Hi All, just wrote up a nice big reply, and somehow messed up posting it so its gone! Anyway, thanks for such a lot of fast replies everyone. Ill be looking into all your suggestions.
In terms of redundancy, I think it best I include this in the cost somehow when I offer a solution to the school. Best they see a realistic cost of upgrade, than something going down and me taking the blame I think!
Price is flexible, I'm currently in the mind of the higher end of 5-10k. I can always suggest siphoning some of the new laptop budget into doing the server upgrade right, if its a worthwhile upgrade. There is a bit of cash there if need be.
Ill check out what scorptec has thanks seawolf. Ive used them for small stuff before. Do they have any service offering advice??
Do you guys think its a good idea to merge the admin and curriculum networks into a single system? The admin network services a couple PC's, but also contains all the financial software / email / class roll etc type of data. I just think it would be easier to manage all together.
If I skip the virtualization of the current servers, I will need to purchase 100-150 new access licenses for 2012 right? That seems quite costly as well...
Would it be worth waiting for 2012 r2? What kind of features would I be missing going with 2008 r2? I would worry if its reaching the end of its lifecycle and we had to do another upgrade in the near future.
I could ask much more, but think I best investigate some prices and setups based on all your suggestions and see what I can come up with. Any more tips are more than welcome though! The server stuff isn't my strong point, but if I can come up with a reasonable upgrade plan I can sell the cost to the school
Scorptec can offer you some advice in regards to sizing of the solution to fit requirements. I would certainly place both admin and curriculum servers on the same domain, but you might want to isolate them on different VLANS and not allow curriculum clients to access the Admin VLAN clients or server. This would require using different file servers for Admin and Curriculum, but if you're talking VM servers then you wouldn't really have any extra cost except for the server license and the Admin server would need much RAM or CPU cores with only a few clients accessing it. If you're security and file permissions are setup right even that is not an absolute necessity, but if you want to be extra safe...
Originally Posted by iMangles
Windows Server 2012 has several new features that would be useful to you, mostly around HyperV. As always, it's not what new features are available in the new whatever, but what new features will you actually use and will make a meaningful impact.
That said, you can expect 2008R2 to be around for quite some time...
That is a pain but you could control which ports are allowed to which vlan by using vlan acls. The problem in a school is that you can not strictly group staff into what they need they will also need some thing on the wrong side of your security model.
Well this is all about being prepared and managing people and their expectations as well as the cisco switches etc.
Originally Posted by seawolf
I don't limit myself to conversations nowadays, everything significant gets written down, usually in an email and a copy filed in my SYA file and everybody should have a "save-your-a**" file.
But if I did have a conversation it would be well-prepared and go something like:
1) We have no server redundancy.
2) If the server goes down the consequences are....
3) The cost for providing a redundant solution is....
4) What do you want to do?
View from an Old IT lag
Consider buying a second user server to get into some decent equipment. Stick to an HP environment, and make sure you are at the G7 series so your machine is actually only around 1 or 2 years old. - We have just purchased a G7 DL380 with dual processor and 6 x 500Gb disks so you can play some raid games to build in resilience. Make sure you have some slots left over for future disk expansion.
Avoid the older HP machines or be very careful you don't drop into 32Bit hardware (your old systems will probably not run 2012 (64bit)). Our saving on the Kit was huge (estimate 60%) at £3000 all in with other resilience options and HP warranty. The other trick we used to control costs was to use the 'Open Value Subscription' mechanism to buy your software the costs are really low but require a yearly commitment. (we have 2 server licences, 50 users and it's all flexible and generous and all the Pupil software's are free - great for an OS upgrade at the desktop.)
Not sure about Hyper-V and virtualisation - just don't see the advantage for a small IT setup - they will never understand it and makes us IT chaps invaluable - perhaps that's it. KISS appears appropriate - (Keep is simple stupid) and now the big decision - Do I go 2012 R2 or 2012 - as it will be the OS installed for at least 5 years the way schools run.
All I have to do now is work SBS 2008 out of the environment without a technical fall over tripping up the process.