CBeeching is coming to my school tomorrow, so hopefully I can give a demo on setting up ADUC etc
Give him a helpful start in his career
I'm 25 and have been a network manager for 2 years.
CC4 is the way to go if you are on a network manager. It supports XP/Vista and Windows 7. It will take time to upgrade but XP wont be around forever so you must plan to upgrade the network soon. Maybe some of the workstations have upgrade licenses already - check with RM. CC4 has been around a long time and the major bugs have been ironed out. The tools that come with it will be very useful to you as well in running the network.
Also I woulc think very carefully about going completely wireless. Laptops are more vulnerable than desktops. They can get moved, knocked off stolen etc much more easily. Also if they belong to a teacher and they are off sick or leave it at home what happens then? No interactive whiteboard???
Make sure you read and update all ICT policies. You will get an overview of what needs doing. Get ideas from the supprt comapnies on how to manage software and licenses, backups and passwords, user acounts, shared areas, filtering and e-mails.
nephilim (24th March 2010)
*Cue the rants about my comment!*
cbeeching is very lucky to be called Network Manager - hope he gets the money to go with it!
My best piece of advice is this:
DO ring support, and try and find a friendly support guy who will talk you through what he is doing. Make notes. LOTS of notes and keep them filed appropriately both in your user area and also on real paper (for those moments when you can't access the file!!).
I came into this 9 years ago with very old qualifications in electronics and radio, and I wouldn't have got where I am without the help of the support line in my first school. If they are sensible, they SHOULD be happy to talk you through it as it means less bother for them if you can fix the small stuff.
Edugeek is your other life-line. Search for anything and everything and you will find help. You will even get people talking you through stuff either on the phone or via PM - it's amazing how people are prepared to give up their time to help you.
*nephilim - a managed system (RM or whatever) can be very useful when you ARE just starting out and know very little about the way a network is set up
I agree with Dan, RM CC$ does make some jobs easier/quicker, but it's not "the way forward", it doesn't really offer much that a Vanilla network can't do/be 'pursuaded' to do plus, I personally think it's better to have the pupils using a 'real' computer environment like regular Windows and not a re-created version tailored to them, as it won't serve them later on if all they know is how to use your specific 'brand' of user account.
If you do decide to ditch RM CC$, then be sure that you *know* what you need to do to make the changeover smooth and as un-noticable as possible for your end users.
Also, don't knock the fact that you don't have to support everything; trust me, IT jobs tend to grow as time goes on and if your school is anything like mine then in 3 years time you'll hardly recognise they job you are doing now as it has changed/grown so much, so enjoy the less-stress now while it lasts!
I did get the feeling he was making CC4 out to be THE only way to go. He didn't once mention any other choices (I mean, why would he, he's a sales representative for RM!). He mentioned that I would have to be careful as if I bought new machines in the future (like next academic year) I wouldn't be able to get XP on them and then our CC3 server wouldn't support them etc.. not sure how true that is? I know XP is getting on a bit now, but I was pretty sure it would be available for atleast a few more years yet..
That's my predicament really, as at the end of the day, i've got my local support team telling me RM is the best way to go, and RM, and that's all this school has ever really known. Plus I don't want to leave the school in the pooper if I make a decision to steer away from RM and then am unable to support it due to my own inadequacies. I understand why the local team is advising RM as well, since i'm the only member of IT staff in-house, so what happens if I leave, and don't have a standard system in place etc..
It's all a bit confusing. But i'm learning slowly...
Hah, and in terms of my head wanting to go ALL laptops, yeah don't worry, I can feel the pain already!
Vanilla is definatly the way to go, if you want to loose touch with your AD and GP skills and slowly stagnate as your not keeping up with the current software then RM is for you, the minute you move from an RM network you will be in well over your head and not be able to do the things you are required to, purely because you will have become lax with having it so easy using the RM stuff.
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