Charity School - New Network?
I've recently taken over management of a charity funded private school (Primary and Secondary - 1 form entry) in East London. Completely voluntary work, long hours (in addition to my paid job!) and late nights, but there is a satisfying feeling about doing something for the community. Anyway, that aside, as soon as the teachers learnt I am a technician at a state school, the IT problems came bombarding in.
The entire network has been put together on the tightest budget possible. Credit to the guy who has put it together he's done a decent job for what very, very limited resources he had. Alas though, the network is in bad shape. It's made up of a majority of thin client machines running NComputing hardware/software. There are 5 reasonably powerful "servers". That is desktop PCs with Core i5 CPUs and ranging from 20GB - 32GB of RAM. These are all running Windows 7 Pro with the NComputing host software that control the thin clients in the school. There is also another "server" - a lower spec machine running ESXi that hosts a DC, File Server and Exchange Server. All Windows Server 2003 - Exchange, I believe is 2003.
I'll be brutally honest, I hate thin clients. Mainly for the fact that I don't know the architecture too well, but for the fact that in this case it just doesn't work. YouTube is the main complaint from the teachers, it is completely unwatchable. The display stutters similar to a PC without the correct graphics drivers installed. (i.e. Redrawing the entire display with every frame.)
The AD and File Server are a mess. The teachers have accounts, but none of the students have accounts! :eek: They all share 1 account and have free reign to each others' files.
Also, the Exchange server is a mess. Sent emails are either delayed by 6 - 24 hours or go missing altogether and many, many emails are not received at all.
The network architecture isn't too bad but it is a 10/100 backbone, which I will obviously look at upgrading to gigabit.
They also have a bespoke VoIP system for the phones and a bespoke MIS (Schools Pro? I think - Schools Pro - Home)
The broadband connection is a BT Infinity Advanced Option 2 package. (80Mbps Down 20Mbps Up)
Now, the questions I have:
Should I blow the whole lot away and start from scratch? If so, should I reuse the current "servers" and do an ESXi or XenServer install with a new DC and file server? (Windows Server 2012, Windows 7 Clients, Full Fat PCs etc)
Should I do away with Exchange altogether and look at going for Office 365 for Education (Free).
Unfortunately, I know nothing about the current VoIP system, or had any experience with VoIP at all. If we reconfigure the switches, I'm sure I'll lose the VoIP system altogether, so, who can I turn to for help on implementing a cheap and new system.
Seeing as it is a charity funded school, budgets again will be extremely tight, but I will be able to push for some funding once I have a robust plan in place. I already have a limited fund for getting some PCs in, but I want to scope out the bigger picture before any moneys are spent. So, any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!