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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Academies Merging in Technical; We are on the brink of merging with another academy. The goal will be for a single, seamless network across ...
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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Academies Merging

    We are on the brink of merging with another academy. The goal will be for a single, seamless network across two sites separated by probably a couple of miles; one of the existing networks integrating into the other; a single AD; a shared Broadband service. Has anyone on here been through a merge, and if so would you mind listing a few pitfalls/less obvious considerations. Obviously I've been going through it all myself, but the devil is in the detail and I want as little to fall through the cracks as possible when I put the project plan together.

    Thanks in anticipation.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    First question, how do you intend on linking the sites?

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Leased ethernet terminated circuit.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I have been through a merger identical to yours. What speed is the link?

    Will you be wanting a server farm on each side?

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    Gibson335 (10th December 2012)

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    We are 3 schools merged to 2,

    2 new builds 5 miles appart.

    1Gb SHDS between the sites.
    Internet and Telco breakout at main site.

    One Domain,
    Some staff and students move between sites
    Follow me print, catering, Etc...

    So more or less where your going.

    Rob

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    Gibson335 (10th December 2012)

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    Who's doing the install?


    Rob

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    What about Ubiquiti airFiber 24 GHz Point-to-Point radio also this give you the opportunity to do DR fall over between sites.
    Last edited by nicholab; 10th December 2012 at 09:25 AM.

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    Gibson335 (10th December 2012)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I didn't go through a merger as such, but I did work in a school which had 'merged' its networks with 3 other schools, so they became a single campus.

    Some of the issues we had to deal with:-

    Different expectations of how things are done. What you're used to in your school might not be what they're used to in theirs and visa-versa, so the change needs to be managed well in order to allow for an easy transition.

    Flexibility is both a good thing and a problem. We had different needs in different schools on the network, meaning we ended up with over 150 active group policies (compared to about 10 in the school I'm in now). So, you need to draw lines in the sand early, to make sure you don't get it all up and running and then get inundated with complaints that $x is different or they can't do $y.

    What are you going to be allowing across the connection between the schools? Is it going to be just AD and internet? Or are you going to be storing everything centrally? Obviously, the size of that line will be a major consideration.

    What about continuity? Will both schools be able to continue as normal should a digger come along and dig its way through the line?

    Licensing. Many site-licenses are just that, site-licensed. So, you may need to look at what you've got licensed and if you can use it across 2 sites or if you need another license etc...

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    Gibson335 (10th December 2012)

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholab View Post
    What about Ubiquiti airFiber 24 GHz Point-to-Point radio also this give you the opportunity to do DR fall over between sites.
    I thought about doing that, but the link planner was not hopeful in our situation.

    Rob

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    Gibson335 (10th December 2012)

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    OK - so we currently have 100Mbps link, which we'll be looking to expand, size depending on where we end up storing everything - centrally or virtuals at each end...have considered the radio link and may still go down that route but initial survey wasn't promising...as for continuity, well that may come down to funding and how much redundancy we can build in...I have to say at this stage we are in very early talks, so none of this has been decided and I am trying to see it from all angles. Ideally I think we'd like to store centrally, but I'm aware of the bandwidth pull and the continuity, so we may end up with data stores at both ends. Concern centres around the practical rather than the technical, as the staff-related issues and the politics and sensitivities are not only beyond my control but also potential barriers to meeting deadlines.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    If you want to store files at both ends i will would personally go down the route of DFS.

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    Gibson335 (10th December 2012)

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    We have a independant server room at each site. 1Gb but it hardly gets stretched.

    Our backups run across the link so we have offsite backups that take place 3 times a day.



    Is there 2 I.T. Teams?

    We had to go from 3 to 1 , but the first two schools merged in 2k8 and the second merger was 2k11 .

    You need to work together, we started 12 months before the 1st deadline and before anything formal was set up.

    Rob

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    Gibson335 (10th December 2012)

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twin--turbo View Post
    We have a independant server room at each site. 1Gb but it hardly gets stretched.

    Our backups run across the link so we have offsite backups that take place 3 times a day.



    Is there 2 I.T. Teams?

    We had to go from 3 to 1 , but the first two schools merged in 2k8 and the second merger was 2k11 .

    You need to work together, we started 12 months before the 1st deadline and before anything formal was set up.

    Rob
    There are 2 x support teams, and we're starting well ahead of time...we just need to set the ground rules for the development, and that may take longer than the actual work!! I think we're likely to end up with something similar, with a data store at each end...but ideally we'd want to work with a single AD.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Have a federated AD and file structure. Allows for individual Active Directories and user areas at both sites, but they replicate at both ends should any children or staff switch location, they can still access their info

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    Gibson335 (10th December 2012)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibson335 View Post
    There are 2 x support teams, and we're starting well ahead of time...we just need to set the ground rules for the development, and that may take longer than the actual work!! I think we're likely to end up with something similar, with a data store at each end...but ideally we'd want to work with a single AD.
    Looking at what you have i can't see any problems having a single AD.

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