Well, just one more week looming towards the big one, and must admit I am sh*ting my pants lol
So 7 months into my first job in education as a NM, and most of my experience in corporate is as useful as a chocolate heatsink in a school...
So took the school from Christmas this year a hell of a long way system wise, management is happy and I have planned as well as I can for that insane 4 week next phase sprint(I must have the system up middle of August, Exam results!)
Then September 3rd, we have a network running on new OM3 fibre, new switches Core and Edge, Windows 2008 native domain, Borri UPS covering the whole server room , New SAN with Hyper-V hosts, new fileservers, Site wide UniFi , 300 Pcs to migrate to Win7, Lightspeed content filtering, New CCTV Server and cameras, new digital display boards, a new email domain to reflect the academy, and a new website...ALL MUST BE WORKING.
I challange any of my mate's who were IT managers in Coporate to give this job a try..it will make a man out of them!
Phew that is quite an undertaking! How many techs do you have helping?
Some have said I'm mad, but I think I'm victim of making a positive change at the school when I started!
I will have 2 techs helping, and consultancy as well.the system is on mixed 2003/2008 domain at the moment, some switches fitted and testing, a UniFi already running in 2 blocks. RADIUS just setup last week and working.
We'll get the VLAN and the Wireless right and nothing else as piority first over the holiday, then we will do the rest...always have a feeling that I have missed something major...the last 7 months I haven't stopped implementing stuff over the hol / half terms...This Summer one is very important to us.
Last edited by MrWu; 15th July 2012 at 08:35 AM.
TechSupp (15th July 2012)
@webman and myself had a similar project which we undertook a year and a half ago, after a years planning and testing and without consultancy we went through a total change management procedure in 9 days and the test of this was in the staff and students useage the first 2 weeks of the new term, success rate was 99.8% positive.
If you have planned and tested as you say you have then you should find everything comes together according to that plan and will work, as ever there are certain contingencies that you cannot cater for and this is when your skills will be tested.
Good luck for the summer and I am sure everything will work out just fine.
Personally I prefer more incremental changes but there is certainly merit in chucking everything out at a certain point and just starting again. With the right planning and mindset huge changes are doable in comparitivly short timeframes though. I have done complete server migrations, AD upgrades etc. overnight to be ready the next morning with zero service interuption. Good luck and enjoy the challenge.
Well couple things I've learnt :
Learn to say no politely even if you are the new boy.
Never be pressured into plucking a budget figure in the air
Always assume the worst (good saying also is Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail)
You never get anything constructive done planning wise term time.
I would have prefered to sit down with the team and build a nice test system and map out an gradaul upgrade path for the network. In fairness the Ex NM had no support and the network stagnated for 5 years so now all the problems are surfacing.
When I started the NM job it began as just BYOD for sixth form over summer...thinking there was no point in doing that with a bad infrastructure I convinced the SMTs to fund a bigger upgrade, unfortunately no change to the work schedule. Fortunately I do have consultancy that I use sparingly to cushion the fall if anything goes wrong.
Also Edugeek is invaluable, lots of clever folks here and above all willing to help, learnt a hell of a lot here.
Would I swap Education for Corporate again? Hell not for a while yet, I've learnt more about the tech side and working under pressure than I did 4 years in my old job. In truth if some of you NMs here at Edugeek do jump to Corporate, you'll walk it, there's plenty of IT managers there that know half you guys know and unfortunately paid double the amount...
Anyways, 6 week went by and it almost killed me lol, one of the most friegthening and stressful times in my whole career, came out stronger though, so how far did I get and what happened?
1) 55 UniFi Points gone in (Thanks M25man for help over the forum..and SYNACK,Jamesfed Twin Turbo, Bossman and others too for all other tech tips)
2) Went from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 R2 on native domain (watch out for this though, some of it happened at mine: KDC Authentication problems with 2003 to 2008 domain functional level « Fixing things)
3) Got a nice new MSA P2000 SAS SAN installed with 2 x DL380 G7s, on 10Gb,running rather nicely and will start moving machines over
4) New Email Domian
5) Replaced 40 switches round the school
6) Replaced the Core Switch
7) New Digital Displays round the school
8) 300 PCs on Windows 7
9) 100 PCs in ICT suite fitted with SSDs
10) 2 new fileservers
11) help refit 3 ICT suites with new PCs because of room moves
1) Had Gastric flu for 2 weeks during the hols
2) The Netgear Core was a pig to program
3) Didn't manage to get the Lightspeed Content filter device in, so using Sonicwall on serperate VLANS (Student,Staff) and using the inbuilt Content Filter on the Firewall for now...seems to work ok
4) The Teacher server flagged hardware failure which meant we couldn't tidy up the data and had to transfer 2 TB of data across the new fileserver with 4 days to go to start of term!
5) Borri UPS had to be cancelled, UPS wasn't delievered :-( blessing really did not really wanted to rip out half the server room with only 2 days to go to start of term (we had to move dates around becuase of exam results becuase it was too risky to do earlier.
Don't think I slept a wink last Sunday but everything ran, and bar a few hiccups with Windows 7 policies, classes went ahead and school is running. The Head,Bursar and director has been really good and ordered me to take a week off , so here I am on Edugeek lol
If I was to go back and do this differently I will definitely do this in stages over a year, not that I planned badly before but it was just too much, but sometimes it is hard to say NO...but you live and learn.
Last edited by MrWu; 11th September 2012 at 11:39 AM.
SYNACK (11th September 2012)
Sounds like you got stacks done and did well to get everything up and going for the start of school so that lessons could go ahead. Good stuff
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