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MIS Systems Thread, Colleagues experience with SOLUS (3.6) updates in Technical; All, We're relatively new to SIMS here, and I've only carried out a couple of deployments using SOLUS 3. While ...
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    Colleagues experience with SOLUS (3.6) updates

    All,

    We're relatively new to SIMS here, and I've only carried out a couple of deployments using SOLUS 3. While the experience has been mostly successful we often find only about 80% of the machines deploy successfully first time, and it then takes a while to get the remainder running successfully.

    I've spoken with a consultant who's working with us, and he's stated that, "in most schools SIMS updates happen as part of the normal working day." I wondered if that is most Edugeek's experience? I'm planning to run the updates during holidays to be sure things are working correctly - the idea of simply kicking off a SOLUS update when I get in at 8 AM and expecting things to be ready for morning registration concerns me somewhat.

    Am I being over-cautious or realistic? Keen to know your thoughts or experience...

    Thanks in advance.

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    I've tended to do them at the end of a day, with varying degrees of success:

    If you do an update at 8AM, there is a risk that it would over run (and still be running at 8:45 for registration).

    I tend to do a sims update on a Monday/Wednesday after school (we have assembly tue/thu so longer form time for staff) - if I kick the update off at 4pm as soon as lessons finish, I can catch machines before they go to sleep / shut down in the evening).

    I generally find of 600 Machines running sims (~100 of which are laptops) that I can hit 2-300 with a successful update. However, I tend to find I get about 10-20 failed installs at this time - as either a) staff still have sims open (Phil Neals recent reply to me on the sims summer 2014 thread suggests this will be fixed in solus 3.8), and b) staff shut the pc down whilst sims is installing.

    In the morning, majority of PC's pick up the update fine - and we get a handful of staff that report issues as they don't wait long enough for it to update which fix themselves.

    This tends to leave a few pc's that need a manual redeploy/kick in some way which is then manageable.

    When you say 80% of the machines deploy first time, are you having to visit them / kick them, or just be patient for it to go through?

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    In the most part they machines required a visit to deal with issues - I also resorted to redeploying which I'm not convinced is good practice. Given how new an experience this is, we're perhaps being somewhat impatient.

    I notice you mention laptops. I've considered replacing the teacher's desktops in classrooms with laptops and docks (discussed elsewhere) but have been put off by concerns over SIMS updates - amongst other things.

    Staff here tend to be quite fragile in their faith in IT - understandable given the level of investment historically - so I've been keen to ensure SIMS at least is as smooth and reliable as possible.

    Thanks for your comments so far!

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    Redeploying is the norm with S3 so don't worry about it not being good practice. Trust me, you will get used to redeploying!

    I agree with Minimoo in regards to running the upgrade of an evening rather than the morning. Even if all (or the vast majority of the workstations) are turned off at the time of the deployment, they should spring into life and upgrade as soon as they are turned on first thing the next morning. This is also where using the 'Auto Download to Agents' feature within S3 pays off as it can speed up the Agent upgrade considerably (how much depends on your network speed).

    We generally have a large chunk go through successfully but there are always a few machines that fail. Some are teachers trying to open SIMS before the upgrade has completed others are just S3 being... S3

    Unfortunately I think SIMS upgrade time is always going to be a little disruptive, no matter how well you plan.

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    I would never deploy a SIMS upgrade during the working day, SIMS have made a big push to push SIMS into the classroom. This immediately causes a conflict because if you do this then obviously it becomes impossible to update during the day.

    We always do on a night, we've noticed that Wake On LAN normally works however some times by the time Solus3 gets round to pushing out the upgrade to those machiens they may well have gone back to sleep again (Change Request 1309-1211007 if anyone feels like voting) however for the most part we are approaching 90% completion.

    We have the same issue if a machine hasn't booted up to do the update or if SIMS has been opened before the update has been completed, however a general warning to staff the following morning saying if you get an error please try restarting the computer and then let me know if it still doesn't work reduces it to a redeploy of only 3/4 machines in total.



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