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General Chat Thread, Starting from scratch in General; Seems to be a lot of Apple vs Microsoft tones going on here..... Truth is neither is better, they both ...
  1. #46
    mrbios's Avatar
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    Seems to be a lot of Apple vs Microsoft tones going on here.....

    Truth is neither is better, they both fit different purposes. Both can be bent to the will of each others respective purposes but that isn't ideal. You need to buy what best fills a purpose based on the benefit to the end users, regardless of security flaws! After all that's why we have firewalls, patch management and anti virus....

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    synaesthesia (22nd July 2013)

  3. #47

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    But in an ideal situation, both groups can and do try; some can even be relatively successful at that on both "sides" of the equation.
    Exactly the reason why communication is absolutely key.

  4. #48

    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse77e View Post
    Ephelyon - Many thanks for your understanding. To answer your question;
    I am one of a group of parents working to open a much needed secondary school
    I am a geek by profession but a creative web geek - hence I come seeking knowledge!
    I AM an Apple user / fanboy but that dosn't mean I am closed minded or wearing blinkers to other brands
    As a group our concern is to make the BEST POSSIBLE school for our children - there is no other agenda!
    Time is against us. The local council's provision for secondary school places is less than adequate. As of 2014 the provision of places is short by 8 - 10 classes
    We are working to a budget. My primary focus is on the backbone infrastructure. user devices will come and go but the network needs to be the best that I can get, it won't be changing anytime soon. I need advice on the best possible solution to hedge my bets on future proofing the school
    Having tentatively spoken to a couple of suppliers their focus in not on the capital infrastructure but on the ongoing revenue stream - if anyone else starts a meeting with - So... let me talk to you about MicroSoft's exciting [cash cow], Office 365! Murder will be done!
    (Rant over)

    Again, Many thanks!
    He he, IT suppliers can be worse than snake oil salesmen as soon as they smell a budget
    If you are anywhere near the M62 corridor or can get up this way, I'm more than happy to give you a tour and explain the sort of things a secondary will need. You probably won't be able to afford it all to start with, but as your intake grows over the years it's good to have a solid foundation.

  5. #49

    seawolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse77e View Post
    WOW! Can you imagine if that happened to Windows?

    Sorry but there seems to be a little too much sniping on Apple for the sake of it going on. I have move on to the core infrastructure decisions and away from the end user devices. But thank you for your interest... Bah Humbug!
    Mouse77e - if you are serious about getting the core infrastructure right then go back to my post from the 21st of July where I've given some specifics on what that should look like. If you want to get more specific or would like something clarified feel free to ask. Those basic infrastructure recommendations are based on 15+ years of experience and having turned around the IT departments and operations of multiple companies and schools, including the most recent that required doing a "from scratch" in-place mass upgrade for an existing school. And it's exactly what I would do if I were in your shoes. Get that base infrastructure right and you can successfully use whatever end-point devices you want.

    p.s. Whatever you do, if you ever want to use Macs at your school, don't use a .local AD domain or you will regret it (been there, done that, had to clean up the mess).
    Last edited by seawolf; 23rd July 2013 at 01:39 AM.

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    Mouse77e (22nd July 2013)

  7. #50

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Build a fast network with high quality managed Layer 2/3 Cisco or HP Gigabit PoE switches with 10GbE connectivity to the core. You will either need a router or Layer 3 core switch to handle routing for your VLANs (use a lot of VLANS). Buy the very best you can afford and have them configured by someone who knows how to build a fast reliable, modern network.
    This is currently exactly what we're doing, so I figured some rough prices might come in handy for planning purposes: 2 core A5800 and 9 edge 2920 HP switches (and we did look at every other brand we could think of, but HP still came out on top) are going to cost around 40,000. That's with 10GbE fibre connections between the core and edge switches, and edge switches capable of PoE to VoIP handsets. Wiring (in our case, accross 6 floors and 9 edge cabinets, with fibre between the core and each edge and at least 2 CAT5e connections to each classroom) is another 40,000. A VoIP phone system with a controller and 50 handsets is around 10,000. I think our Ruckus wireless system was well under 10,000 and certainly seems to give us good coverage. A new projector and sound system, with installation, is costing us around 1,200 per classroom, although that doesn't include an interactive whiteboard (add another 1,000 or so per classroom for a SmartBoard if that's what you intend to use).

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    Mouse77e (23rd July 2013)

  9. #51

    seawolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    This is currently exactly what we're doing, so I figured some rough prices might come in handy for planning purposes: 2 core A5800 and 9 edge 2920 HP switches (and we did look at every other brand we could think of, but HP still came out on top) are going to cost around 40,000. That's with 10GbE fibre connections between the core and edge switches, and edge switches capable of PoE to VoIP handsets.
    I would be inclined to go for the HP 5400 zl modular unit for the core switch or an 8200zl model If you could afford it. Far more flexibility for future upgrades or reconfiguration. We're going to upgrade to an 8206zl at the end of this year for the core for that reason. Otherwise, I agree with the choices, the ProCurve switches are probably the best for the money and are widely supported. HP support has been good as well. We had a couple of 2520s that developed a PoE issue and they replaced them very quickly no fuss.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    A VoIP phone system with a controller and 50 handsets is around 10,000.
    Sounds reasonable though you might want to consider a service agreement that includes PABX and handsets. This usually works out cheaper, the provider is responsible for repairs and upgrades, and gives you more flexibility to upgrade in 4-5 years time (technology does progress in Telephony too). We bought our current PABX four years ago, but I wouldn't do it again I don't think.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    A new projector and sound system, with installation, is costing us around 1,200 per classroom, although that doesn't include an interactive whiteboard (add another 1,000 or so per classroom for a SmartBoard if that's what you intend to use).
    I would think long and hard about installing IWBs and projectors. My experience has been that the IWBs are mostly a gimmick that made some vendors a lot of money and tricked a lot of educators into thinking they were going to revolutionise teaching and learning. The reality is that they are expensive, the software is often buggy, they need regular recalibration, the interactive features are unused or underused and they mostly become a very expensive screen. Then there are the projectors. Let me count the ways I hate thee...constant cleaning of filters, globe replacement, failure to remember settings after power outages, too dim to use with any ambient light, teachers losing remotes, or switching source and thinking its not working, or putting them on blank screen rather than turning them off and burning them up at 1/10th expected lifespan (oh yeah had a teacher do that - "you mean I shouldn't just leave it on all of the time"). Projectors are a constant thorn in the side in a school environment.

    No, I would recommend buying some 65-70" LED TVs with RS232 connections and at least 2 x HDMI and 1 x VGA with a Joey wall controller (or similar) with on/off buttons, volume controls, and buttons to switch between VGA and HDMI. We use wall mount Mac Minis running either Windows 7 or Mac OS connected to ours and with AirServer running on them to allow AirPlay for screen sharing of iPads or Macs and a spare HDMI and VGA wall plug to connect a laptop or Chromebook (or whatever else they want - DVD payer, etc,).

    If you go with interactive gear you'd best budget for lots of training and make regular IWB training mandatory for all teachers or you will be wasting the money.
    Last edited by seawolf; 23rd July 2013 at 11:42 AM.

  10. #52

    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    The Epson range of interactive projectors are also a good alternative if you like interactive gear, and come in very cheap at about 1,200 for the full solution (minus speakers, though they do have basic speakers built-in) with replacement bulbs costing only around 50. The EB-485Wi is a good example. We've put one in here to very good feedback and we may be putting another one in in September.

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