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General Chat Thread, Summer projects... in General; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook Things like service packs or new versions of software *do* require more careful management and this ...
  1. #61

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    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!
    Indeed, there are other issues - training? that's what Inset days are for. Guides are pretty much every day work to create (done during term time), and of course everything is tested first! All that is not the issue being discussed though!

    And yes, I reimage during other holidays too...

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Oh well - to join the list, I now intend to re create the base RIS image for use on our RIS server. I prefer this method to creating images of different computers.

    Although now that we are starting to get the same spec machines in batches every year, there are less hardware configs around especially as we have started to standardise them.

    Maybe WDS is the way forward instead of RIS.

    Time to look.

    Thanks everyone.

    GJE

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    Our overiding project this summer is to move all our core servers over to our new VMware Vsphere setup we've recently installed. Some of our existing kit is really starting to show it's age now and over the past 2 years IT use has increased massively.
    Our sims server is pretty much overloaded all the time.

    Hopefully tho, we'll be able to move our DC's at least over to 2008 R2 if it's released in time

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNE View Post
    I see a couple of people are installing new racks so if you would like a comparative quote please send me the details of what you require.

    Thanks
    Can you quote me for a tourture rack please. I need something to give me an edge over the teachers.

  5. #65


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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    [/LIST]Hodge -

    A bit cheeky to ask - but why do you have to do all of this? What has happened so bad that the domain controllers need rebuilding? Why are you rebuilding 25 imacs?

    So I assume everyone here has problems that means they have to rebuild etc,

    Just curious,

    GJE
    I have a handful of applications that do not patch well via automated methods and the point releases aren't backwards compatible (v 8.0.2 will refuse to open a file created in 8.0.1), plus there are other enhancements we've made to base images as we build them - small things, but worth pushing out so everyone benefits.

    It's also faster to restore a computer to a working state if you have a patched and up-to-date image that's less than a year old - we build the image as a matter of course, deploying it takes a couple of hours at most, so it's not extra work.
    Last edited by pete; 2nd July 2009 at 12:58 PM.

  6. #66
    Abaddon's Avatar
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    Let me see... :

    Install and configure three new NetApps for the following bits and pieces:-

    Virtualise the entire Citrix farm (21 servers) - (installing three large new servers to run it all)
    Install Citrix Provisioning server
    --- Provision Citrix Server Farm
    --- Provision all IT Suites (excluding Language Lab), so 7 suites - so at minimum a P2V of exisiting hard disk, with tidy ups and any updates that need doing

    Migrate Exchange onto bigger NetApp store, to allow for Student e-mail

    Manage the Work at Home software rollout of Office 2007 for staff

    Update and install new software on 150 laptops, and arrange warranty on any they broke without telling us

    Manage the installation of new 20Mb connection

    Complete overhaul of the intranet, migrating to new version Sharepoint with ISA server for external access and migration of all data from old version into brand new framework

    Possibly talk a new Director of IT through the whole system

    Oh and, move house in the middle of all this.


    Sounds fun!

  7. #67

    maniac'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
    Main reason we're re-imaging is because we're changing our domain and removing RM CC3 from the building, but we would probably re-image most of the machines anyway as it's always good to have a level playing field to start from at the beginning of the year, and there are certain patches (Windows genuine validation anyone?) that WSUS can't install. Also if you have major software changes it's often more efficient to re-image than rolling them out via MSI.

    I also think a lot of schools look at re-imaging as a sort of insurance policy to make sure everything works when the staff get back in September, because if it doesn't then questions will be asked. If you've re-imaged every machine in the school then you've basically done everything you can to ensure it runs smoothly in September.

    Mike.

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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    i'm reimaging cus im getting rid of Winsuite and trying to start from scratch.

    I've used a very large chunk of my budget on these projects but feel i had no choice. The school is way behind ICT wise and im just trying to bring it forward, plus make my life easier without trying to revive staff laptops that havent had any TLC for years...

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    TNE
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    Can you quote me for a tourture rack please. I need something to give me an edge over the teachers.
    Sorry not a range we sell but they are available from all good S&M stores (so ive been told). Are you sure your budget could stretch to one of these.

  10. #70

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    Reimaging CC3 network as during the year little odds and ends have been added manually (you know those urgent, sky is going to fall in unless we have this right now types that I didn't have to make a package and test properly) that I have now packaged up properly. Also Smartboard was added manually by the RM tech who commissioned the network. I would rather reimage than go around working out what is where are removing it manually. After this I can get some nice fresh restore images as well.

    Imaging my vanilla network as there has never been an imaging solution in place. All machines used to be supplied by a support company with OEM windows installed and all apps added manually. Just demonstrated the speed of a newly built machine against what is currently being used. The difference was shocking actually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Reimaging CC3 network as during the year little odds and ends have been added manually (you know those urgent, sky is going to fall in unless we have this right now types that I didn't have to make a package and test properly) that I have now packaged up properly. Also Smartboard was added manually by the RM tech who commissioned the network. I would rather reimage than go around working out what is where are removing it manually. After this I can get some nice fresh restore images as well.
    Yes I totally understand where you are coming from. It's amazing how different people run their network. We do our very best to not allow applications without MSI installers. LOL. Some get through fair enough.

    Imaging my vanilla network as there has never been an imaging solution in place. All machines used to be supplied by a support company with OEM windows installed and all apps added manually. Just demonstrated the speed of a newly built machine against what is currently being used. The difference was shocking actually.
    Have you not considered RIS or WDS? We use RIS because when we went vanilla there were so many different mobo/gfx/nics about the network. We copied the RM driver areas over to the RIS server and used them.

    I am now in the process of putting in a new RIS image - slipstreamed with Post SP3 updates.

    Based on some posts on Edugeek - I have been thinking about moving to WDS but I'm not sure I like imaging compared to RIS. What benefits are there?

    GJE

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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    Yes I totally understand where you are coming from. It's amazing how different people run their network. We do our very best to not allow applications without MSI installers. LOL. Some get through fair enough.
    Generally people understand that they have to give me the software wait for it to be packaged and tested and on the whole are very good about it. But there are always those emergencies

    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    Have you not considered RIS or WDS? We use RIS because when we went vanilla there were so many different mobo/gfx/nics about the network. We copied the RM driver areas over to the RIS server and used them.

    I am now in the process of putting in a new RIS image - slipstreamed with Post SP3 updates.

    Based on some posts on Edugeek - I have been thinking about moving to WDS but I'm not sure I like imaging compared to RIS. What benefits are there?

    GJE
    Yeah I tested out WDS and FOG at the same time. Problem with WDS is it wouldn't work on our older machines with 256MB RAM, plus there was a lot of messing about with NIC drivers to get the deploy image to launch. FOG on the other hand has been great, does all the older machines without NIC problems (as drivers built into kernel) plus does a lot more like: memtest, diskwipes, file recovery, printer management, app installation (not looked at that yet though), inventory, WOL and shutdowns and....loads of other stuff I can't think if right now. Only real issues have been getting the right kernel arguments for the machines but thats no biggie really.

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    A couple of new thin client IT rooms.

    Which I'm actually looking forward to as I've never experienced them much before, but then there are all the usual summer tasks i.e. new images!

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Gantt Chart?!! I just have a whiteboard!!



    Budget deficits are usually caused by poor management from the top. Usually by having too many staff. Is your school significantly staffed?
    Got two of them as well One has a giant list of DO NOT FORGET software for any build (not made the check list for ticking to put in the file for when teacher X says Program Y is missing and then can point to the list to say it went on or to show a note saying CD is missing as teacher P borrowed it and didn't return it to remove me from the blame pile) and the rest of that one has a giant fibre diagram with my logic of the new fibre cabling system in College with it sectioned into 3 phases, with this year being phase 1 of 3 (but I may have funding to do phase 2 as well ) It will also get the new phone cabling phases put on at some point and the remaining Cat6 to do.

    The other board is the "finance" board so has notes billing X for CDs etc, invoices stuck to it, copy orders, notes etc etc.

    The Gantt chart helps show it over the time scale and it also shows me when say the electricans are on site, when I'm "on duty" over the holiday, exam results periods etc etc all of which are vital as I cannot get called away or need to know if something runs over who it may affect such as my re-wiring in an area if I run over it pushes the decorators back as I don't want to damage the new paint if I blow a hole in plaster when taking cores out of the walls etc.

    (It also looks good to show Manglement the amount of work VS time VS people by using different colours etc )

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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
    To answer your question, well it's simple we only set up fog this year prior to that machines have been setup individually. So not so much re image as image for first time.

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