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CLEO Thread, SIMS Migration in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); We are finally going to migrate SIMS to a new server, currently it's on a 2003 R2 VM with SQL2008. ...
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    dezt's Avatar
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    SIMS Migration

    We are finally going to migrate SIMS to a new server, currently it's on a 2003 R2 VM with SQL2008. I want to move it to a 2012 VM with SQL2012. As we get our SIMS support from the westfield center, or OCL, whichever you want to call them, does that mean we have to pay them to migrate our SIMS instance to our new server?

    I have built the new server with 2012, and that's as far as it goes at the moment. I will be doing this in February half term, but if I can do it myself rather than pay OCL to do it i'd be a bit happier.

    I have got a quote from them, and they did try to sell me a new physical server for SIMS until I argued with them about us running it virtually at the moment so couldn't see any issues with not continuing to virtualise it. Now they want to come in and do a network audit to ensure everything is running correctly before they even attempt to migrate SIMS, and they'll charge us for anything they find and fix.

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    That seems odd in regards to the audit. We recently moved from a two domain setup with a physical SIMS server (2003) to put it on our single domain virtual setup (2008 R2). They did the same with me and send a full hardware quote until I managed to make them understand what we were trying to do.

    We did have to pay for the migration (think it was about 200, but I need to check my notes). Was quite a straightforward process on the day with the engineer on site. Took about 2 hours with a few little things that had to be sorted remotely afterwards.

    Like I said, no mention of audit. Just had to sort some accounts and settings out to get it all working.

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    dezt (16th January 2014)

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    GeekyPete's Avatar
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    There's nothing stopping SIMS running now across the network so why would they think there would be any Network Issues? SIMS works fine on a virtual Server 2012 instance. Are these people local? I've never heard of them. They seem pretty determind to make money out you.

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    dezt's Avatar
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    They are One Connect Ltd. the company that now deal with all IT for Lancashire County Council. Everything has gone downhill in my opinion since they took over.

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    zag
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    We did ours though capita and didn't need any audits. It was installed on Hyper-V.

    It cost about 1000 but the guy who did it was very good and I was quite pleased with the result. I've done upgrades before in the past and it took weeks of testing.

    He also setup Solus 3, SQL 2012 and a backup schedule. All in all it was worth the money I reckon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dezt View Post
    They are One Connect Ltd. the company that now deal with all IT for Lancashire County Council. Everything has gone downhill in my opinion since they took over.
    OCL have a different level of SIMS support that a few of my schools use called "SIMS Application Support" where they will support the use of SIMS but not the servers/software.

    In quite a few places I have them shout "WE DIDNT SET THIS UP" and "YOU CANT PUT SIMS ON A SERVER LIKE THAT" but once you point that you don't care what they think they come back at you with that support level so they can still make money.

    I find it appalling that when a school pays them to support SIMS their answer can at any point say "We didn't set this up so we aren't going to help you at all". I can understand that they want everything the same so the minimum wage call centre staff can have a script to follow but in my opinion you can't tell some over worked admin worker 2 days before a census that you wont help them update SIMS and leave them hanging. (especially when a callback from a ticket within 2 days is close to a miracle)

    I could go into how to transfer SIMs to a new server but although it is a simple process that in some cases has taken me about an hour it can have loads of little niggles that involve running sql routines etc... but I've not come across anything that searching this forum wont fix or give me the lightbulb to fix.

    One thing to bear in mind is that OCL wont tell you the passwords etc... for their remote backup stuff so there is no way out of the 100 to have it setup again.

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    dezt (16th January 2014)

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    Yeah the level of support they give us sounds about right, we no longer pay the server support, just the SIMS application support as we P2V'd the existing SIMS server over a year ago now. They did tell me they don't recommend getting a server for sims from a 3rd party supplier, which i suppose is their way of making more money from schools, but I pointed out we have a virtual environment and just want SIMS & FMS transferring to a new server.

    Does the fact that we pay for the SIMS application support and not the server hardware support mean that in theory we could install SIMS on a server and they should support it? or would they be picky about what they supported and what they didn't?

    We don't use their remote backup, so that'd not be a problem to us.

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    How it works with me is that I put SIMS & FMS onto a new server and setup all the work stations and do all the updates myself. The Staff only call OCL with issues to do with the usage of SIMS (e.g. running a report or finding some data). If a fault gets to the point where it looks like the its the way SIMS is setup then OCL just tell them to ask who ever set it up to look at it.

    They have tried to blame the setup a couple of times but once you point out that you only pay for application support they will actually help end users.

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    We used an independent consultant who used to work for Capita. Geoff Austin . PM me if you need his details. He was very good and we've had no issues

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    Hi dezt, I used to work for Westfield then One Connect so have quite a bit of knowledge in this area, If you do only have SIMs application support this will be listed on your SLA as SIMS Software Only Support Service (Plan i) - If this is the case then you can install SIMs yourself however you need to be a bit careful as, if your server then 'falls over' at some point in the future leaving the school with no SIMS system, One Connect will NOT support the hardware without it costing you a small fortune!! SIMS application support covers the software only meaning the elements of SIMS, personnel, finance etc. MHowever they cant dictate to any school where you buy your hardware from, what they can do is insist that it meets Capita's minimum spec otherwise they wont support any of it!! If you need any further info pm me and Ill send it across :-)

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    dezt (17th January 2014)

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    sdj
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    I believe OCL now call it 'Software and Hardware' support or just 'Software' support. No Plan A or Plan I anymore. Capita's SupportNet has a vast amount of info on it which I do believe school techies are entitled to access to some level. The main problem with migrating the database yourself is the SA password for your SQL database. If they (OCL) do not retain that password (ie you change it) they will not be able to apply patches and take backups of your data. DBAttach simply wont work. So basically it is up to you if you want to take the risk. Bearing in mind that applying patches and taking backups isn't rocket science. PM me if you want further info.

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    I would go for capita doing it, if it cocks up, it is on their heads to fix it, if company X does it and it cocks up, you are lumbered with calling capita out

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    Been waiting on One connect ltd enginner calling to and migrate our peer to peer office pc's which are currently win xp .Ive win 7 pc's here collecting dust quote was agreed and arranged still no engineer this has been ongoing since July. Im tempted to do it myself but with Sims and FSM and Backup i know soon as it goes wrong they would wipe their hands and say nothing to do with us etc etc etc

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