I think it would help if you tell us where you're based and what you currently have in your present building.
Long Story Short,
Our BSF build got scrapped at the last minute but we are getting a new build now courtesy of county who found the money
we are not having a Managed IT Solution put in place, so the budget is tight for new ICT Kit
I have been asked to produce a project plan for the next 12 months, essentially from now until the day we move in, including having the network up and running early enough for the builders to hang their BMS off of it, this must include hardware decisions, procurement, installation of servers/switches/wireless and workstations with time scales...
Has anyone here ever produced a project plan for a new build ICT solution that they are willing to share? or does anyone have any advice/pointers besides "install MS Project" (already done)?
Thanks in advance
I think it would help if you tell us where you're based and what you currently have in your present building.
Best advice? Get hold of the plans early on. Insist on copies of structural and electrical plans and anything else you can get your hands on. Go over them with a fine toothcomb, making sure that what they think they're building is sane and fit for purpose IT-wise.
You must get corrections approved and made in the early stages, otherwise the penalty fees (to the school) will be large.
Not a problem Tonto
I am in the midlands, the school has ~1000 pupils and ~500 workstations, servers are currently on VMWare, we run 2 x DC, Exchange, sharepoint, website hosted onsite, moodle, CMIS, 2 files servers and SCCM amongst others
we currently have a very small wireless set up - this will be replaced by managed wireless in the new build, almost everything we have at present is fat client desktops hardwired
I have been told to assume that when we walk in almost everything will be a mobile solution (laptops/tablets) and that we need a wireless infrastructure to support this, there will be plenty of hardwired points to support this wireless infrastructure
Servers/switches will be purchased for the new site as they need to be up and running before the old site closes...
Thanks for the advice Pete - I have some pretty basic plans currently, I'm waiting on electrical plans and building materials presently ready for the wireless pre survey
Last edited by reltihmd; 18th May 2012 at 02:41 PM.
Top of the head thoughts:
You'll probably want to run your data cable during first fix when electricians run theirs; you'll also need to identify as many power sockets as you can unless you want to run additional trunking; specifically try to identify power outlets for your edge cabs, as these will be placed higher than any other trunking they intend to run. I would absolutely love to start from scratch - I'd actually enjoy planning that.
Advice, from someone who just came out the end of 18+ months of new building work / new IT infrastructure
1) Get plans of all the buildings, proposed works, timescales etc. and go over them again, and again, and again. Get your own copies that you can scribble on, and plan out what you know the IT should look like. Where would be suitable for data cabinets? Where are cables running to and from? What distances are the cable runs, will this mean you need CAT6, fiber, a mixture of the two? Will there be redundancy or will the comms cabs all be linked in chain? What power supplies will be needed and where?
2) Go over these plans with the SLT, the builders/site manager, anyone who will be involved in putting it together and make sure they understand how important it is that this is done right the first time - redoing it will not be an option as it will cost a fortune to put right mistakes that can be avoided by simply planning and communicating with each other properly.
3) Discuss with the SLT what their 'vision' is for IT in the school. Do you need an ICT suite, or are you going mobile with laptops? Do you need wireless access throughout the building, or only in certain areas? How is printing going to work, are they going to be wireless/wired, in set locations around the communcal areas, or in classrooms?
4) Talk with people about their office setup's. Where they are currently, is there IT connectivity? Does it work properly for them or would movement of network ports assist them? Do they need multiple ports, or can they be covered with wireless alone?
5) Lastly, don't be afraid of speaking up. I don't know how long you've worked in the school, but if it's anything more than a few months is highly likely that when it comes to the IT infrastucture you know what is needed better than anyone else, including the so-called "experts" who will come along and try to pursuade you that you need 4 data points in every classroom, a WAP in every room, offices with 3 staff kitted out for 6, and massively expensive extras that you could probably do for half the cost they'll want, if they're even needed.
Last edited by Pete10141748; 18th May 2012 at 03:11 PM.
I've enjoyed specifying what we need so far, up until this point everything has been planned higher up the chain than I so apart from insisting on minimum room sizes etc I haven't had too much input
Now suddenly the entire solution is in my hands, and it needs to be up and running as part of the build so I'm suddenly time critical if we are to move in on time, and I don't want to be the link that pushes everything back
Thanks Pete, although locations for cabs etc is pretty much set in stone already at this point, although data points and power points are still being discussed at the # per room level
Last edited by reltihmd; 18th May 2012 at 03:13 PM.
Did your LA manage to build any schools under BSF including ICT? If so, have they any planning documents they can share with you?
I cannot offer you any project plans, but I can warn you of some potential pitfalls.
You need to consider how you will image & deploy software updates. You can get network enabled laptop trolleys with internal switches, which is fine in theory but you need someone to plug the network cables in when the laptops are stored. Don't rely on staff or students & make sure the devices you choose are robust enough to handle it; As part of our setup I have a 'fleet' of 300 laptops from a tier 1 supplier, within 4-6 months most of these suffered damage to their network ports due to incorrect handling. A combination of factors involving laptop design, trolley design, & using 'cheap' inflexible patch leads means very few of these system will now retain the RJ45 cable for any length of time.
Despite my school being designed for the 2st century, the company responsible for the infrastructure only provided 100mbit connections for the trolleys, not good if you have 30x laptops sharing a single 100mbit port.
At the moment we use MDT, WDS, & SCCM to roll out software as this was what we were provided with (We used to use Ghost). My biggest headache with this is not being able to predict when SCCM will get round to deploying all the packages .... you can never be certain when a system is 'ready to go'......
Apart from 150 desktops, 100 staff laptops, we have 500+ student laptops. I quietly despair at how we will reimage the student laptops with dodgy network ports, short of paying £XXXXX to get them fixed.
It may appear to be obvious, but make sure you decide what sort of interactive whiteboard/projector setup you intend using & share this with the architects/builders early on. Check the throw distances & mounting heights of your IWB solution as new schools tend to have lower ceilings.......above all make sure they install appropriate pattressing & support for these to be mounted ....... I speak from experience, we had many rooms with inadequate support & a couple of rooms with sloping ceilings that were too low for the projector mountings!
Inspect plans for every room; try to envisage where equipment will go... laptop trolleys, printers, projectors. Make sure they have the appropriate power points & circuit capacity & data points nearby & they have allowed enough space. We had a number of teaching spaces that had no power, or no data for equipment.
Remind them that servers need air conditioning.... & keep on reminding them until you actually see it installed & working!
Make sure anything you agree with the architects & builders is documented & circulated to all parties....... follow up casual discussions & verbal agreements with confirmation in writing; builders & architects are busy people, human like the rest of us & they forget things, especially when it is going to cost them money.
And if they say it's all going to be mobile, and you won't need ICT Suites, secretly plan for all that to fail, so you can easily retrofit a room as an ICT suite.3) Discuss with the SLT what their 'vision' is for IT in the school. Do you need an ICT suite, or are you going mobile with laptops? Do you need wireless access throughout the building, or only in certain areas? How is printing going to work, are they going to be wireless/wired, in set locations around the communcal areas, or in classrooms?
Yeah, you need at least 10 data points in every room, and 2 WAPs in some.5) Lastly, don't be afraid of speaking up. I don't know how long you've worked in the school, but if it's anything more than a few months is highly likely that when it comes to the IT infrastucture you know what is needed better than anyone else, including the so-called "experts" who will come along and try to pursuade you that you need 4 data points in every classroom, a WAP in every room, offices with 3 staff kitted out for 6, and massively expensive extras that you could probably do for half the cost they'll want, if they're even needed.
Rule 1: You can never have too many data points
Rule 2: You can never have too many power sockets
thanks guys - keep em coming
and yes we are mobile - although we still have 4 hardwired ICT Suites also
Managed wireless from Ruckas
New HP gigabit switches
Well equipped server room
Smoothwall web filter
New BT 100mbit Line
I'd love the opportunity to build something new
As networking goes... my advice is always to double up on wall ports (it is cheaper to put 2 in now than replace one when it gets damaged later). And don't forget to put extra ports in random locations (like in corridors in case of CCTV or signage... or above doors for access control).
And also try to get multiple routes to your edge cabs - even if money is too tight to have them live, it is handy for a manual switch over should one route be compromised by a JCB! And documentation... allow plenty of time for your cabling to be tested. You should have proof that every port works! And runs between cabinets should have plenty of spare cores if they are fibre
Excellent Guys. We have a new building happening in 1-2 years. So I have saved the longer posts to MS OneNote to refer back to. Hope no one minds. Building is "Performance hall" with 3 classrooms and some offices/resource room. ut up to planning app stage I have not been involved at all. Going to poke a stick in the wheels soon though :-)
Well I've just gone through a new build process, so can provide lots of advice/documentation etc if you want . I'm on holiday at the moment, but when I get back in a week or so I can send you some more information.
We're a little different to most schools though as IT was at the heart of the build (just ask any of the edugeekers that have visited ) so power/data/comms rooms/server rooms/it offices were all included very early on. Unfortunately for us we still have too few network points, and wireless wasn't factored in at all.
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