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Courses and Training Thread, Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006 in Training and Courses; Well, what can I say .... A big thank you to Geoff and team for laying on a day full ...
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    Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    Well, what can I say ....

    A big thank you to Geoff and team for laying on a day full of information, and free of charge too.

    It was good to see so many in attendance to the point of running out of chairs. People came some distance too, from Ipswich and Nottingham and even as far as Warrington (thank you to John Wordsworth from the SSAT who came down on a day off so that he can report back on the day ... and I think I can say he was as hooked on a lot of it as we were.)

    I am starting this thread for those who attended to leave their thoughts of the day, anything they found particularily handy, anything they would have preferred to see or done.

    If anyone want to put a message in anonymously you can PM me and I will enter it into the thread.

    Stephen (aka Spot) has written up some notes and they will appear tomorrow, including several links to software for people to look at.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    yes big thank you to guys and girls at task it unfortunantley i couldn't make it yesterday but sounds like good time was had by all...

    russ

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    An excellent day indeed. Can I just echo Tony and Russ's thanks to all involved in setting up such an informative and inspiring day.

    I found Task-IT to be extremely welcoming and professional, and was particularly impressed with their approach. I have been to similar events where the aim of those running it was clearly to sell something, but Task-IT had no element of that. They simply wanted to show what was possible, inform us all and let us make our own decisions. I didn't feel at any point that I was on the receiving end of a sales pitch and that was refreshing.

    Once again a big thank you to all involved and I look forward to similar events in the future. (Bit closer to the South Coast would be nice if possible at some point !!!)

    Chris.

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    It was a good day and well worth the journey. Plenty of food for thought and the tummy. Could do with more of the same.

    Jeremy

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by yeoman
    It was a good day and well worth the journey. Plenty of food for thought and the tummy. Could do with more of the same.

    Jeremy
    We are currently working provding some more so watch this space

    russ

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    Ok ... here are abridge notes from the day by Stephen ...

    [align=center]Learning Network Manager[/align]

    • Flow chart available from support pages of the Task-IT web site, http://www.task-it.co.uk
    • LNM is a set of tools that genuinely sit on top of native Windows 2003 Server. It does not make changes to any system files. However, it does create GPOs’ and changes security permissions such that an existing domain may not work as expected (or at all!)
    • The primary purpose of LNM is to ease the installation and management of Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP Desktop. It allows relatively non-technical staff to manage the day to day running of a network e.g. adding and managing users, deploying workstation images etc.
    • ITWorx originally created the LNM software for Microsoft. The case study for the project is available at: http://www.itworx.com/Showcase/Case+...opment_LNM.htm
    • LNM has default installation scripts that must be modified before use – it is essential that should you wish to use the product it is trialled in a test environment first!
    • It is possible to create a set up DVD that contains the LNM information, Windows 2003 SP1 set up files and Windows XP SP2 set up files.
    • The default scripts set the C drive partition to 10GB and any other space on the primary hard disk is formatted as D, but this can be changed
    • The preferred set up is the first option below, but LNM can be used to either set up
    o a completely new internal domain
    o integrate into an existing internal domain
    o integrate into a LEA (or similar) forest
    • If using IP addresses other than the defaults, you must use ‘leading zeros’, i.e.
    o 172.016.001.001 not 172.16.1.1
    • To set up LNM you must have volume licence keys and set up disks for Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows XP SP2, not previous versions
    • If you do choose to set up into an existing domain, you must run DCPROMO manually after set up has finished to make the server a domain controller. Be extremely cautious about setting up into an existing domain
    • Managing LNM is achieved through a web based interface
    • LNM uses Remote Installation Services (RIS) to distribute workstation images. RIS has some advantages over other distribution software in that it does not duplicate files that already have already be uploaded – this can obviously lead to a dramatic decrease in the space required for images
    • LNM includes the ability to PXE boot either to perform a remote install or to boot the PC as a thin client – LNM installs Terminal Services that can be used with the requisite licensing

    [align=center]Sharepoint Services[/align]
    • Allows the creation of intranet sites that, once the initial design as been completed, can be easily updated by relatively non-technical staff using Internet Explorer (6.5 / 7) and without requiring knowledge of website design
    • The requirements for SharePoint Services are:
    o Windows 2003 Server
    o ASP.net
    o IIS6 – Common Files, SMTP and WWW components need to be installed
    o A version of SQL Server 2000 or 2005. The SQL Server 2000 MSDE / WDSE versions have a limit of 5 concurrent connections. SQL Server 2005 Express has a 150 concurrent connections limit and 4GB database size.
    • Backing up and restoring can be a major issue, especially of a large number of resources are saved in the database. Although several backup applications will backup a SQL Server database, most can only restore the entire database, not an individual record. Veritas NetBackup 6 does allow you to do this
    • SharePoint services can invoke an anti virus scan once a document is uploaded (so as not to affect upload speed)


    Microsoft Learning Gateway
    £20000 approx?
    Alternatives; Moodle, FirstClass
    Basis of many commercial offerings (EMPC) - hosted services ie off-site, likely to include all data potentially
    • Windows Server 2003
    • SQL Server 2005 (all user data instead of using folders) need to know what it does, works, sizing etc. AuditISX, InventoryISX (freebie) - play with in Express edition to play with - can pull into web pages
    • .net Application Framework 1.1
    • Windows Share Point Services - for individual sites for individual users need to move to share point portal server
    • ISA Server 2004 to allow access from external sources (includes full reverse proxy, single sign on)
    • Class Server 4.0 - extension to SharePoint to allow teachers to prepare and assign work for students - automates much of the assignment process - optional component
    • Exchange Server 2003 - optional again - but useful - eg willget calendar information from all sources - ie personal, group, assignments etc - Public folders will be dropped and put into SharePoint services in the next version
    • Custom Components
    • Live Communication Server - comms and messaging platform that interconnects services - contains Messenger - but this is configurable to allow, for example, students to only allow comms with teachers. Can configure LCS to display green/red 'man' when user(s) are online
    • Potentially very expensive to allow external access
    • Get an online sharepoint trial from Microsoft (30 day trial)

    [align=center]Network Management - Using SNMP[/align]

    Six key points in looking at managing your network infrstructure and what goes on with it.

    Step 1 - Visualise the network - machines and cabling - useful to know what is up / down - document all the switch and cab information!

    Step 2 - Alerting mechanism - you can only use managed equipment for finding this information - major events, eg disk space being low - can configure SNMP trigger to e-mail
    • Could run SNMP on VLAN or different IP range (security issue) especially when using SNMP on the servers (be careful on sending text messages! for alerts .. you could end up with hundreds!)

    Step 3 - ability to use data to collect historics information (baselining) to compare usage reports, trends - set up for WAPs! Monitor bandwidth, disk space, usage of resources at particular times - QCA Tests!

    Step 4 - set up threshold monitoring - being alerted when bandwidth is tight

    Step 5 - real time graphing - SolarWinds Enhanced Ping, Network Monitor

    Step 6 - stay alert! Keep an eye on what's going on - act on the messages/reports generated

    Tools
    • Advent OpManager better graphing tools/history - www.opmanager.com approx £400 - wireless manager too
    • SolarWinds Engineers Edition (£800 approx) - IP Network Browser
    • SolarWinds more real time analysis
    • Nagios (?) free monitoring thing

    More information can be found on the Task IT website in the support section ...

    If anyone wants to add to these, again feel free to contact me.

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    "Microsoft Learning Gateway
    £20000 approx?"

    is that a mis-type, or the correct price?
    beeswax

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    Thats about right but its comparable to similar commercial VLEs in terms of cost. Most of the others we've looked at have been £8k-10k p/a. At least with MS its a one off cost.

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    Yep ... that's about the right price ...

    After you have taken into account all the bits shown here you can see why.

    It is a big and powerful beastie ... taking in everything from content management, various methods of communication (usenet, email, forums, IM), document management, learning objects of a variety of formats, not to mention the scope for assessment for learning ...

    But it takes a chunk of time and effort to set up ... and ideally needs to be tailored for your school. That is why M$ recommend you use a partner ... or at least someone with the know-how at your school gets training on it from an M$ partner (and at ths point both M$ and their partners politely tell the teachers to step to one side and let the geeks at it!).

    It is a single fee that, when you look at the TCO, you could consider to spread over the life of the system ... say 4 years before the next major build.

    But ... the session last week was also there to explain the difference between sharepoint services and Sharepoint Portal / Learning Gateway ... and advising us all to relish in the fact that sharepoint services is free!

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    @Grumbledook: If you already have ISA, Exchange, SQL or any of the other components I would assume that the price would begin to drop significantly. Is this correct?

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    Yep .. that is the case ... the £20k is a total sum for everything ... not as a single "buy this product as a job lot" price ....

    You buy the components and stick it all together ... and persuade your software reseller to give you a discount for buying it all ... or you pay a company to bring the kit in with everything on ...

    From talking with a few different partners now (sorry Geoff ... I have been unfaithful) it seems that some view having bits already in place as a good thing as it can help give structure to what you want to do ... others seem to view it as a hinderance as you may be set in your ways and not use all the functionality.

    Personally I am going to stick to Exchange and Sharepoint Services for the time being ... a little bit at a time ... and also wait to hear back about the direction that Learning Platforms are going too.

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    @GrumbleDook: Does that mean that you would not necessarily need all the components - e.g. if you didn't want instant messaging you could leave out Live Communications Server?

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    Re: Task-IT / EduGeek /ICT Register workshop 30th March 2006

    Yep ... exactly that ...

    mix and match

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