Who here is using Learning network manager?
I'm looking for a bit of information about it i have read the feature list on the MS web site and it says 'fully automated 2003 install' does this mean it's an RM style integrated product and cannot be added to an existing network?
I would also like to know how well and granular the internet control software is, can you just select a room to be on or off or even a few machines within a room?
Cheers for any info.
LNM was introduced to the UK in Dec 2005 after having been used widely in the Middle East and Asia.
It was developed for MS by ITworx in Damascus and Boston.
The latest release is available here http://www.codeplex.com/LNM/Release/...ReleaseId=1758
The Template, which is the best way to describe it automates the build process of the Domain/Server and leaves you with a secure domain model specifically for use in education. It was designed so that engineers could roll out a standard educational model of Server 2003 in a very short time that would be managed by the parent/root domain.
In this case the Saudi Department for Education.
It is collection of scripts and unattended installation routines together with some predefined security groups and templates.
It was written to work ONLY with 2003 server SP1 & XP SP2 media although many people have adapted it to work with 2003 SP2 and even deploy Vista clients without problems.
Apart from some clever scripts and an IIS management interface there are no additional components added. Everything uses the native tools and standard policy features.
If you are expecting this product to add components to your system that you would normally pay thousands in licensing for forget it.
It is recognised by Microsoft and some of it coders contribute to the product but it still remains an un-official product.
What it does do is set's up a near perfect example of what can be achieved using native tools, policies & security.
When first released to the UK public it was promoted purely to make schools think twice before buying into expensive overlay products such as RM, Viglen or Ranger all of which server a purpose in certain environments however too many people were buying into such packages without first exploring the possibilities of going native!
Even if you never used it as a model for your own network you would certainly find something in there that makes good sense.
Internet Access control is purely achieved through security settings and gateway control. Not particularly useful in our complex school networks with intranets/extranets/VLE's and proxy filtering systems.
Everyone I have met that has used LNM has always needed to use other methods to achieve the levels of control needed in our classrooms.
Clearly the schools in the middle east do not have the same issues we do with regards internet abuse in the class.
(Probably as everything is controlled by the state proxies anyway).
It does add an OU structure and it sets Domain Security to levels that many UK schools might find unworkable (password complexity etc) but it does not change any of the underlying OS and all standard policies remain.
Therefore it can be removed or bypassed as required.
What I can tell you is that with all the new products using xml scripting to pre-define the installation and setup processes, there are people working on predefined installation templates that will let you setup a clean Server 2008 system specifically tailored to your business model.
Soon you will just buy your OS and server select an installation template and click install.
The end result will be a Domain installed with all the right settings and a working AD for your establishments needs.
If your a real geek, you will find LNM an interesting rock pool to look into even if you don not decide to stay too long!
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