New Mac Network
I'm new here, and this is my first post.
I'm Network Manager at a catholic school, and have been in the job since Aug 07, and new to the School IT support stuff.
The network we have is on its last legs, pc, laptops and servers are over 4 years old, running xp and server 2000. I've been asked by the Head here to put together a proposal for a complete upgrade of everything! (with the exception of cabling and swiches which was done fairly recently).
We've been working on it since October and I've got quotes from RM, a local supplier and a Mac reseller. The school has been deciding how best to raise the money but now its time to make a choice. I've suggested that we go completely Apple Mac, for all staff and pupils. I'm a Mac fan and i think they would be perfect for a small school like us with just over 400 pupils.
Most of the staff like the idea, but I have a few who are unsure. The only problem I can see is staff training, which I feel can be overcome.
I was just wondering what the members of Edugeek thought.
Personally I like the Mac idea as you can dual boot and still use windows ... but this comes with a number of health warnings, both for you and the school.
Firstly ... you might like Macs but the person following you might not. It is a large outlay that may backfire unless used well.
Secondly ... by only using one platform you do limit what the students learn. By having two or more platforms you teach them skills not applications.
Thirdly ... Dual booting really needs a Windows domain ... and if you have one of them anyway you might as well have more Windows machines.
Finally ... ignore all of the above, read the sticky threads in the mac forum and have fun ;-)
If you put your location in your profile you might find a few schools local to you that you can go and meet and chat with about it.
Going mac or going pc
Well sounds like you have a lot of fun ahead of you. I can say that mac would be the prefered way to go for multiple reasons but it also depends on your existing infrastructure.
I just set up a whole district on macs (they already had macs) but I have also setup schools with windows. I will tell you that the mac deployments end up working much smoother and are easier to lockdown and secure.
The biggest thing is planning, lots of planning, you will always miss something but you better make sure its something small. Im doing a deployment for a law office that did no planning and just decided that they wanted to go mac and bought a bunch of stuff that was really expensive and apple told them it would work. Unfortunately they had no planning, so a job that normally takes about a week, is now taking months.
The community here is great and full of people like you and me, post some more details about your existing servers, who knows you might need to use some of them for zimbra, etc. :-)
Also if you absolutely have to have windows servers for some app you can take a "snapshot" of that system and run it in vmware fusion.
Thanks for your replies. Most reassuring:)
One of the main concerns is SIMS. I've proposed that we run vmware on the macs so that we can use SIMS, but have heard that it can slowdown the SIMS database?
The Head has picked up on this, and I have suggested as an alternative that we use some of our existing PC as SIMS workstations. The Heads only concern with this is getting staff to log on to another machine to do the register, especially when they don't all do it now with it on their laptops.
I know that some of you do the same (ie PC for SIMS) has anyone done the VMware for SIMS access?
It's also worth considering any potential problems with 'curriculum' software which is often bizzare ancient Windows stuff.
The SIMS thing is easily overcome with terminal services of one flavour or another (giving an advantage of staff use from home). Of course full Windows TS (with Citrix XenApp) with 'media suites' (prob Apples) is another option that I would advocate but I won't bore you ;)
I am currently in a similar position to yourself. Last October we purchased 16 iMacs to be mainly used for animation work. However we are scheduled to replace our current windows desktops this summer and are considering replacing them with dual boot macs.
At the moment I do not have a mac server of any description so I cannot comment on that side of the system. However I have to say that the imaging of the dual boot macs has been a pain as there currently seems no way to image both the mac and windows side in one simple step. Like you would with Ghost for example, so I end up having to image each side using netrestore and winclone then tweak them to join our windows domain for file sharing etc... I am sure that some of the process would be speeded up with an xserver and scripting. Plus without the server there is little else other than user authentication that standard Active Directory can do such as locking down the desktop etc...
If you are just going to use OS X rather than dual boot then your life will be a lot easier. However if you are going to dual boot and may be in the situation where you want to image a few times a year then it can turn into a time consuming process, at least in my experience. Also as mentioned before make sure that the software you need for students and staff will work before you commit to anything.
Also have you considered the cost of hardware support for the macs? Plus the turn around time for repairs ? ( i have heard that 3 weeks is common).
The Green Light!
Just thought that I would update you all. Tuesday night the Govenors decided on a new Mac network! Lot of the staff are really keen (there a few who are worried about learning a new system). Thanks for all your post and advice.
I looking forward to a busy but fun summer!:D
Sounds like you are going to have lots of fun!
Originally Posted by webby74
It might be worth investigating an Apple Distinguished Educator to help with staff training days etc. They are fantastic at introducing Apple technology- and usually in a fun and educationally attractive way ;)
Hi, just bought 30 imacs and I am trying to find out about a way of ghosting them without using a server, as we haven/t got it yet. I looked into carboncopy and deploystudio and they both seem to work on a server. I have an imac all configured and set up to run win xp as well and all works fine on that side. Will the disk utility copy both OSs and restore them onto the rest of imacs, would that work or do I need anything else?
Any help and suggestions are welcome and thank you in advance.
Originally Posted by armadillo
Disk Utility will restore Mac OS X, but if you go to the top of the Mac forum there is a sticky thread on how to do what you need. I'm looking at doing the same shortly here too. :)
You can set your Mac up the way you want it, then boot it from an install CD and use Disc Utility from the CD to create a disc image of your 'golden mac' and save it to an external HDD. Once done, you can boot your remaining Macs from CD, and use Disc Utility to restore the image to the other Macs.
Thanks for your replies; I have imaged the imac with Apple OSX and is working fine just as the master mac. I also copied the widows OS onto an external drive using winclone, the question now is how do I go about adding the windows xp OS onto the mac I imaged with apple OSX?
Originally Posted by iSteve
Thanks in advance.
Can do both the OS X and Windows partitions and from some people who have used it is fairly simple to use