Gibson335 (10th December 2012)
We managed to work very well together, even though we had Primarily Novell on one site and W2k3 on the other. Our interim solutions for our temporary site used many aspects of Novell whilst planning the full migration off to windows.
We had to go through procurement for our two builds and the interim solution. If we had the luxury of time we would have liked to have done much of it ourself, but due to the amount of money we were not allowed to do that.
Single AD is not a problem.
we have 2 offices, and cover support calls for both sites from either office so long as no physical presence is needed. It works well. Lots of advantages but both teams do need to work well and the management may seek some "Slimming" as time goes on. Our 3 schools had 8 staff in total, we are down to 4 covering the 2 new schools.
I have to say - some of the design decisions will come down to politics normally. Depending just how 'merged' things are will indicate what you might end up with.
If they're 2 schools under one trust but are still lead individually, then a federated design may be the way you go - as it'll make the head at the other school still feel 'in control' of their end. If it is a full on 'we're basically one school now' merge, then a single domain may be dictated to you (i've seen this elsewhere where things were dictated based on how they want things to appear to staff).
I think staff will remain the same, but the roles are likely to change - mind you I am having to make assumptions at this stage, which is dangerous.
This is 'supposed' to be a full on merge, forming a single academy with a new name - and as such my ideal would be to treat it very much as a single academy that just happens to be split into two sites. However, a whole lot of politics and sensitivities to wade through like treacle if we're to end up there.
Many thanks for comments thus far.
We're hitting a variation on this problem at the school where I'm a governor... the two schools involved are 20 miles apart.
elsiegee40 (10th December 2012)
For those who have been through the process - what did you do about user naming conventions? Did you change them all to meet one standard, did you keep them as they were, or did one standard get changed to reflect another?
At my last school, everything was named under a single domain, and then devices were named according to location or purpose. So, a single naming scheme across them. Then differentiation came in at AD level via OUs.
Primary - class logins
Secondary - constructed from their year of entry and names
PRU same as secondary
SEN - depended on the ability of the individual child. If capable, they had a name as in Secondary, if not, there was a general use account.
If it were more than one secondary, it would have been a single naming convention across them.
I will be finding out more shortly, but if - as I fear is the case - they have the same convention as us, which is the construct from year of intake plus name, then it makes it awkward because when combined the year of entry will relate to two different age ranges?!?!
For those who have been through it, or have taken steps towards a merge, what do you consider the pros and cons of a single AD, a single network strategy? And how has it worked out in practice?
Whereas different ADs/networks means having to double up on your work - maintaining multiple ADs etc...
It also has advantages of being able to 'unify' the schools in terms of teachers from one school being able to log in at any of the other schools etc...
Gibson335 (14th December 2012)
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