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General Chat Thread, Summer projects... in General; Originally Posted by garethedmondson Again I raise the question - why are you doing this? What has changed that makes ...
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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    Again I raise the question - why are you doing this? What has changed that makes you have to re-image all desktops?

    Nothing changes in our school between the day we break up and the day we go back.

    I'm not trying to be annoying here - just looking to understand and wonder if our school technician should be doing more.

    GJE
    The only reason I'm re-imaging every machine in the school this year is because I am getting rid of the WinSuite program and replacing it with a new AD structure. Re-imaging is the most effective way of making sure each PC is clean of WinSuite and is successfully part of the new AD.

    I certainly don't plan to re-image again, after this, until Windows 7. Certainly at my last place we only ever imaged new suites and suites that were causing particular problems.

    I too am a little shocked at how many people are re-imaging all their machines.

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    Here's my list:
    - upgrade RAM in 120 PC's
    - reimage 140 PC's (a big power spike has made them a bit 'gimpy', so remedial measures!)
    - Implement Exchange server and migrate from linux mail to Exchange 2007
    - Write staff training program & materials for Exchange
    - Implement SIMS Learning Gateway for access by staff and (allegedly) parents (though SMT not currently listening to advice re attendance registers & behaviour records, so reckon once the phone calls start this will be rolled back)
    - Roll out CS4
    - Migrate the majority of the admin users to the curriculum network
    - Implement and configure Mahara
    - Implement a system in refurbed food tech so that demonstrations can be recorded and streamed to TV's located throughout the room
    - Implement (yet more) digital signage and link it up to MTV for lunchtime broadcasts
    - Tidy all wiring cabs
    - Tidy up the server room (it's a b****y mess!)

    All in all, a quieter summer than previous ones, which I'm happy about

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    Well we break up on the 21st. I'm powering everything down and at 6.30 next morning I'll be on a plane to Portugal and I haven't booked a return flight yet. I'll stay until I've outlived my welcome and as I'll be keeping the grandkids amused over their holidays, that could be some time.

    I had planned to rebuild a load of computers but the windows are being replaced in that block, so that won't be possible.

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    gaz350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    Again I raise the question - why are you doing this? What has changed that makes you have to re-image all desktops?

    Nothing changes in our school between the day we break up and the day we go back.

    I'm not trying to be annoying here - just looking to understand and wonder if our school technician should be doing more.

    GJE
    I generally find in the long term we have less problems when machines have fresh images applied to them. Being 100% sure of what state the machines are in on the 1st day of term is a good thing. compared to a year or so of updates slowly slowing machines down!

    you might not like this bit but if you dont understand why we do it you shouldn't be in charge of a network sorry......

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re-imaging ensures that everything is running perfectly when all the teachers get back.

    It gives an opportunity to update all software that's installed, clean up all the temporary junk etc...

    Usually, a re-image like that gives a speed increase.

    Lot's changes over holidays, that is when most of my work gets done. New software, new servers, new updates, new people etc...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    I think were up to line 55 on my Gantt Chart for the holiday
    Gantt Chart?!! I just have a whiteboard!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLudwig View Post
    Is there a secret pot of money known to a select few that's paying for all this new stuff?

    We have no money, not just ICT but the whole school here is in a significant budget deficit. Our ICT budget was cut by 25% this year and that was on top of cuts last year. We've had no paid overtime authorised for the last 18 months and any work we do over the summer will be entirely voluntary.

    Spare some change Mr?
    Budget deficits are usually caused by poor management from the top. Usually by having too many staff. Is your school significantly staffed?

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    As others have said i re-image usually every 6 week break to re-fresh all the machines around the school. Any software that has updates released are applied during the re-imaging process.

    Also to remove and slowness brought about by Windows. XP fresh with SP3 is waaay quicker than Xp SP2 and a tonne of patches.

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    gaz350's Avatar
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    sorry kinda off topic!

    An example of what i feel is good management of resources although our teachers obviously didn't think this as we had top heavy pay where most people had extra points due to management responsibilities, 1st thing our head did when he arrived was slash the number of middle management and SLT. the effect has been a trippled training budget and once the pay protection drops off next year more IT Staff

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    Re-imaging machines is part of patch management. Not all patches can be applied via WSUS, GPO or other means and it is just simply more efficient to update old images or build new ones.

    However, part of my arguement is why do people always leave this until the summer hols? Surely a rolling program during the year will help with this. It's not as if it takes long to re-image a suite of machines nowadays (thank $deity for Ghost, FOG, WDS, etc) and with good planning you can have a spare machine per type to do this with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Re-imaging machines is part of patch management. Not all patches can be applied via WSUS, GPO or other means and it is just simply more efficient to update old images or build new ones.

    However, part of my arguement is why do people always leave this until the summer hols? Surely a rolling program during the year will help with this. It's not as if it takes long to re-image a suite of machines nowadays (thank $deity for Ghost, FOG, WDS, etc) and with good planning you can have a spare machine per type to do this with.
    Most likely because it's not easy to do all the computers in a short period and then having teachers complain that X room is different than Y.

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    Okay, I understood why re-imaging is done, I just can't quiet grasp why it needs to be done so reguarly?

    Maybe it's because my last school was quiet large and spread over two sites, around 900 computers - most laptops - that it never seemed practical there. Here, at just over 300 computers and almost no laptops, there's nothing really stopping me doing this - other than I tend to have a long enough list of jobs that need doing I don't see the sense in adding to it.

    I have images of all machines. If I have a problem machine/room I can re-image at any time. This time (winsuite) and the Win7 upgrade give me reasons to do this, but out side of that even at 300 machines its quiet a lot when you have room moves, pc replacements, upgrades, inventorying, new users, server changes, and all the other essential jobs you can only do when the school is closed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz350 View Post
    I generally find in the long term we have less problems when machines have fresh images applied to them. Being 100% sure of what state the machines are in on the 1st day of term is a good thing. compared to a year or so of updates slowly slowing machines down!

    you might not like this bit but if you dont understand why we do it you shouldn't be in charge of a network sorry......
    Calm down. I was just asking - not looking for you to get on and have a go. I fully understand why you are doing it - but if you have so many other things to do then maybe it isn't the most important thing.

    Do they really slow down that much?

    I'm also looking for things that our technician should be doing (as explained in a previous post).

    Do you RIS them or image them through another means?

    GJE

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    However, part of my arguement is why do people always leave this until the summer hols? Surely a rolling program during the year will help with this. It's not as if it takes long to re-image a suite of machines nowadays (thank $deity for Ghost, FOG, WDS, etc) and with good planning you can have a spare machine per type to do this with.
    Doing it during term time is a no-no. I do not get time to do it during terms, as the rooms are all in use.

    And I have an hour after school then, which isn't long enough to roll a new image out to a full suite - especially when random computers stop working during the image and end up crashing the ghost session.

    Add in the fact that I try to keep every machine the same, as inconsistencies between suites leads to problems and complaints, and it means holidays are the only time to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Re-imaging ensures that everything is running perfectly when all the teachers get back.

    It gives an opportunity to update all software that's installed, clean up all the temporary junk etc...

    Usually, a re-image like that gives a speed increase.

    Lot's changes over holidays, that is when most of my work gets done. New software, new servers, new updates, new people etc...
    Thanks for explaining and not questioning my ability to run a network.

    I fully understand, I just couldn't understand why people had so much work to do. I cannot get the school technician to work over the Summer holidays as it is and so have been watching this thread with interest ready to pass on to SMT.

    GJE

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Doing it during term time is a no-no. I do not get time to do it during terms, as the rooms are all in use.

    And I have an hour after school then, which isn't long enough to roll a new image out to a full suite - especially when random computers stop working during the image and end up crashing the ghost session.

    Add in the fact that I try to keep every machine the same, as inconsistencies between suites leads to problems and complaints, and it means holidays are the only time to do it.
    Again ... patch management and now into release management.

    A patch is something that does not significantly change the functionality or fixes a bug or fault. They need to be done, whether by an automated process such as WSUS, a semi-automated process such as adding it into an image and then rolling out or by manual install on each machine.

    Things like service packs or new versions of software *do* require more careful management and this is release management ... the release of new software or new functions. To be honest if you are putting new or changed software out there then how you image machines is only part of it. What about staff training? What about new user guides for all users? Has it had some testing or evaluation first?

    Oh ... and there are other holidays other than summer. I know not everyone works them but those who do a perfect time to do things. It also means that you can get some hols in during the summer!

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