Not for a SIMs Guru but I wish you the best of luck though.
If we wanted to get .ICT out to reinstall our SIMS SQL Server, how hard would this be in the great scheme of things (backups of data etc being equal)?
I have been advised that this is not possible- but I want to check with you guys and gals first before bowing. Our SIMS SQL Server has less than 1GB on the C: drive left, we are getting constant errors in our data and it's dog slow. It hasn't been defragged for three years and there's crap on there I wouldn't feed to DOS or WfW 3.11!
My advice has been to look at the possibility of getting a clean install, upgrading to Server 2003, and then making the system gel from scratch.
Does this sound too problematic?
Not for a SIMs Guru but I wish you the best of luck though.
Reinstalls shouldn't be too difficult.
Backup S:\SIMS backup
Backup DOCSTORAGE folder
For DB backlup you can either use System Manager backup or stop SQL service and copy SIMS.MDF and .LDF to backup media
Clean install Windows 2003.
Clean install SIMS
Shutdown SIMS services. Delete S:\SIMS and DOCSTORAGE
Restore from folders from backup and then restore DB
You may need to change DOCSTORAGE\<servername> if you have renamed your server.
It's quite simple if not time consuming. Look in the Technical forum of support.net
If I understand you correctly.... you want to do a clean install of SIMS.NET on your SQL server?
Advised by who? total crap of course this its possible, the main thing is that you have backups of all the SIMS data and the sims.ldf and mdf pair. (I usually do two in different locations just in case)
Having said that, I do agree that while you are rebuilding your SQL server might as well upgrade the server.
I have some notes on the steps involved, I will email you a copy if you like. Alternatively I offer consultancy services to schools to undertake projects like this, should take no more than a day and I don't change anywhere near the ¬£750 per day Capita do. (But don't tell them that)
One of the problems with doing a clean build of SIMS.net is the legacy sections ... don't forget Personell and FMS are still on b0rked databases and there is some jiggery pokery to get them happy on a clean system.
I fought with .ICT for 3 months for a test machine and decided to go it alone.
Get a test box, install SIMS from the April 2005 CD (earlier if you can ... I remember hearing that Jan 2004 is best!) and then patch it (solus rather than Solus 2 or by copying the files from the setups folder on the original box onto your new one ... this allows you to run DBUpgrade and pull things in ... but it is a long an laborious process)
Then wait until everyone is off SIMS ... copius backups (SINFO, SQL Manager and Ghost ... ) and then unattach the database.
Copy the .mdf and .ldf files and reattach on the new box ... attach on the old box too to keep people happy.
The Docstorage stuff is as above really ...
One of the issues is that the SA password is not commonly known for .ICT customers ... and SINFO has it hard coded inside. If you set your own SA password you *will not* be able to use SINFO for scheduled snap-shots ... at this point think carefully about what you want to do with SQL Manager.
I ditched the test box after 2 months as I had tried what I wanted ... and can't be bothered to do another one.
We copy the production sims data to the test box before every upgrade, test the upgrade and then apply to production / wait for fixes as appropriate. As long as you're methodical, you'll be fine.
Who are .ICT and why are you (or LEA?) paying them if they can't do something that simple? Is there a bunch of arcane add-ons on your SIMS server that would make such a reinstall especially tricky?
.ICT are the support team the operate in Northamptonshire ... originally part of the LA but in April became a seperate company that is now part of Capita (the full name is Capita .ICT)
On the whole I have always found the SIMS team there to be really helpful and supportive, but if you want to do something different to how they have things normally there can be a resistance to doing things ...
That said I have found ways to work with them anf get what we need ... and they are still better than dealing with Capita directly.
Just wanted to say thanks to you all for the feedback. Sorry I took so long- been off for three days with the flu.
In any case I'm going to chew over everything that has been said/suggested and take it from there.
Go to the SIMS technical forum on SupportNet (support.capitaes.co.uk). If you don't have a logon, I'm pretty sure you can get one from SIMS. It's full of people who do this sort of thing all the time. It's like anything, if you do it all the time, it's easy. The key thing (obviously) is to make sure you've backed up everything as others have mentioned.
What's 'SINFO'? I can't find any mention of it on SupportNet. Is it a utility that .ICT has created? Hard coding an SA password sounds even more ridiculous than than something even Capita/SIMS would do!Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
Thanks for that. I have asked for a SupportNet login, so hopefully they will grant my wish and let me in. :?Originally Posted by ajbritton
Yep ... a .ICT solution to ensuring there is some sort of backup solution for SIMS. Aimed at schools with limited support it is not too bad a product ... just a few issues with it really (including the SA password).Originally Posted by ajbritton
Yeah I've rebuilt two sims servers over the last couple of years and they are very easy to do. The SINFO thing sounds awkward though. How about just a basic batch file that turns off the services runs a scheduled backup and then turns them on again that way you could still use NTBACKUP and not have to pay for a backup solution?
@wes: so you have seen SINFO then?
Actually, it can do a few more things ... turning off AV software before the patch runs etc ...
Nope never have but my old sims support team had a nice script that turned things off! I might have to look at turning the AV off during the backup process though on of the servers keeps flagging up as backup failed on the veritas system because it can't copy the sophos folder having said that seeing as I can still recover any other file I've backed up I',m not sure I care would just like to remove the Job Failed errors even when it only couldn't copy one directory!
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