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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Moving away from CC4- Migrate network or simply shift OU's? in Technical; ...
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    Moving away from CC4- Migrate network or simply shift OU's?

    Good afternoon!

    The College has decided to move away from CC4 to a vanilla network for reasons I won't go into here.

    What we havenít decided on yet is how to achieve this. There are two methods we have discussed.

    Method 1

    My preferred option is to build a clean network in the background, on virtual servers on itís own VLAN, and test heavily in the isolated environment, with help and input from the users. When the network is good and ready, during the summer holiday, turn the CC4 network off and move the vanilla network onto the main infrastructure.

    Based on the CC4- CC4.3 migration that happened here, this would involve 1 week of complete downtime, 1 week of limited data whilst I restore it to the new domain, and from then on computers would need to be rebuilt, so staff would be restricted to where in the school they could work (not a massive issue in the summer holidays.)

    There is a lot of work involved with this route, but on the whole the clean break from the upgraded CC4 network to the CC4.3 network has paid off massively, in that I am no longer fighting issues each week caused by the upgrade, some of them which were very long and drawn out. I am very keen to avoid fighting unknown issues for the next x amount of years.

    Method 2

    My colleague's preferred method is to create new OUís in Active Directory, as much of the RM network group policy is contained in the establishments OU. In the new OUís, our own group policies can be set up and configured, and computer and user objects instead moved to there. The network in theory could be gradually migrated across, moving users/ computers into the OUís a few at a time. Also, there would be no issues with moving data or NTFS permissions (see below!) as all the groups SIDís will stay the same.


    When we did the CC4> CC4.3 migration (which used method 1), the first 2 months of term were disruptive, and my colleague seems determined to avoid this at all costs. While I want as little disruption for the College as possible, I would rather see 2 months of teething issues than years of hidden faults that will be a nightmare to resolve. Those 2 months of disruption are nothing compared to the 3 years that followed our initial CC4 install.

    The two big issues with the migration were self inflicted- we went from about 30 Windows 7 stations to the whole site as Windows 7, yet no-one had tested all of the remaining software for Windows 7 compatibility. I had also put 'check remaining NTFS permissions' on the gant chart I created and assigned the task to someone else, but this wasn't carried out properly, so when the users came back there were quite a few issues accessing shares. We have learnt from this and it wouldn't happen again.

    I feel the second method of a gradual migration will cause issues further down the line, and lingering RM components still on the network could cause issues and making solving what would normally be a simple Windows network problem more difficult. However, I canít give technical details of what these issues might be. I have some incline as to what could go wrong, but as I donít know in as much detail as RM how CC4 works, and I only have 5 years networking experience under my belt. I feel Iím not best placed to answer these questions. Thereís also things I couldíve missed out. I would greatly appreciate the community's opinion on what could go wrong using the second method to move away from CC4 -or even if they think it would work well and I'm coming from it the wrong way

    Some of my inclines as to what could cause issues include:

    ē Settings that could still be in the Default Domain Policy, which is outside the Establishments OU
    ē Changes RM have made to the active directory schema
    ē The CC4 build process interfering with WDS
    ē Does CC4 write anything into the user profiles that would be undesirable to carry forward onto a vanilla network (e.g: custom RM reg settings in the NTUSER.pol files?)
    ē RM software components still running on the servers after we move the computers and users out of the OUís (e.g: the RM database)
    ē What changes have RM made to the registry on the servers? Given how service host issues have caused issues with basic Windows features in the past (e.g; logons)
    ē What happens if we move users into the new OUís and they roam between computers still on CC4 (where settings are applied by custom ADM templates that control the RM software) and non-CC4 stations?
    ē How well will we be supported in this configuration? From our meeting with some RM guys, it seems that this has not been attempted before, it has always been a clean migration

    The above list isnít meant to be exhaustive, itís just some thoughts that came to mind. I am really interested to know what you guys think that I've missed out/ am struggling to explain

    Many thanks,

    Dan

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    oaleksejuk-concerouk's Avatar
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    Hi Dan

    i have migrated CC4 to Vanilla and your option is the absolute best and in my opinion ONLY OPTION.

    There are many factors i found but the main is as you have stated due to RM components that are installed on your server you will come across A HUGE amount of issues with users and within group policy.

    Your best bet is to simply do a clean install like you have said. Gradually migrating across will simply result in you playing with one of the rm services or reg settings and your enitre network will go down.

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news for your collegue but in my opinion his option, well its not an option id say its more ofan idea and its one of those ideas that should just be left as an idea!

    so yeah to sum up CLEAN INSTALL!

    hope that helped!

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Yeah clean install is way to go, I wouldn't even considered the other option.
    You will be saving yourself major headaches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Yeah clean install is way to go, I wouldn't even considered the other option.
    You will be saving yourself major headaches.
    We migrated away from CC4 over the summer - not looked back at all :-)

    Defo go for a clean install - we did a little trial just moving OU's and it wasn't that good as RM have all manner of ways of doing things

    J

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    Many thanks, I would only consider clean install, but I can't come up with a convincing enough argument on WHY I'm right- I just know I am.

    Jay, do you have any more detail on what went wrong so I can show some examples?

    Thanks,

    Dan

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    oaleksejuk-concerouk's Avatar
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    The issue is how RM manages to integrate CC4 so much into the server, for example the rm service host you even touch that and the thing just gives up.maybe you could get some backing from RM if the school wants more confirmation? like you said they have only ever seen it done as a clean install so they may be able to just give you something in an email that you can give to senior management to confirm the best route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oaleksejuk-concerouk View Post
    The issue is how RM manages to integrate CC4 so much into the server, for example the rm service host you even touch that and the thing just gives up.maybe you could get some backing from RM if the school wants more confirmation? like you said they have only ever seen it done as a clean install so they may be able to just give you something in an email that you can give to senior management to confirm the best route.
    I hope so! Emailed them last week, still waiting for a reply.

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    oaleksejuk-concerouk's Avatar
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    classic rm! they love to keep you waiting!

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    And they love shifting their employees between departments and job roles every few months. Just to keep us on our toes when we ring up

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    Quote Originally Posted by d-taylor View Post
    Many thanks, I would only consider clean install, but I can't come up with a convincing enough argument on WHY I'm right- I just know I am.

    Jay, do you have any more detail on what went wrong so I can show some examples?

    Thanks,

    Dan
    Hi Dan, I don't really to be honest as it now seems like a blur.

    All I can remember was that we were trying to setup fresh GPO's on the OU but some would work, some wouldn't but couldn't easily get to the bottom of it.

    I did get 3 quotes from suppliers to quote for the migration work to be done for us. 2 of them said they wouldn't consider doing it any other way other than a clean install because of past experiences.

    Jason

  11. Thanks to Jaymate from:

    d-taylor (28th January 2013)

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    Cheers Jason, that's more concrete then I can think of at the the moment, I'll pass that on

    Dan

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