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Learning Network Manager Thread, Migrating from CC4 to Vanilla - advice required in Technical; Hi I am starting to plan for a possible migration from a RM CC4 network to a windows vanilla network. ...
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    Migrating from CC4 to Vanilla - advice required

    Hi

    I am starting to plan for a possible migration from a RM CC4 network to a windows vanilla network. Basically I want to plan and do some research into what will be needed and how feasible it is so I can put forward a proposal to our SLT.

    First question is for anyone who has done this. Do you have any documentation you created along the way, plans or checklists of points you needed to consider or tools you needed to replace.

    Are you happier after the switch? How many guys did you have on the switch? Did you do it yourself or third party company?

    What did you replace the rm tools with? Like RMMC, how do you image machines?

    Would you tie this in with an upgrade to virtualising the network? Or do vanilla one year and virtualise after?

    We are basically replacing our three ageing curriculum servers and a nas box where we are running out of space.

    Any advice or docs would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    1: set up a blank server and work station, look at ALL GPOs, look at what is in place on CC4, try to replicate on the server and test machine.
    2: tweak the GPOs for various levels, make sure they are exactly as you want (and document it). If all goes belly up, you have the list and can re-do it reasonably quick
    3: look at SCCM for software deployment of software and look at how it deploys and make sure you know it well

    Good luck

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Visualise from the start IMO. Given that with server 2012 you can safely snapshot a DC it will actually help should you make a big mistake and need to go back a step.

    As above look into SCCM, pita to set up but awesome when running and if you have/plan to have EES agreement it's reasonable price.

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    FishCustard's Avatar
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    We found SCCM too bloated and cumbersome for our needs and went with MDT for imaging, GPO and PS scripts for software deployment. Impero is great for classroom managment (and remote support too!)

    If you're based around London you're welcome to come and have a look at our network, we binned CC3 over the summer and couldn't be happier at the result. CC3/4 will hold you back.

  5. Thanks to FishCustard from:

    russdev (1st November 2013)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We spent about a year testing (we planned well in advance) various solutions and ideas and ended up smitten with SCCM. It can be overkill for smaller establishments but for us on a split site it's awesome as there's a lot we can do with it in that respect that can't be done properly/easily with MDT (I say the latter as with planning pretty much ANYTHING can be done )
    After we were happy that SCCM was going to do what was required, we got heads together and made sure the data could easily be transferred and kept staff involved at all stages. Transferring user data and accounts is particularly easy using the built in tools with Windows Server, and things like RMPublic, RMShared Documents and RMStaff was a good opportunity to give staff plenty of notice of change. "We are going to be getting rid of any software we see isn't used, we're going to re-organise and rename the shared student and shared staff areas. Anything you want to suggest, add or ask, ask now"
    We had already implemented Impero at the end of our CC3 lifecycle so had already gotten experience of it's capabilities and it was crucial to the decision to move as it made so many things so much easier. It's best not to look for "direct replacements for RMMC" because there isn't one. Everyone knows how to use the AD tool anyway, there's plenty of powershell modifications if you want something less bulky. Lots of bulk management tools available for users come start of term (Wisesoft is your friend here!)

    Some of the planning we did from the start:
    Hardware audit: is all our hardware up to it, client and server (We built 2 new ESXi servers for this)
    Applications/packages to keep or ditch (also a great time for a licensing and software audit)
    Backup changes (old backup solutions not much good for Server 2008R2 let alone 2012)
    Permissions audit (as we were starting from scratch with shared areas we needed to be sure who had access to what and again a good point to remove old dross)
    GPO and Security Groups audit. We didn't really want to mirror the RM GPO's as they're horrible bulky and unnecessarily complicated. We did CC3 to Vanilla and there really is some voodoo going on with CC4's GPOs. Take care. A lot of security groups were fully redundant and it was a great opportunity to simplify.
    Document all the way through.
    We also gave staff the opportunity to test the new system on a single laptop too; this proved invaluable for our heavier users like our data admin staff. Get to know windows 7 (as we moved from XP) as well as Office 2010.
    Planned for informal training for all staff.

    We're very glad we did it. We actually had a busier start to this year when nothing changed, than we did at the start of last year when we moved and changed every single system we had!

  7. Thanks to synaesthesia from:

    russdev (1st November 2013)

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    It's quite a task but as long as you plan and test as much as you sensibly can it will be fine. I filled an A4 exercise book with notes, ramblings and questions to answer! I spread the work over a year, a day a week then the final push was over the Summer Holidays. Work out how long you'll need to do the task and then double it. I did it single handed apart from a week in the Summer where I had a volunteer give me a hand. It's not something I would want to do again by myself!

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    Just wondering what other people have done when moving from CC4 to Windows Vanilla. For the users. When recreating the users what was your process? Did you create the users on vanilla and then copy the files across? Give them new profiles?

    Cheers

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    New profiles (obviously, as we got rid of roaming and went for mandatory to huge benefit, especially coming from a CC3/4 background) and the files were copied across, retaining the same format & folder structure. We differed the shares a little, RM's method of mapping home drives is far from ideal/good practice so it made sense to change that.

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    We didn't bother with roaming or mandatory profiles, though I did create a default domain user profile. I exported a list of users then used Mikeys Magic Active User Manager to recreate the users. Copied the user folder file structure over and used icacls running in a for loop to apply the correct permissions to the folders. That last bit wasn't as easy as it sounds, took a bit of working out mind as I hadn't used icacls before!

    The whole RM to Vanilla process was a bit scary at times as it was such a steep learning curve, although I had contingencies in place as much as I could, there were a few moments where I could have quite easily chucked it all in and gone home to bed.
    Last edited by samba_man; 6th March 2014 at 09:02 AM.

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