when it does I am sure it will find its way onto Edugeek. I am sure many others would like to know too, especially those other schools in the LA that are expecting to implement the same solution in due course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Large files *aren't* passed over your connection with a VDI/thin client system - they're all on the servers, not the clients. The client footprint will be about 35kbps, as all the user sees is the image of their desktop.
    My understanding as I am no expert when it comes to VDI and thin client stuff is that since all the servers are located in a data centre all file transfers should take place there with very little traffic being passed to the client.

    I've just fired up the VDI solution as I have access to it. In five or so minutes I launched Word, Excel, Google Earth (looked up school postcode) and IE (to check the news). We use NTOP to monitor network usage and the laptop I used to access to the VDI solution had received 28.9MB of data.

    I made sure nothing else was running in the background, is this normal to have so much data transfer via a thin client solution?

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    I don't think the details behind the decision have been made public; if & when it does I am sure it will find its way onto Edugeek. I am sure many others would like to know too, especially those other schools in the LA that are expecting to implement the same solution in due course.
    To be honest I don't think the real reason will ever be known to the public, there are still many schools in the authority that probably do not want to go down the route of a Managed Service. Giving them the real reasons for the current failure would only give those schools additional ammunition to fight the Managed Service!

    I could be wrong but the reason on the school website sounds like the "spin doctors" have been working on it ... let's not forget this is the LA beacon school for the BSF Solution which if I recall should have been ready and fully functioning in September.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    I don't think the details behind the decision have been made public; if & when it does I am sure it will find its way onto Edugeek. I am sure many others would like to know too, especially those other schools in the LA that are expecting to implement the same solution in due course.
    The very sketchy details I have learnt so far are that the problems have arisen from the fact that they are using the IT kit from pre bsf due to there not being funding available/left for new IT kit. This equipment apparently couldn't cope and there had been unoffical word that the system was close to collapse for a while (I believe that they have had the legacy and bsf solution runnng in parallel since Jan).

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryITGuy View Post
    To be honest I don't think the real reason will ever be known to the public, there are still many schools in the authority that probably do not want to go down the route of a Managed Service. Giving them the real reasons for the current failure would only give those schools additional ammunition to fight the Managed Service!

    I could be wrong but the reason on the school website sounds like the "spin doctors" have been working on it ... let's not forget this is the LA beacon school for the BSF Solution which if I recall should have been ready and fully functioning in September.
    I guess it will depend upon the nature of the reason for delay; if a key piece of technology is not working properly, but in time can be made to work then that is one thing; if they have simply underestimated the amount of time & effort that's another. The worst case (or best case if you are anti-BSF managed service?) scenario would be where architecturally the solution is so badly flawed/underfunded/underspecified that it is never going to work......

    Hopefully for the schools sake it is not the latter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryITGuy View Post
    I made sure nothing else was running in the background, is this normal to have so much data transfer via a thin client solution?
    28.9Megabytes, or 28.9Megabits? (Just to check).

    Also, if the VDI solution is one which does network booting in the first place, the machine may well have had its mini-os transferred to it when you turned it on also.

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    Common sense to implement major change during summer holidays - would never try this during 2 week easter break.
    Also common sense to fully test everything first - but when bsf/contracts/consultants involved common sense does not always apply :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by maark View Post
    Common sense to implement major change during summer holidays - would never try this during 2 week easter break.
    Also common sense to fully test everything first - but when bsf/contracts/consultants involved common sense does not always apply :-)
    Yes, but if you read Edugeek you'll see any number of people on here have carried out just such upgrades this Easter without apparently having tried it first on a test network, without apparently having a fall back plan and have ended up with bits not working! It's not just bsf contractors who seem to lack common sense!

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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    Yes, but if you read Edugeek you'll see any number of people on here have carried out just such upgrades this Easter without apparently having tried it first on a test network, without apparently having a fall back plan and have ended up with bits not working! It's not just bsf contractors who seem to lack common sense!
    That's unfortunately unavoidable in some cases - budget constraints, pressure from above and so on. BSF contractors should have the resources available to do this, however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    Yes, but if you read Edugeek you'll see any number of people on here have carried out just such upgrades this Easter without apparently having tried it first on a test network, without apparently having a fall back plan and have ended up with bits not working! It's not just bsf contractors who seem to lack common sense!
    Sometimes schools have no choice about when they make the move with BSF. The completion date is set during the planning stages & penalties are built into contracts for failure to meet target dates. If for example a consortium has to build a new school, move everything in & then demolish the old school & landscape the site any delay to the move could impact the demolition and landscaping & trigger penalties.

    So, BSF schools seldom have the luxury of waiting until the summer to move.

    This is no excuse of course for not testing, and I don't doubt that BSF contractors know they have to test & more importantly they must seek sign-off that the testing has met the agreed criteria.

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    Following a phone call I had yesterday from a 'concerned' source in County Durham the roll back is due to the VDI slution simply not working as it should for a number of reasons:

    a. Lack of planning and forethought
    b. Network capability
    c. A lack of appreciation about getting it to actually work before rolling it out

    In short, it is not down to any overriding single issue apart from 'It's not working like we thought it would' due to point 'a'. I think many of us have seen this before where a project has been forced through without much actual consultation with schools or an appreciation of the task in hand and bad decision follows bad decision because the few people who say 'hang on, this isn't going to work unless.....' get ignored and treated as idiots.



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