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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Insatlling a new network in Technical; Originally Posted by DMcCoy How do you cope, or are you refering to *unscheduled* downtime? I've hardly had any unscheduled ...
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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy
    How do you cope, or are you refering to *unscheduled* downtime? I've hardly had any unscheduled downtime in the last few years, but I have had to have plenty of scheduled downtime.

    I can't move server racks and reconfigure the entire network without taking most things offline for example. Some changes will take serveral days no matter what you might want to do.

    If you have had no more than a few hours downtime, perhaps its because nothing with sufficiently big an impact has been changed?

    No im talking about *any* downtime. Why would you want to move a server rack? And why would you want to reconfigure the entire network? Either case thats not what we are talking about, we are talking about upgrading an OS and adding and configuring any new features.


    Thats my whole point exactly. Why can i a lowley network tech be able to migrate from one version of an OS to another, when RM think its a "sufficiently big" task to warrenty days of downtime.


    Seriously i cant for the life of me think what can be so big to take down a whole network when MS server has all the tools and features to allow you to have next to no downtime.

    Guess my point is I have no downtime and i pay nothing. You have days of downtime and you ac tually pay for the priveledge


    Oh and btw when i say "out of hours" im talking about the 45mins after school when all the teachers have left, im not talking about spending weekends sorting things out.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    I'm not just talking about OS changes, there are big physical changes that will always cause some service interuption.

    I know you can migrate users and machines, but what if you don't want to migrate?

    I cannot avoid the downtimes that have been scheduled because the changes are too far reaching to be done with the system online.

    Core switch replacement.
    ESX version upgrade, this required reformating of all LUNs on the san without enough space to move all the machines with them online.
    Complete subnet change for all services
    vlan implementation
    Port Authentication
    Emergency shutdown testing (heat/power)
    Domain name change
    SAN software upgrade

    There are many things that make life sufficently difficult that it is easier and less disruptive in the longer term to warrent some scheduled downtime. Most will not involve windows, but some will.

    During the term services are kept online, apart from the odd sims update.

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Well yeah fair enough, i wasnt talking about things like that. No OS can avoid the implications that hardware changes like that bring. But they can avoid bringing down teh network for simple software changes.

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    I don't think a complete migration is a few simple software changes. Their 2-day window probably includes preparation, the actual migration, and verification.

    Personally I don't see 2 days as a huge problem when carrying out a migration from one platform to another. Things take time.

    If you did it on a vanilla - what work would you have to do to make sure everything worked again afterwards and how long would it take? How many servers? What tools would you use?

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    If you did it on a vanilla - what work would you have to do to make sure everything worked again afterwards and how long would it take? How many servers? What tools would you use?
    Id let the students test it Na id use either virtual machines or an isolated network of old PCs, testing as i go. Then obviously test afterwards, but if you are methodical in your working you should get (atleast) all the major things right first time, the only thing that should really be a problem is educational software

    How long? Well id obviously prepare things but after that; 1hour for file server, 2-2.5 for a DC, and how long is a peice of string for the app server. I could even do it faster.

    Tools? The ones that are free from MS and maybe a few other free ones. I can hold my hand on heart and say i have never asked for software to be purchased for my (techy) use. 1 we dont have the money and 2 theres plenty of free ones if you look.

    When we moved upto 2003 on the DCs (we have 2) it was as easy as unplugging the "backup" one. Install 2003. Connect up, wait for replication and transfer the roles. The take down the other one, and install 2003.

    File server - export shares etc. Install 2003. Create shares. Liteterally is a 5min job once the OS is installed.

    The only pain is the app server but if it is organised (not like our old one) it shouldnt take too long.

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Lucky you've got spare machines then or ones powerful enough for VMs

    I think you have been a bit liberal with the time slots there - there was no allowance for Things Going Wrong™

    But at the end of the day; even though it may take 2 days - there are other benefits that come with an RM network that vanilla networks don't; which have been covered, in depth, elsewhere... :P

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Our Pcs powerful?!! Ive *just* got a P4 1gb slow assed peice of poo.

    I was just being hypothetical about the time. Obviously if things go wrong it will take, well, as long as it takes. But if things work as they should first time i think i was reasonable.

    Benefits? Na, fair enough some people like them. But im glad we didnt have them as im sure i wouldnt have learned half as much as i know now. Thanks to the printer script on here and the fact that once you get your head round msi's packaging up most apps is a doddle, thats (what im led to believe) 2 of RMs major advantages over vinilla that are sorted.

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Vanilla here, but so many other flavours

    I have a number of processes that slow down or speed up deployment.

    I can deploy a blank server VM from a template in VirtualCenter in around 20 minutes. I can test patches and things like the move to sql 2005 in sims by making snapshots of my VMs and reverting if I am at all unhappy with anything and have another go.

    This is a good thing

    Adding a printer. My new process will be this:

    1) Decide on which port it will be connected to
    2) Enable MAC based port access for that port
    3) Create a User with the relevant mac address as the name
    4) add this user to the printers Radius group so that radius returns the printers vlan to the switch when it authenticates
    5) Add the printer to the print server (it has a second vitual adaptor on the printers vlan)
    6) Share the printer
    7) Deploy the printer in the client printer scripts.

    This is not so quick. It does make the network port as secure as I can manage without standing in front of it.

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Adding a new printer is a breeze for us.

    • Set static IP either using front panel buttons or web interface
    • Install printer on server by creating new TCP/IP port
    • Name printer
    • Share printer
    • Allocate to workstations/rooms via RM Management Console

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Thats how mine was, except I used a reservation for the static ip and I added it to a printer script. Security seems to come at the expense of ease of use :P

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Scheduling downtime is not a bad thing ... even if you don't always use it.

    It can be used for any number of helpful things such as part of your normal yearly schedule.

    Patch management can require restarts.
    Migration of user data can require you to say that specified users cannot use certain services during specified times.
    Migration of services (eg printers) may mean that you want people off the system to save them getting confused or upset when things are offline rather than it being a requirement.
    Upgrading certain software (eg mail server) will require downtime of that service.
    And then we get onto the testing of disaster recovery policies.

    Downtime does not just refer to taking everything offline, but also to just key sections.

    We can take things of piecemeal if needed, but then you get the constant interuptions about when will it *all* be back on line, etc.

    Because we have 24 hours access for staff via Remote Access (terminal servers atm, but soon to be available to all users via Sun's Secure Global Desktop) then we cannot just do 45 mins after staff have left ... everything we do has to be scheduled and published to staff and students.

    I notice that when you say install 2003 you fail to mention 'patch 2003' ... even if you have all the patches to hand it still takes time.

    But this is just the way our school works ... if yours works differently and is fine for you, then fine.

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    "But this is just the way our school works ... if yours works differently and is fine for you, then fine."

    This is a view i have on most things (Distro wars especially!) Sure x-solution might work for group-A but it might not necessarily work for group-B. Group-A should always accept that whilst it's group-B might like to know about x-solution, they have every right to stay with y-solution. If you get my meaning in all of that jumbled nonsense. Basically only do something if it suits your way of working/computing.

    With regards to downtime. You are always going to get downtime. It's unavoidable to keep an up -to-date and secure, stable infrastructure right from the physical network media up to applications and patches etc.

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    I notice that when you say install 2003 you fail to mention 'patch 2003' ... even if you have all the patches to hand it still takes time.
    Ahh fair enough. Id forgot about that as our last install was 2003 R2 which is obviously more upto date. I would normally use either WSUS or incorporate as many updates as i can into the RIS/CD image, but yeah i agree i was probably abit optomistic in my time allocation in light of updates.

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    Adding a new printer is a breeze for us.

    • Set static IP either using front panel buttons or web interface
    • Install printer on server by creating new TCP/IP port
    • Name printer
    • Share printer
    • Allocate to workstations/rooms via RM Management Console
    And thats exactly how I do it on Server 2003 R2 Craig :P

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    Re: Insatlling a new network

    @john: What, you even use the RM Management Console to easy allocate the printer to workstations? :shock:

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