As for where to start -edugeek is the place. Think of a problem and someone here will be able to solve it
My first post.
Worked in IT for almost 20 years, started very technical, then went on to very senior management roles. Made redundant from my last role so am now working in a academy on the outskirts of Birmingham. Been left a real mess, started work to start resolving issues, but where do I start !!!!!
Hello and welcome
If in doubt, a cuppa and an EduHobnob are always a good starting point...
It really depends on the mess. Is it the infrastructure or documentation or both? North, East, South or West of Brum?
Choice of approaches: Start from the servers, work out. Start from the clients, work in. Start from the internet work in.
So, Just for starters...
Get all of your contracts where you can see them, make sure you aren't paying for something you aren't getting. Get all available admin passwords. Start documenting everything. Run security audits, make sure there aren't any gaping holes, ensure the kids can't run roughshod over the network. Lock anything down that isn't already.
What are you running? XP, 7, RM, Vanilla, Novell? Virtualised? DAS, NAS, SAN?
And welcome. Lets get you straightened out!
Last edited by Oaktech; 20th February 2014 at 02:20 PM.
Hi All, thanks for the advise and making me feel welcome, hopefully I can contribute as well as taking stuff from the forums.
I'm in south Birmingham, between M5 Junction 3 and 4.
The school is currently Windows Server 2008R2, all the desktops are Windows 7, there are over 100 group policies which I haven't had the chance to try and understand yet. Everything appears to be locked down quite securely, logged in as a student prohibits you from doing pretty much anything including printing !
We currently have one server running everything, it is the DC, the DNS, DHCP and also the Microsoft HyperV host. It looks to me that the previous tech P to V'd an old Windows 2003 server and migrated all the policies etc. to the new server (the school were an RM network I think). HyperV is running the old Windows 2003 server (that I can't patch - refuses to run Windows updates) and an additional Windows 2008 Server that seems to be replicating the roles (not very clever !) and running the printer software (papercut). I patched this and the Exchange Server over the Christmas break, they had not been updated since installation in July 2013 - lots of panic moments, waiting for reboots
We also have Sophos and Policy Central, I've figured out Sophos console, however all the agents on the PC's are all out of date and need to be re-installed, working through these as I re-image. Policy Central is running on an old laptop (the explanation given - sometimes the police take away the server for examination ) which is has issues of its own which I am working on.
I've made some major improvements already, I installed and got up and running a FOG server (using an old PC) and have been busily re-imaging computers - two labs completed so far, two to go. I've re-configured the Dell Server, it has four nic's however the way it was configured all traffic was only routed via one nic (100mb/s) including the virtual servers. The cards are now teamed to give the server 200Mb/s and each virtual server has it's own dedicated 100Mb/s link. (resolved DNS issues at the same time, however I sometimes get errors about being unable to contact the virtual 2008 server)
The storage currently is on multiple Buffalo NAS boxes, I'm not a fan, these things are running flat out and giving very poor performance and I can't see any clear backup of them.
I working on kicking off a major project to introduce a virtual environment with two new servers, a storage array and a tape drive for backup's. Hopefully this will resolve my problems. Hoping also to get a network audit and firmware patch done soon and the group policies resolved.
Welcome. I think I saw that job a few month ago.
Where do you start? You start with the kettle. You get a brew on, a biscuit out, and enlightenment swiftly follows.
Good luck! We all know what it's like inheriting a new system, you'd be surprised how far down the road it will still catch you off-guard. Still, it's a satisfying feeling when you sit back three or four years later and realise you have remade absolutely everything in your own image - servers, PCs, group policy, switches, internet, VLE, email, policies, licensing, OS deployment, helpdesks, intranet... you don't realise how busy you can be until you sit back and write it down.
With the switch to Office 365 this week I have just decommisioned the last physical server I wanted rid of. It's taken four years, but I reckon I've won. And happily, it's all still working!
You already have a lot to do but I would also see what is causing the biggest problems for your users and get some of them fixed or at least explained. Getting some user problems solved will only help keep them on your side and may also help when you need ask for money to solve the bigger issues.
Wow, that does sound a mess. Hope the academy are going to give you some deep pockets, sounds like you will need them. Good luck.
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