What about using webfolders?
Has anybody used CSE Webspace explorer - (used to access school work from home)? Is there an alternitive?
VPN seems difficult to setup.
What about using webfolders?
I want to know more about this product too. Has anyone actual experiance of using it.
FYI Ranger Outpost and SSL explorer do similar functions.
The difference with CSE Webspace explorer is that you only open your network to one IP address for CSE to connect in as CSE act as a kind of proxy. The technical details on CSE's website are a bit vague it costs £3/user/year
Would like to know what software they need to install on our server(s) and how much load say 50 concurrent users would put on the server network bandwidth and CPU etc.
Perhaps thats a bit strong but I certainly don't recommend it. We are currently in the process of removing CSE from our school, as it grinds our PCs to a halt in most cases.
You'll find newer PCs will deal with it better but if you're still running 512mb/single core boxes then you will struggle.
It does offer a centralised method of software deployment, and allows you to lockdown most of windows as the kids can access all apps, server shares etc through the explorer.
But to be honest its better in my opinion to get strong policies set up that allow kids access the usual way, and just remove access to the run command, control panel etc...
Unfortunately our McAfee we use is on all our machines, and scans all incoming and outgoing traffic. This means software deployment and booting up with CSE is painfully slow.
Our old viglen laptops take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to load up with CSE compared to around 10 minutes or less with a clean install.
I wouldn't be able to give you any specifics on bandwidth and the proxy aspect but we allocate 1 partition to CSE on one of our 2000 servers, we keep packages in a seperate area.
It doesn't seem to be the network thats affected but more the PCs hardware. Also once you are fully reliant on CSE, including its printer management, package deployment, network toolkit (for application linking and network drives etc) then it will be very hard to get yourself out again should you wish to get rid of it. Like us.
Last edited by Crispin; 5th December 2008 at 07:08 PM.
Lordy, glad we stuck to using the old version of Workspace Explorer then. I find it pi55 easy to use and configure.
They tried to get us to use the .net version they had written but after reading some comments on that we decided to steer well clear.
I currently have it running on PCs that are about 4 years old without a problem and on around 70 wireless laptops - ok I have really tailored the builds for our network and have a wad of scripts running to get things going but it fits in well with the central management aspect.
The deployment of prism packages can sometimes be a pain but I use that along side GPO installs and scripts....
As for remote access, nothing wrong with RDP, VNC - both are free.
Or take a look at open vpn - something I shall be doing in the new year - [ just for remote support ]
We had webspace explorer (along with other CSE products) for two years.
At that time (2004) it seemed a deceptively simple way of allowing pupils access to the network in a secure manner, and it was; it just didn't work.
I recall frustrating phone calls to CSE, them blaming our LA network, our LA network guy trying to get info from them to do testing and them not responding, generally poor communications and documentation at all levels.
Never did get it working reliably and for all users - in common with a number of their other products, and eventually ditched it. As I have mentioned on here before, getting involved with CSE was not one of my better decisions.
Not had any dealings with them since 2006 and of course they could have smartened up their act of course, but I would not willingly use their products again.
We use Frog as our VLE and it does remote access to network home folders as part of the basic system.
We use CSE .NET here at the School, upgraded over the Summer.
In truth, when it works, it's ok. The central management is pretty good. But again, assuming it all works. The problem is that it iss as buggy as hell, and I'm not impressed with their attempts to resolve some of the issues we're having.
Seriously, as a result of certain things, we are seriously thinking about ditching CSE ourselves in the next year or two. I need to plan and work out costings in the future, but as mentioned here good GPO's, etc in place should be plenty. There are loads of off the shelf management applications out there so it's really a case of looking around.
As for the Webspace Explorer, the only good thing we could see from our point of view it would give the same interface they have access to at school at home. But, we were quoted £1800 per year for 1000 users.
I'm seriously looking at Ranger Outpost, as it's a lot cheaper and to me seems very simple to implement and for users to use.
We have used CSE Explorer(Old version not .NET) for about 5 years I have found it very good as a whole looked at .NET and have even had the full setup but had to roll it back as had too many bugs, which some of seemed to get fixed but created others so never really had much confidence in it.The only problem with the old version is it does slow the logon of PC's somewhat.
A couple of the engineers have left CSE to set up on their own they are designing a set of management tools to manage APPs, printers etc but usng a standard windows for users, using Multicast technology.I have had a quick look at these they look pretty good only in the early stages at the moment. They have helped us set up an Aruba wireless system which is execellent.
Only in the early stages with these tools but they look like they are on the right track they haven't really got far enough to put them on their site yet. But heres their website if you intereste. Burconix.com - Network Solutions for Business and Education
I think that if you want to try out relatively 'new' solutions it will have problems and glitches. RM have been developing school networking for years and some times that history is a great advantage. However, no matter who the vendor is the same rules apply in that only well proven established solutions have even a chance of being stable and problem free because with the best will and skill in the world it is still a process of trial and error. Just look at every time MS launch a new OS and nobody has more experience or resources than they do!
The term is getting shorter but i am sure the days are getting longer!!!
Forgot to say... Our neighbour school has had CSE for a few years and have finally given it up. We very nearly went with it the same time as they did but we went with RM CC3 instead and still are. They may not be the cheapest and are not perfect but in my opinion they have a large share of the schools market for a reason!
We use Ranger Outpost here and it works Ok. Only downside is that there is no client for Apple Macs so kids and staff who use them can't get on to the network from home.
I used to work on a CSE network - kind of glad I have put that behind me.
Their software was really useful and cheap -shame it didn't always work.
Have tried webfolders - works ok on my mac (most times), but some windows machines have problems with it - sigh...
Going to try IntegraTUM WebDisk next, if I can get it to work with tomcat...
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