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MIS Systems Thread, Split site schools, what is your MIS solution? in Technical; In September 2014 we are going to close both our catholic Bradford schools and re-open as one school operating on ...
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    Split site schools, what is your MIS solution?

    In September 2014 we are going to close both our catholic Bradford schools and re-open as one school operating on a split site, KS3 on one site and KS4 + 6th form on the other. The schools are 1.2 miles away from each other and I am wondering if there is anyone on here who operates an MIS system in a similar scenario (we use SIMS) - the solutions I have been looking at so far and their disadvantages are:

    Cloud based database - Data held offsite, relies on our internet connection
    VPN with backup adsl - One site will suffer slow connectivity, reliable on internet connection
    Ubiquiti Airfiber - requires radio mast at each site (planning permission involved)
    Dark Fiber lease - about 7k per year in line rental
    Install new dedicated fibre - need to dig up the road, estimated cost 60k-80k

    Any advice would be appreciated

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    Is it just SIMS you are concerned about? What about the rest of the network? Are you planning to have separate server farms? Domains? File storage? Cashless catering? Telephony? Library system? etc.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We do although it's not split between KS3 and 4. Fibre link between the sites so it's just one large network. Bonus is each site can be used as semi-offsite backup for the other. Our lease wasn't anywhere near that but it's not quite so far either.
    Probably cheaper to get a decent connection between the sites via broadband by the sounds of it. Not sure how well AirFiber would work over that distance unless you've got clear line of site! Might be worth chatting to someone at 4gon perhaps to see if they can loan you something to find out.
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 29th November 2013 at 08:50 AM.

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    Personally I would run all systems from the Larger site and have the Dark Fiber(Point to Point) option with potentially the AirFiber as a backup.

    I have a client who has the dark fiber option (they are an adults hospice and childrens hospice about 3 miles away from each other)

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    Quote Originally Posted by woody View Post
    Is it just SIMS you are concerned about? What about the rest of the network? Are you planning to have separate server farms? Domains? File storage? Cashless catering? Telephony? Library system? etc.
    Yes this is just for SIMS, we have a solution in place already for everything else (we are currently on a single domain) as you've listed however I need a mission critical dedicated solution for our MIS

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    We do although it's not split between KS3 and 4. Fibre link between the sites so it's just one large network. Bonus is each site can be used as semi-offsite backup for the other. Our lease wasn't anywhere near that but it's not quite so far either.
    Probably cheaper to get a decent connection between the sites via broadband by the sounds of it. Not sure how well AirFiber would work over that distance unless you've got clear line of site! Might be worth chatting to someone at 4gon perhaps to see if they can loan you something to find out.
    we almost have line of site, there are some trees in the way hence why we would need a 10-15m radio tower at each site - they apparently survived hurricane Katrina so and go up to 5 miles so I think they will be reliable enough for us if we can get the planning permission for the towers

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisjako View Post
    we almost have line of site, there are some trees in the way hence why we would need a 10-15m radio tower at each site - they apparently survived hurricane Katrina so and go up to 5 miles so I think they will be reliable enough for us if we can get the planning permission for the towers
    If it is just for Sims then I would use a VPN between the two sites (get a lease line on both sites (at minimum EFM)) Then use something like RemoteApps or Citrix XenApp for Sims.

    EDIT: on your lease line/EFM circuit get a financially backed SLA (to be fixed within 4 hours normally on these type circuits).
    Last edited by glennda; 29th November 2013 at 09:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Personally I would run all systems from the Larger site and have the Dark Fiber(Point to Point) option with potentially the AirFiber as a backup.

    I have a client who has the dark fiber option (they are an adults hospice and childrens hospice about 3 miles away from each other)
    How much do they pay per year?

    What speed of connection do they have?

    Which ISP do they use? I've phoned around 5 so far according to BT business site - all have scratched their heads and not got back to me yet a week later!

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisjako View Post
    How much do they pay per year?

    What speed of connection do they have?

    Which ISP do they use? I've phoned around 5 so far according to BT business site - all have scratched their heads and not got back to me yet a week later!
    There LES Circuit is with BT - They have a 10Mb and have approach 30 staff at the childrens hospice who use TS/VDI for this.

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    We have a Junior school and a senior school approx. 1.3 miles apart. We have a 1GB BT Private circuit, but we also use it for MiS, VOIP and site to site backups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TronXP View Post
    We have a Junior school and a senior school approx. 1.3 miles apart. We have a 1GB BT Private circuit, but we also use it for MiS, VOIP and site to site backups.
    How much do you pay annually?

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    We pay about 12k annually for our 1GB BT circuit. Two academies 2.5 miles apart.

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    We agreed a 5 year fixed deal for 8K a year

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    How about terminal services/ VDI as a solution?
    Set this up on your main site and then have the second site remote in to use sims?

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    Depending on how you share resources i.e. teachers, rooms etc. couldn't you run both sites independently and link with the partnership exchange part of SIMS. So you don't rely on any one site as 'master' as it were. I'm not sure exactly if that would satisfy all your needs regarding reporting.

    Other MISes offer the ability to manage multiple schools independently and link / get an overview e.g. DoubleFirst Engage.

    Whichever option you have, the ideal would be a reliable internet link up. Our entire internet availability is via a radio antenna and out here it's not that reliable.

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