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General Chat Thread, Domains slowly becoming a thing of the past? in General; With my recent post about BYOD and the way tablets and cloud are muscling in, are domains as we know ...
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    Domains slowly becoming a thing of the past?

    With my recent post about BYOD and the way tablets and cloud are muscling in, are domains as we know them becoming a thing of the past ?
    Didn't really occur to me until the ICT Head said, "why do we need domain joined pc's in the classroom?" And it occurred to me that perhaps they really don't.
    The MIS is in the cloud, the VLE is in the cloud we're starting to move to google apps for education so file storage is taken care of there too.

    I can think of a few pitfalls, e.g. software distribution, group policy and AV but I really don't think that local domain logons are needed for the classroom at all.

    Could just have a pc that boots straight onto the desktop, log into the MIS, save files to google drive etc.

    Domain will still be needed for a few pc's - Admin, support staff, ICT Suites and maybe staffroom etc. but I could just put all classroom pcs on the same VLAN as the BYOD and school bought shiny gadgets - solves issues with airserver (will save buying ATVs) and other similar software.

    Thoughts?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Domains, in Microsoft terms, are about having central admin control over traditional PC's. I suppose as we very slowly move away from the traditional client-server PC model we will loose Microsoft Domains, but by necessity they will be replaced by something else. Or more likely, a group of something-elses. Take GoogleApps for example, to make it marketable to us education folk Google give us central controls over those accounts so we can monitor/restrict/access as necessary. And the same could be said for every cloud solution you move to. I doubt any school would have moved to GoogleApps without that facility.

    I think so long as you are using regular PC's (or laptops) you are going to need a domain controller. Ultimately I think trying to run them without is going to cause more problems/work in the long run than running them as standalone.


    A few thoughts on classroom PC's. Do you use any local apps at all? MS Office for instance? How do they behave with storage in the cloud? I assume you are installing the GoogleDrive software on the PC's to make access pretty seamless? If so, as standalones I assume they auto-login or use 1 common user account? How do you then make sure kids are logged into the right GoogleDrive account?

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    I wouldnt say so - after all your domain is always going to be the thing that provides the logon services to the 'cloud services'.

    Ultimately we may reach the point where we no longer need PCs in IT rooms as the kids have their own kit (and I'm talking a LONG way off and thats assuming there is some way to fund it for students who don't have the money) but there will always be a domain in the background running the logon.

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    1. Write down a list of everything you use/have and can you find a replacement?
    2. What links them all together for accounts/logins/permissions?
    3. Cloud - biggest problem with the usage of this term is the fact that most of management think its just "out there" instead of its really "Access anywhere".
    4. The more you rely on the internet/wireless connection the more you lose when it goes offline.

    At the moment we are microsoft vanilla and I can see it being that way for another 10 years with a Domain. At the end of the day these devices and systems will be built to better suit a domain. Can I see a domain being scrapped - nope.

    At the end of the day with a domain you have your own seperate system which can survive without the internet. You also the ability to control/permission what students get and now with E-Safety being more aggressive this year that is important. With a domain you are easily able to link up to other systems, like cloud based/VLEs for SSO.

    Until these products easily allow you to link to each other (instead of lawsuits) we will need domains. When a kid logs on do they need to logon to multiple systems just to gain access to all the basics?

    Without a domain does that mean they simply turn on a PC and it logs on for them under "User". How would you deploy your software/GP setup? by image building?

    What happens when you need something added to a PC, does that mean manual install on all machines?

    To me it raises far too many ifs, buts and questions. Not something I would ever recommend just to be different.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caffrey View Post
    Could just have a pc that boots straight onto the desktop, log into the MIS, save files to google drive etc.
    Thoughts?
    As long as you don't care about security at all. There will still be a need for central databases of users, you may choose to do this all with GAPS or 365 but you are completely at the mercy of the external provider and your internet connection.

    Sure you can run the IT like a large flat but you have to be ready to throw everything away if things break or the vendors tell you to, on the plus side the school can save some cash by fireing trained IT people and using the SLTs kids who knowz teh fACEbOOKs and tWITs.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post

    At the end of the day with a domain you have your own seperate system which can survive without the internet. You also the ability to control/permission what students get and now with E-Safety being more aggressive this year that is important. With a domain you are easily able to link up to other systems, like cloud based/VLEs for SSO.
    To be fair to the OP I can see where he is coming from and can see this happening, it's just a long way off at the moment. The technology is there, it's just very dis-jointed for our use.

    With 99.999% uptime gigabit plus fibre connections and backup lines, is it really that dangerous having everything hosted in the cloud? Microsoft LiveID, Facebook and Google all offer Web based single sign-on solutions. Our LEA are using Shibboleth to tie various cloud services, MIS's and Google Apps to one SSO login.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    @caffrey where would the accounts for all these services live

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    @caffrey where would the accounts for all these services live
    There are stacks of directory/login services available. A traditional windows domain is much more than this integrating DHCP,DNS,Group policies etc. Whilst a directory service will still need to exist a windows domain is really only useful for managing a lot of windows clients. As microsoft becomes less relevant to IT, so do windows domains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    There are stacks of directory/login services available. A traditional windows domain is much more than this integrating DHCP,DNS,Group policies etc. Whilst a directory service will still need to exist a windows domain is really only useful for managing a lot of windows clients. As microsoft becomes less relevant to IT, so do windows domains.
    If Windows it chosen (as fast number of schools will) it will be a Domain Controller to be a directory service, thus still having a domain.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    There are stacks of directory/login services available. A traditional windows domain is much more than this integrating DHCP,DNS,Group policies etc. Whilst a directory service will still need to exist a windows domain is really only useful for managing a lot of windows clients. As microsoft becomes less relevant to IT, so do windows domains.
    But then you are just replacing one 'domain' service for another - at no point did the OP mention a windows domain.

    'Microsoft becomes less relevant to IT' - how so? With Office365 and services like Dynamics CRM online not to mention Windows Azure (which could even host your domain in 'the cloud' as a virtual machine) Microsoft are more relevant than ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    'Microsoft becomes less relevant to IT' - how so? With Office365 and services like Dynamics CRM online not to mention Windows Azure (which could even host your domain in 'the cloud' as a virtual machine) Microsoft are more relevant than ever.
    Not in the context of BYOD. MS devices are a tiny minority of these. I think out of all of our wireless devices that students bring in (can afford) less than 10% are windows now and almost all of these are laptops.

    I didn't equate domain to mean anything other than an active directory domain (not withstanding DNS). Didn't figure on directory service being a domain.

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    We had a visitor from a large school in Japan a couple of years ago, I asked him how many computers they had, expecting the answer to be thousands and so his response of "5" was a bit of a shock.

    At the school all the students just use their own mobile phones with no domain or infrastructure of any kind.

    Personally I see the future being cloud based, but the school will be hosting the cloud, with something resembling a domain at the heart of it. All access to the services provided by the school (email, online storage etc.) will be through the internet (which will be via filtered wifi in school) on student owned devices so that the experience at home is identical to the experience in school (apart from the lack of an internet filter at home - or not if schools offered it at a service)

    And I think this is probably only three or four years away from happening.
    Last edited by limbo; 14th February 2013 at 09:13 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Not in the context of BYOD. MS devices are a tiny minority of these. I think out of all of our wireless devices that students bring in (can afford) less than 10% are windows now and almost all of these are laptops.

    I didn't equate domain to mean anything other than an active directory domain (not withstanding DNS). Didn't figure on directory service being a domain.
    As far as devices go Microsoft is still very young in the world of BYOD - after all it once was BYOL (bring your own laptop/notebook) but the iPad and Apple changed that and companies like Citrix helped by making sure Receiver was available on pretty much every product out there.

    But all the same I now know of more people with Surfaces than I do iPads (5 against 3) so maybe this will change...

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    Knew it would stir up some interest, been thinking about this all night
    I'm thinking why exactly do teachers need to log into a domain in the classroom ? it's just a resource tool - they are currently doing registers on the school supplied Ipads etc.
    Biggest most pressing problem is bandwidth, and the amount of work and the ifs and buts etc. (Plus I'm on my own!) It's a huge shift for everyone.

    I don't think there's any danger to IT careers, its just a paradigm shift that is slowly happening, heck even Microsoft are starting to panic about tablets and being left behind (windows 8 mess for instance)
    I haven't sat down and worked out all the pros and cons of it all, the machines will be auto-logged in straight to the desktop and I think there will have to be a domain for software distribution, wsus, av etc. (unless there's other solutions out there I've not found or looked into yet) and I don't want to confuse teachers with too many passwords.

    Not being on the domain in the classroom is surely more secure too, only managed main domain machines are behind doors or in managed IT suites.

    Horse has pretty much bolted here anyway, the Head wants to see BYOD and has already sent out the letter to students, they've already pressed ahead and got teachers Ipads and are planning to have a set available for classroom usage - so I have to think of a viable solution, ideally the Head doesn't want to see desktops in the classroom at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caffrey View Post
    Horse has pretty much bolted here anyway, the Head wants to see BYOD and has already sent out the letter to students, they've already pressed ahead and got teachers Ipads and are planning to have a set available for classroom usage - so I have to think of a viable solution, ideally the Head doesn't want to see desktops in the classroom at all.
    Probably the best way to handle it just pull all the computers and then when they complain they can no longer do X point them to the Head as it was his idea.

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