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General Chat Thread, Workload. What it used to be and what we do now. in General; OK. I entered the wonderful world of educational IT support just over 5 and a half years ago, and it ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    OK. I entered the wonderful world of educational IT support just over 5 and a half years ago, and it seesm to me that in the interveining years our workload has more than doubled. I shall demonstrate by describing my job back then then and my job now.

    2000 -

    Manage 1 NT 4.0 server with a single 20 GB SCSI hard drive. On here lived all of the file shares, an Exchange 5.5 setup, M$ Proxy and 800 user accounts.

    Manage 50 desktop PCs running Windows 98.

    Ensure that the 8 networked printers were OK.

    *NOTE. There were no laptops, projectors, wireless or whiteboards then.

    2005 -

    Manage 7 Windows 2003 active directory servers running 2 domains. One running Exchange 2003, one running SQL Server 2000, One print server with 15 networked printers. One is a file server. The remainder are domain controllers.

    Manage a mobile classroom consisting of 25 laptops contained in boxes of 5 laptops and see them once every blue moon when they have died completely.

    Maintain numerous projectors and whiteboards.

    Help staff with video capture and editing.

    Look after many staff laptops.

    Run a wireless setup over 2 LANS.

    Install much software at a moments notice network wide.

    Have I missed something out I wonder? And what will the future bring!?

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    Hmmm... not been 'in the game' as long as you (only 2 and a half years).

    In the begining...
    * 2x NT4 Servers and almost 100 9x workstations (RM Connect 2.4)
    * Maybe half a dozen networked printers
    * A couple of projectors
    * No laptops, scanners, IWBs...

    Now...
    * 12 Servers (2000 and 2003) - inc. SQL, Exchange, ISA, Citrix
    * Lovely SAN and tape autoloader
    * Approx. 200 desktop clients
    * Over 60 laptops
    * 2x IWB setups (got away with that one nicely )
    * Approx. 9 projectors
    * 12x network printers and a shed load of local printers (lasers in offices)
    * Scanners and other peripherals galore

    The workload has certainly increased in a short time and there's still just me. I'm just glad that they haven't decided that they must have IWBs in every room - a bug bear of mine since (as all techs know) there's only one person that can check that the USB cable is plugged in and the power switch is in the ON position!

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    If a teacher's workload increased as much as what ours do they'd be paid 2, maybe 3 times as much as well 8O

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    6 1/2 years ago - Joined a team as the junior / mouse cleaner (1 network manager, one asst NM, 1 techie and me as asst IT Techie)

    We looked after 1 NT4 server for the admin network with 15 machines, 2 unix servers (1 as the web/mail/proxy server the other as the file and authentication server), 2 macs running server stuff (appleshare IP and MacAdmin), 40 classroom PCs running W95 and approx 140 macs.

    When I left there 18 months ago it was 1 Unix box (running Mail and the Website), 8 Windows Servers (mainly W2K Server), 1 Mac Server, 100ish Macs, 200+ PCs (mainly W2K Pro) and around 70 staff laptops.

    At present establishment we have 11 Windows Servers, 1 Mac Server (ok .. it's a Mac Mini, but it'll do the job), 23 macs, and 648 desktops/laptops. Also looking after all the projectors (around 25 now) and starting to look after TVs and videos too.

    And this doesn't include the printers, scanners, cameras, DV cameras, IWBs ...

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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    Dos are you doing my job when Im not there!
    Sounds very similar but shorter time span.

    Originally 3 NT 4 server
    5 Windowbox p2p networks.

    Now.....

    7 Win2k/2003 Server based network

    Too many laptops to count (honest!)

    IWBs all over the place

    Cameras Videos Multimedia setups etc

    Managed Library systems

    Correcting LEA bodges
    Really would love time to do a full inventory

    Oh and still havnt had the revue I asked for last April (04)!!!!!

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Furan
    Oh and still havnt had the revue I asked for last April (04)!!!!!
    They did that with me. They'll take an extra year to look at it to figure out what else they can squeeze in under the "any other tasks" clause, but in the meantime, keeping you as cheap as possible. It's all wrong.

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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    Then

    Started 3 and 1/2 years ago.
    One tech (pushing 50, already here with 104 win 98 PC's, 3 NT 4.0 servers and 60 non networked laptops. No IWB's

    Now

    12 2003 servers, consisting of Exchange 2003, an ISA, One SIMS, One CMIS and eportal, a Print server, Several back up servers and 3 file servers.
    540 workstations and 190 networked laptops (all XP Pro)
    40 IWB's + Projectoers(mixture of Smart and Promethean)
    8 Wireles Access Points for network use in mobiles.
    46 Networked Printers
    21 Standalone printers,
    6 Pool Bookable Projecters (fro use on normal whiteboards)
    Supporting the new Media Studies Lessons
    Supporting Specialist Sports Software (We are a Sports College)

    All spread accross 4 buildings....!

    Coming Soon

    A new bulid to replace the mobiles which will hold 200 worksations,
    Dual status to Maths & Computing College
    Most importantly anotherTechnician startting after xmas.



    Refering to another post (Thank God for MSI deployment and RIS)

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    I forgot at add PDA's.

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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    Started in '99 as an assistant to the IT Technician, the Head of IT was de facto Network Manager. We had one NT3.51 server, 2 classrooms of 30 PCs, and about another 30 scattered around the school running '95. Only Internet access was by a 33.6 in the main IT room.

    Now I manage 2 (& 1/2) technicians supporting 3 W2k3 servers, an Exchange server, web server, proxy server, SIMS server, 400 workstations running XP, 50 laptops, 10 IWBs, projectors, broadband, SIMS, wireless, printers both network & local, specialist Music technology, scanners, digital microscopes, a couple of Macs, organising X-ciricular ICT, community links... just what I can think of off the top of my head!

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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    I started working in IT in 98, the school I was at had 2 rooms full of Acorns, no network and all we had to look out for was broken monitors and dodgy viruses on the machines.

    We made the big jump to Windows 2000 and I was looking after 30 PC's, 1 Win 2k Server and 3 Networked printers. We also had 128k 24/7 ISDN internet, for 2000 we we're the dogs bollocks in the area for computing :P

    The network slowly grew, we added 3 new rooms and networked the library. Now the school is just like any other, every department has PC's, IWB's, Projectors etc.

    The place i'm at now has around 150 PC's, mostly XP x64, 20 Wireless tablet PC's, 12 roaming iBook's, a Mac suite, language lab and auditorium, we're open 8-9 and guess who provides support out of hours :P

    I look after 5 Servers for the LAN (W2k3, OS X and Linux) that support over 1800 users, Blackboard which is going to be rolled out across the LEA soon (and I'll get to admin that) and W2k3, Linux and OS X servers for Web/Media hosting that we do.

    I designed and implemented the Network, have recently overhauled it and upgraded to Gigabit Ethernet.

    I'm MS certified, just about to sit my CCNA and struggled for 9 months to get a payrise, yet if i'm not in one day and something breaks, the place grinds to a halt. I'm the only tech on site.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my job, i just wish people were a little bit more appreciative for what we actually do!

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    witch's Avatar
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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    Interestingly, for me (4 years in one job, two in the other) nothing much has changed except a few wireless laptops,teachers laptops and whiteboards - which is v sad as it means not much investment in computing and IT at either of the schools I work in.
    Currently have one NT4 server, 40 network machines, 2 standalones,15 whiteboards, 17 teachers laptops, in one job (that I have to maintain in 10 hours a week).
    The other is a Win2000 server with 60 network machines, 10 whiteboards (different sort to the other lot!), 36 wireless laptops, 20 teachers laptops, etc etc (which I have to maintain in 8, yes, 8 hours a week! )

    The computers in both schools are predominantly running Win98 and they are all anything between 3 and 7 years old. I cannot get anyone to see that very soon things are going to go horribly wrong - both my servers are too small and too old, and I spend a lot of time trying to nurse old computers back to life, or ghosting or anything just short of the kiss of life.
    As a local school governor, I do realise the constraints of the budgets and can see that it is very hard to spend the amount of money I need - but this is getting really silly now.
    I am just waiting for the motherboards to start failing in a big way - I wish they would because then something might be done.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    The sad thing is that if schools such as yours allocated even a half decent budget for maintenance and rolling upgrades they would spend less than half the cost of a new network every few years.

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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    What gets me about all of this and its probably stated in several other threads is that there is a huge discrepancy between investment in hardware and investment in support costs.
    I think everyone on her agrees that we could do with more money for the job we do but its like flogging a dead horse when schools are used to being served by people with a bit of pride in their work and irrespective of the package they are on - they constantly deliver for the benefit of the kids.
    What amazed me in all of this though is that with LEA approval (in my case certainly) the schools are prepared to pay socking great sums for appalling service and support from the likes of RM and providers of the LFT scheme. And who are the poor sods that have to sit on the end of the phone trying to interpret what the nonty head on the other end of the phone is proposing as a fix?????

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    Without sounding defensive of the LEAs ... with things like the LfT scheme and connectivity, they get £X for it ... and then have to make the best use of it.

    Some places take the money and try and get the best/most kit with it, knowing that if they get good kit it will cost them less to look after it, and save them money in the long run.

    Unfortunately not all LEAs are like this ... and some do take the attitude of "We know best" and the decisions are made politically ... but that is changing ...

    We are left in a strange position in Northants now ... the Local Authority have decided they they only want to do the strategy and organising of things, they do not want to be responsible for services.

    This has meant that .ICT (thats dot eye see tea) are being made a company and are not part of the council, just a service provider for the council. This means that there are all sorts of politics going on in the background, smack bang in the middle of when all the schools are trying to work out whether to stick with the RBC or not, or to band together with another ISP or go our own ways ... and hope we can get on the NEN later.

    Fun ?

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    Re: Workload. What it used to be and what we do now.

    Tony do you find that your in the position of being left to pick up the pieces though.
    The 'Advisors' and 'Consultants' who are supposed to disseminate all of what you described in your post at the least communicative people on the payroll. I dont mean that vindictively = but if you were an ex-head or something similar would you really want to speak to pond life like us?
    There is a culture issue here and I make no bones about it.
    Until the doors of discussion are open to all the likes of you and I will still spend each day sifting the grains to find the substance.

    Sorry been a heavy heavy term for me so far and frankly very down with it all.



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