Hi I am very new to this forum and am desperate for any advice regarding our Network i am the network manager and have very little experience as no training on windows although have requested on numerous occasions mostly self taught I have an assistant Jayne and together have kept a stable and efficient network,we are a small secondary school with approx 430 pupils, 120 networked machines(mostly need replacing no budget,no policy rollover which has been requested time and time again), XP, one little server 2003, RM overlay, 6 years with RM (CC3 present) and had no training for anything else but RM. We have just recently had a big change in staffing new head and deputy backed up by newly assigned SLT of which one has become my line manager who knows jack about networks and big ideas, before our change to 2003 xp we had our own exchange server which was not replaced as the bursar didnt think it necessary at the time to have one and thought it would save money so our email is now sourced externally ( I wont go into that one as you may well can imagine) this was NT 4 then with which I was fairly confident with but now they are looking for perhaps other options or maybe staying with RM due to extending the network and applying for specialist music status and a larger intake. I have had an independent guy in who has advised me that RM are only for primary schools and I ought to be going down the full vanilla road,I must say I am not familiar with any of this and am quite willing to try whatever comes our way but not having knowledge is starting to make me wonder whats around the corner. Where do I start with all this? Does the whole of the Infrastructure need ripping out and reapplying. RM v server 2008? What training do you advise? This is just the tip of the iceberg as both Jayne and myself have spent hours trying to get quotes from various companies only to find the management not knowing themselves what they want at the end of it. Please help if you can Many Thanks hope all this makes some sort of sense
That statement from you're independent advisor regarding CC3 being only for primaries is complete kak.
I personally have never worked with CC3 or any of the other windows server overlays....nice term by the way, overlay, i'll think i'll use that from now on when referring to these products.
But i do know of a number of secondaries who continue to use CC3, plus guys like russdev on edugeek use CC3 and by all accounts find that it does what they need from it. I've no idea if russ works in a primary or not, i'm assuming he works in a secondary school.
What is the business case for considering a vanilla implementation, tbh if you're not familiar with vanilla win2k3 or 2008 environments you absolutely must get the training if you do indeed decide to go down that route. I would say MCSA level training is pretty vital even if you continue with CC3.
2003 mcsa track should be available from local colleges, duration of course will vary. The 2008 track should be available to these microsoft academy's soon as i said check the microsoft academy page for college contact details. I would strongly advise getting the training done before you take the plunge with any particular supplier....because you'll need that understanding of the technical architecture and components when you start negotiating, you may also decide a vanilla rollout of 2003 or 2008 is something you and you're assistant are comfortable in undertaking yourselves.
You really need to question what the business case is for moving away from CC3, and whether as novices you're willing to embrace a vanilla environment or whether you'd prefer to continue with CC3 allowing you time to focus on other areas of IT management.
First things first, tell the powers that be to pony up for the training. Irrespective.
To help you learn get a copy of VMware or Virtual PC and a decent workstation with plenty of RAM. You can then load server 2003 or 2008 on them and start learning.
Get the basics running then go from there. Courses dont come cheap but I am sure they will spring for some books. Mastering Server 2003 by Mark Minasi is a great book to start with and there is an update edition as well for that. Even if you go with 2008 the book will teach you a lot about the general basics of the server systems.
I am high school in fact very similar to yours Nicola and i do like that word overlay as well
But on serious note via pm spoke to Nicola but this offer open to anyone if wish to see/discuss cc3 networks/rm products etc then do give get in touch we have people come and visit all the time so more the merry etc/.
It's worth visiting as many nearby schools as possible too. All the best network managers (like those on here) are more than willing to show you around. This is th ebest way to get a feel for the way others do things.
If possible, you should both try to come to next month's EduGeek conference - I realise it is a bit of a treck but it's a great start for your training and it's not often you get training for free.
Check out ITIdiots.com for some great video podcasts on Windows training and, as ChrisH says, download VMWare Server and play with the eval copies of Windows - breaking things really does help you learn. Don't be scared to ask questions too!
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