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How do you do....it? Thread, Software installation across the network in Technical; Hi, I am currently working at secondary school that has 210 computers. Currently when there is an update to SIMS, ...
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    Software installation across the network

    Hi,

    I am currently working at secondary school that has 210 computers. Currently when there is an update to SIMS, Flash Player, Shockwave Player, Adobe Reader etc etc basically any updates. I am expected to go around 200+ computers and install manually.

    I cannot begin to explain how ridiculous this is, my NM does not have anything reliable in place for rolling out software packages/updates across the network which I think is unacceptable. I mean 200 computers is not a lot but what if we had 500 would I STILL be expected to go around manually....probably yes.

    Having come from an RM network background and racked up 5 years experience this seems a crazy practice for me, at my last school we always built the package on a clean workstation then used rm management console to roll it out.

    The network we currently have is Novell and I understand that you can do this in ZenWorks but I don't think it's setup.

    Is there any way of doing this from my workstation with admin rights in order to help me out? I'm going crazy here I'm Senior ICT Tech but seem to be expected to do everything so I haven't really got time to go around manually

    This wasn't meant to be a rant as such but how frustrating!!

    To make matters worse, I do feel that the NM is not approachable on things like this as I think it may be taken as me questioning their ability, which I am not. I just think/know there has to be a better way.
    Last edited by ahunter; 24th January 2011 at 12:47 PM.

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    jamiesev's Avatar
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    I have not every worked with Novell so cannot comment on that, however for simple things such as flash you can roll out the MSI via group policy......

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    Would I be able to do this from my workstation though with admin rights? presumably I'd have to do that from a server to which I have restricted access.......not sure why.

    I did know you can use group policy but have never needed to experience with it as the RM network bundled it into the MMC.

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    jamiesev's Avatar
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    You can download the Group Policy snap in from the MS website. It will work as long as you have domain admin rights. If you do not I would be questioning this with your NM.

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    WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution

    Is one option and I would have thought you can make it work with Novell.

    I have deployed both flash player and Acrobat using it. Works fairly well with most stuff that can be ran as a silent install.

    Sims has it's own system for applying updates, if it's not working it might be worth contacting your LEA support team.

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    Dom_'s Avatar
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    I was in a similar situation at a previous job... I ended up going to my NM's line manager(after the NM had ignored me 3-4 times), explaining what a waste of time it was doing everything manually. Next day I had full access :-D

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    I have tried to on numerous occasions before. I have worked here for 15 months but have worked for the the LEA for 5+ years at another school. I don't even have permission to create new user accounts and whenever I do anything on the servers I always get questioned like I'm a naughty boy or something.

    Novell doesn't use Domains so thats a problem also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahunter View Post
    I have tried to on numerous occasions before. I have worked here for 15 months but have worked for the the LEA for 5+ years at another school. I don't even have permission to create new user accounts and whenever I do anything on the servers I always get questioned like I'm a naughty boy or something.

    And you're a Senior Technician!!

    It's quite clear the Network Manager is not letting you do your job. You need to be discussing this with the school's management team.

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    I know I should but a little scared due to past experience. How would you approach it?

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    Try:

    "Currently, I'm having to do $jobs manually, taking up "X" amount of my time. By implementing $foo or $bar, $jobs will take significantly less time, freeing me up to concentrate on $boatload_of_other_jobs. Implementing $foo or $bar would take $whatever time/money and so is a good investment in time/money. I've asked $manager several times for help / support in implementing this, to no avail and would like you to help me resolve this issue. Help."

    In other words: "You're paying me X/hr to do $things and I'm not as productive as I could be due to limitations imposed by / lack of successful communication with manager, for which I've been given no real explanation. If you want your money wasted in that manner, then all is groovy and I'll go polish the CV, otherwise could you have a chat with $manager to help resolve this?"

    However - has your NM given reasons why you don't have that access / why none of it is automated? How (for want of a better word) "old and crusty" is he? You may find more mileage in the "look at the cool thing I discovered" before escalating.
    Last edited by pete; 24th January 2011 at 02:38 PM.

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    Dust off your JD and go through it to make sure you are currently doing the things you are employed to do(for example creating a new user), then follow pete's advice. Speak to your NM first, but make sure you have it as a written log , then if nothing happens you can push it with their Line Manager. Just ensure that you dont bypass your NM first as it can make working life awkward, however if they still continue to do nothing, then dont feel bad for going above their heads, espcecially if they are limiting what you can do in your job. Remember if you are not doing what they are employing you to do, your employers wont be happy you sat back and did nothing.

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    WPKG is a very useful tool to use as its works on all windows machines as long is there is some sort of central file server(win98/W2k3/Linux running Samba etc)

    I don't try and get things to install silently if its a lot of trouble to do so.

    I actually don't normally roll out updates to things like flash,shockwave, java etc and just let users do it (Or me when I'm passing but I normally only have 40 computers/school.

    And doesn't SIMS pretty much update itself as well? (once you updated the server) (or do others do it when I'm not looking )


    But in a high school, you would normally expect to have a few tools/training to do automated rollouts.
    regards

    Simon

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