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How do you do....it? Thread, How would you do it? in Technical; If you were newly appointed to a secondary where they required much needed investment in most aspects of ICT , ...
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    How would you do it?

    If you were newly appointed to a secondary where they required much needed investment in most aspects of ICT, new workstations and servers as most are over 4 years old, some as old as 6/7, network and switch infrastructure as none of the switches are manageable and the fibre was installed and terminated by the previous incumbent, and the school is now not being rebuilt under BSF.

    Where would you start? Network/switches, workstations, servers or a bit of each?

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    It all depends on what your school's priorities are and if anything is failing/playing up. Assuming that everything is operational, you should first implement some monitoring solution to see if you have network bottlenecks or services that disappear randomly.

    You should then buy yourself one of these and test every cable and fibre drop to satisfy yourself that they are all in order.

    If your monitoring and tests all check out, you can then start to decide what needs to be done. I'd suggest something along the lines of a new ore switch a couple of servers for virtualisation and a SAN plus replace the oldest of your desktops. There's no point touching any of these until you sort any problems though (which might mean upgrading edge switches, replacing fibre and copper drops, etc.).

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    I had exactly that scinario when I started where I am now 2 years ago. The whole infrastructure was in a state of disarray with no proper structure or replacement or upgrading program in place.

    First thing I did was a complete audit of all the ICT resources in the school, then I made a list of everything that needed changing, replacing or upgrading, then divided that list into essential works, things that can wait a while and the nice to have but not essential. I then wrote this list into a full proposal justifying each change as I went with the benefits and also the possible outcome if the recomendations wern't followed. I then put this in front of the head and business manager who accepted it pretty quickly, and we went from there.

    Some of the sections were servers/server room equipment, staff desktops/laptops, student desktops/laptops, switch gear, cabling and a few other bits and pieces like licensing.

    Even if you don't do it that way, the very first thing really is to find out exactly what you've got and go from there. You might find simply by re-allocating equipment properly you can make substantial improvements without spending any money - we had all sorts of decent equipment either tucked away in cupboards or well underused.

    Ultimately thou you need a 3-5 year development plan that is reviwed often (we do ours every 6 months) as technology changes.

    Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayemm View Post
    Where would you start?
    Do your older workstations have Windows XP on them? If so, upgrade the Remote Desktop client to the latest version and use the PCs as thin clients. It'll cost you around £2,000 for a server to run 30-odd clients, £100 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and £25-ish per workstation for TS/Server CALs. We're just trying to figure out if we can get Windows XP to start straight in to RDP Client instead of loading explorer, which should make less opportunity for malware to cause a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Do your older workstations have Windows XP on them? If so, upgrade the Remote Desktop client to the latest version and use the PCs as thin clients. It'll cost you around £2,000 for a server to run 30-odd clients, £100 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and £25-ish per workstation for TS/Server CALs. We're just trying to figure out if we can get Windows XP to start straight in to RDP Client instead of loading explorer, which should make less opportunity for malware to cause a problem.

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    you could always not use XP in that situation - and ditch the overhead

    have you looked at thinstation..? :: Thinstation - a light, full-featured Linux thin client OS ::

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    dhicks (17th August 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Do your older workstations have Windows XP on them? If so, upgrade the Remote Desktop client to the latest version and use the PCs as thin clients. It'll cost you around £2,000 for a server to run 30-odd clients, £100 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and £25-ish per workstation for TS/Server CALs. We're just trying to figure out if we can get Windows XP to start straight in to RDP Client instead of loading explorer, which should make less opportunity for malware to cause a problem.

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    David Hicks
    Hmm I think I still have a script and MSI that replaces console with RDP for a auto logon user. Shout if you want a copy.

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    dhicks (17th August 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    you could always not use XP in that situation
    But using Windows XP would give you an RDP 7-capable client, with whatever advantages that brings. We've just tried comparing a Linux-based rdekstop thin client (RDP 5.2) and a Windows XP workstation running the latest RDP client (RDP 7) and we couldn't see any performance difference between them so we're sticking with PXE-booting Linux, but some people might want to use Windows XP instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robk View Post
    Hmm I think I still have a script and MSI that replaces console with RDP for a auto logon user. Shout if you want a copy.
    Sounds like just the thing we were thinking of, thanks. I don't think we'll actually be using Windows XP (see post above - darned if we could see any advantage in using RDP 7 instead of RDP 5.2), but it might come in handy in the future (or to other people, if you want to post details here for future reference).

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