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BSF Thread, Durham School rolls back ICT in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; I've just read a large secondary school in Durham (Durham Johnson) school has rolled back its BSF ICT to its ...
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    Durham School rolls back ICT

    I've just read a large secondary school in Durham (Durham Johnson) school has rolled back its BSF ICT to its old systems due to the issues they had. I assume this is temporary but has anyone got any more info on what the problems where they had?

    Seems like they were using Citrix XenApps and VDI thin client technologies.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Correct.

    big decision with DJ, rolling back to legacy.
    Twitter / Phil Jackman: big decision with DJ, roll ...

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    Twitter blocked here - I'll check that at home later!

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    It doesn't say anything more than what was quoted.

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    Must have been a fairly substantial problem to go for a rollback - thats not a move you take lightly.

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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenWonder View Post
    I've just read a large secondary school in Durham (Durham Johnson) school has rolled back its BSF ICT to its old systems due to the issues they had. I assume this is temporary but has anyone got any more info on what the problems where they had?

    Seems like they were using Citrix XenApps and VDI thin client technologies.
    Someone from the BSF ICT team are coming the the school on Wednesday to demo this very solution to the SMT and other members of staff.

    Maybe I should ask what problems Durham Johnston were having ... think the question would go down well if the first question I ask is how well the solution will work!

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    TBH, its a move we're looking at preparing for - just need to figure out best way to create server images!

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    A bit more info on the schools web site Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryITGuy View Post
    Someone from the BSF ICT team are coming the the school on Wednesday to demo this very solution to the SMT and other members of staff.

    Maybe I should ask what problems Durham Johnston were having ... think the question would go down well if the first question I ask is how well the solution will work!
    and how well will it scale would be the question I would want answering. .......it might work OK with a small number of clients, but what about hundreds, maybe as many as 20,000 users all of whom regularly log on & off every hour....... I bet they haven't volume tested it......

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    and how well will it scale would be the question I would want answering. .......it might work OK with a small number of clients, but what about hundreds, maybe as many as 20,000 users all of whom regularly log on & off every hour....... I bet they haven't volume tested it......
    ... and all of this over the WAN to a centralised "data centre". How reliable is the WAN link? Can it sustain the required bandwidth? What happens when any part of this fails - how much of the IT facilities are lost? How is it backed up and how are restores managed? So many questions, so few of them answered properly, if at all.

    It's no wonder they're going back to a working legacy system. The way the BSF system works, it was doomed from the start in my opinion.

    It's ironic that the DJ website promotes following them on Twitter, yet DurhamNet (or whatever name they have now assumed - The Infrastrucutre Team?) have it blocked.

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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    and how well will it scale would be the question I would want answering. .......it might work OK with a small number of clients, but what about hundreds, maybe as many as 20,000 users all of whom regularly log on & off every hour....... I bet they haven't volume tested it......
    An excellent question will try to ask that for you if I feel brave enough after all I will end up working for these people I don't want to rock to boat with them! I've already had my knuckles wrapped once for asking such questions.

    I have been given access to the test Citrix Servers and to be honest its a bit S-L-O-W but then again I don't know how many people are currently using it.

    The servers have plenty of curriculum software installed shame not much of it runs, I have given up trying to get anything from Adobe to play ball.

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    I think a lot of us will end up supporting XenApp type of systems after BSF (assuming we aren't all working for Tesco by then as shelf stackers!)

    I think the idea of virtualising the desktops is great and and exciting step forward, but it still requires a lot of kit to support thousands of users across a county-wide wan.

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    how does it do video/audio editing/recording, video conferencing etc?

    Thin clients are for businesses with 1000s of people running one app all day

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenWonder View Post
    I think a lot of us will end up supporting XenApp type of systems after BSF (assuming we aren't all working for Tesco by then as shelf stackers!)

    I think the idea of virtualising the desktops is great and and exciting step forward, but it still requires a lot of kit to support thousands of users across a county-wide wan.
    I agree; I think the solution has a lot of merit in principle, I am just not convinced it is ready for 'prime time' in schools yet. In fairness I suppose someone has to be a trailblazer..... but you cannot & should not mess with students education while experimenting with new technology on this scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    how does it do video/audio editing/recording, video conferencing etc?
    I would imagine local caching servers with data staged/destaged from the remote data centre. Do-able, but adds complexity.

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