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General Chat Thread, New School ICT Plan in General; Dear all, I have been asked to draw up a new ICT Plan for a secondary school that doesn't exist!! ...
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    MattGibson's Avatar
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    New School ICT Plan

    Dear all,

    I have been asked to draw up a new ICT Plan for a secondary school that doesn't exist!! I have a pretty good idea with which route I want to go down such as Thin Clients, Citrix, VOIP, Management Cluster & VDI Cluster. Could any of you suggest your thoughts or recommendations?

    I'm guessing the builders will be installing all the cabling back to the server room. but any of your thoughts will be appreciated.

    Regards
    Matt

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Lucky, I really have to say that - very lucky. You have a chance to make everything perfect from the get go before you have turned on a computer.

    Had to do the 3 Year budget plan for my not so new job, spent several hours going through everything for next Year once I got told the estimated budget I could be getting.

    What sort of budget do you have, or is there not one?

    Personally I wouldn't only go down the Thin Client route unless I had a ton of low spec machines to make them less server/networking reliant. Then again if you get your networking top notch you might not even notice the difference.

    Virtualisation on non core servers is my preference with the core servers clustered. You might as well aim for the moon because you have a great chance at future proofing everything.

    Print management with Biometrics linked up to a cashless catering system is very useful to have (perhaps Parent Pay as well to avoid all the cash handling). Not sure if you are going to want a Reprographics area to be used for large printing?
    Online ordering for head of departments
    Projectors/IWBs ? personally I would avoid all in ones because our old ones cost a fortune to replace, a new projector, new mount/bracket which cost almost as much as a new IWB. Unless you resort to eBay and even then you may not get what you want.
    Wall mounted speakers with trunking
    Wall mounted Remotes for the projectors - scrap the remotes because they lose them left right and centre
    Budget plan to replace out dated kit (although it may take 5-7 Years average) it can be useful to have because when I came here there was nothing but PC replacement plan. People have a habit of forgetting Projectors/IWBs don't last forever.
    Trunking every where, network/electrical points everywhere - Staff have a habit of moving desks causing new cabling requirements.
    Air con/UPS for the servers

    The above is just some stuff you may/may not care about but I hope it helps - will have some more at another time.
    Last edited by mthomas08; 4th June 2014 at 10:58 AM.

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    IWDave (4th June 2014)

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    Grey-gear's Avatar
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    You may want to think about setting up a VLE

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    CAM
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    And the MIS. Maybe a parental engagement system too!

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    Grey-gear's Avatar
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    Gigabit switches too would be good

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Gigabit to the desktop, 10gbe backbone would be better.

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    Grey-gear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy View Post
    Gigabit to the desktop, 10gbe backbone would be better.
    That is true

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattGibson View Post

    I'm guessing the builders will be installing all the cabling back to the server room. but any of your thoughts will be appreciated.
    I wouldn't necessarily make this assumption!

    If you've been asked to draw up a plan then dictate what sort of cabling is installed. For example - I have a network cabling standards document that all contractors have to agree to - it dictates what type (and brand!) of cabling is to be used, how things are to be terminated and other such exciting things!

    In terms of your plan - it's best to start with a functional design explaining what you want the "ICT system" to do and support (it's probably going to be useful to get buy-in and guidance from management on this). Once you've outlined what you want it to be able to do then it's time to drill down and outline technical solutions that fulfil the requirements.

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    The way our building is set up is as follows:

    Imagine a building which is the shape of a giant space invader (No, really. That picture is the college being built, the building site is where we are now and the other bit has been demolished) Each leg and the body is a wing, each wing has two floors. Each floor has a hub room. All of the cat6 cables on each floor runs to its respective hub room. We have two server rooms with a core switch in each, each hub room has a fibre running to the server rooms.
    Last edited by Norphy; 4th June 2014 at 11:53 AM.

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    Cablers_JonPaul's Avatar
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    Start with the vision of what the SLT want to achieve and how they want to use technology in your new school and work backwards. A robust network will be the key to everything anyway. Make sure you over-spec the network as in our experience consultants, builders and M&E's will always pair it back to what they think they can get away with installing during the build process whilst keeping within budget. Any cost savings they can make normally add to their profits if they have won the job by bidding a set price.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattGibson View Post
    I'm guessing the builders will be installing all the cabling back to the server room.
    Your network wiring is probably going to be used for VoIP, too - we installed double sockets everywhere, no single ones, as we assumed that anyone with a PC was going to want a phone at some point, too. If you're using VoIP phones, you'll want PoE-capable switches. Our HPs are great, although they are a little noisy - you might want to consider getting muffled network cabinets all round (we had to get one for the ICT room, out in corridors is okay). If you have a power cut, all the phones will also go out - a UPS in each network cabinet might be a good idea (and not, actually, that expensive), although you need to check the size of the cabinet and how securly it can be fastened to the wall.

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    we installed double sockets everywhere, no single ones, as we assumed that anyone with a PC was going to want a phone at some point, too.
    Don't most VOIP phones come with network passthrough sockets? You plug the phone into the network and the PC into the phone? Ours certainly do.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy View Post
    Don't most VOIP phones come with network passthrough sockets? You plug the phone into the network and the PC into the phone? Ours certainly do.
    Yes, but most are 10/100 ethernet, not gigabit. Also, with new classrooms you really might as well put in as many connections as you can, and running two cables instead of one to a particular point is pretty much the same cost. Things like projectors also come with network connections these days for monitoring (10/100 is fine for those), the more connections you have the better.

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    Our VOIP phones can daisy chain the PCs but as said they are 10/100 and would rather have the PCs on 1GB - might as well get the extra sockets!

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    That's a good point, but it's only really worth having 1GB to the desktop if you've got a multi-gig backbone - e.g. 10GB or multiple 1GB links that are trunked.

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