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Network and Classroom Management Thread, RM CC4 to Vanilla Windows in Technical; Hi I know there are many threads already about this but they seem to be from many years ago. I ...
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    RM CC4 to Vanilla Windows

    Hi

    I know there are many threads already about this but they seem to be from many years ago.

    I currently have a RM CC4 network with 400 Windows 7 clients, I have got 2 DC's, VLE server, SIMS server and a 6TB Hitachi SAN (servers running Server 2003 enterprise apart from SIMS server running 2008R2)

    Before anyone comments on the technical staff not having the qualifications I have got MCP, MCSE,MCSA, CCNA. and my assistant manager has got a MCSA and Computer and network technology degree.

    We have had CC4 since August 2009 not a chose I made as I had only just started working at the school in February of that year, RM network seems to have been agreed by most schools and the LA but many have now moved away think there are only 4 of us left in the LA that have RM.

    We have had numerous issues with RM CC4 and also issues with packages not building properly and the support we receive is not very useful and we are having major issues with GPO's.

    As Server 2003 will no longer be supported by Microsoft from 8th April next year, we thought the only available time we have got to upgrade is the summer.

    We had RM in and they have said yes they can upgrade us but only if we upgrade the servers and SAN with them, as the servers are four years old.

    The main two servers that they want to replace are 2xXeon Quad, 8GB RAM (this could do with upgrading) in my opinion do not need changing.

    I have had talks with SLT about moving from RM to a Vanilla network but they have asked for a detailed report about the pro's and con's for both options, this is where I need my help from people that have already done this transition, I have made quite a few notes but would be useful so I can use as references and also if you do not mind SLT can contact you and speak to anyone in your SLT about the change.

    Regards

    Mike

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    When I made this change last year my SLT were not really that interested in the technical details etc. What convinced them was the saving on the RM CC4 Licence Cost alone. Money Talks!! For my school the saving was approx £8k on licenses alone. They allowed me to use some of that saving towards hardware. So for me I would certainly include the financial savings. We were RM CC3 so it was the obvious time to ditch RM as it was a straight choice between moving to CC4 or moving away from RM completely. Not sure if this helps but just a quick thought.

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    We had CC4 for 2 years and it only really worked for a week after it was installed; (CC4.3), the problem we had with it was the terrible support; a buggy product with good support can just about get by; e.g. we were used to being able to build a room with no problems in a few hours on CC3, vs a multi day nightmare on CC4, which nobody at their support could fix in the 2 years. It has got to the stage where we ignore most of the RM software and run our network using a patchwork of GPP's, VB6 programs, etc.

    We are going Vanilla this summer with the aid of a local firm - using Vsphere to run our servers from a SAN. Planning on going with Impero. We have the DC's basically set up, and are waiting until summer to move the users across. SMT want the move also, so they can have a network that works - they weren't too happy after spending thousands with RM, to have a network that was worse than it was before with CC3.

    No help for you now I know but I thought I'd mention our situation.

  6. 2 Thanks to mikes:

    j224 (6th June 2013), russdev (6th June 2013)

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    Well one of the Pros will be licensing... go Vanilla... It's cheaper especially since you have the same Certs as what I have and you should be more than capable to manage and support it Vanilla yourselves. I have migrated many networks from RM/Novell so if you want any advice or you have any questions then feel free to PM me.
    I also look after several Vanilla networks and am currently aiding a college in migrating from Netware to Vanilla.

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    I don't know the pricing of RM CC but you'll still need a management suite which you'll have to licence anyway.

    Are you considering going to SCCM 2012 or something else?

    I'm currently using SCCM 2007 with the plan to upgrade to 2012 & MDT 2012 over the summer.

    [edited to correct MDT 2010 to 2012]
    Last edited by jpuk; 7th June 2013 at 11:53 AM.

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    We made this move last summer, from CC3 to a vanilla network. Of course we thought about going CC4 just for the ease of management, but the one nagging thing at the back of our mind is ongoing issues, reliability etc and a more closed system which also means less people knowledgable enough to help fix it should things go wrong. A vanilla system seemed to be the way to go, and when we started planning we looked at SCCM 2007. By the time it came round to doing it, 2012 was out and it was a no brainer. I am happy in saying our network is now easier to manage than the CC3 network it replaced and other CC4.3 networks I look after for primaries.

    You don't even have to go down the route of SCCM, for instance if you don't want to go down the route of EES licensing and cost is an issue; you could upgrade your servers with some more memory (doesn't sound like they really need physically replacing tbh) virtualise and/or stick 2012 on them, use MDT and WSUS to handle deployments, application management and software updates, Impero for class management etc (these are of course just suggestions and there's a wealth of packages out there to make our lives easier and networks better).

    I don't mind the RM networks at all; the CC4 systems I look after generally work with some oddities. Support for those come from some jolly knowledgable folks from Capita rather than RM so that's not so much an issue. However as said, on a vanilla network the entire planet is full of people who know, as opposed to a company limited mostly to this country on what is now a minority system.

    Plus with a vanilla, you can set it up in a way that suits you and your school best rather than a one size fits all approach. Little things like the choice of profiles you use, how you deploy printers, how you handle app deployment, how you do *everything*.

    One of the biggest considerations will be licensing. When you lose RM, you'll lose any software package that's part of it including RMVP5 (no loss!) and the likes of the Windowbox software if you use any of that. I wouldn't worry about costing too much because you will *always* be able to better RM's licensing prices going vanilla. Plus if you ever need external support bought in, anyone can do it rather than just education specialists who probably will charge more.
    @jpuk I hope you mean MDT 2012 (Just added that to our SCCM install but not really played with it yet)
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 7th June 2013 at 10:51 AM.

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    ^I've got to say, I'm not entirely sure why someone would want to replace one closed system like RM CC with another one, Impero. If you're going vanilla, go vanilla and stick to stuff that has a wide user base and good community support options.

    (Yes, cheers, I did mean 2012, we're currently using 2010 update 1.)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpuk View Post
    ^I've got to say, I'm not entirely sure why someone would want to replace one closed system like RM CC with another one, Impero. If you're going vanilla, go vanilla and stick to stuff that has a wide user base and good community support options.

    (Yes, cheers, I did mean 2012, we're currently using 2010 update 1.)
    You're getting mixed up. Impero is not a network management solution like RM CC/Ranger etc. Look into it as you're not aware of it, it's awesome software. Think of it as a direct replacement for something like RM Tutor/Netsupport then add a million and one capabilities on top to help technical staff run, maintain and monitor a network and users. We've been using it for a year and still keep learning new things about it.

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    Fair play. I'm just going on the sales blurb I was given on a cold call from them.

    It sounded like something we had covered between Ranger, SCCM, SCOM, Securus, etc and I don't like reinventing the wheel for the sake of it. I'll have another look though if I've been incorrect there.
    Last edited by jpuk; 7th June 2013 at 12:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpuk View Post
    Fair play. I'm just going on the sales blurb I was given on a cold call from them.

    It sounded like something we had covered between Ranger, SCCM, SCOM, Securus, etc and I don't like reinventing the wheel for the sake of it. I'll have another look though if I've been incorrect there.
    As synaesthesia said Impero is not a closed system like RM, Ranger etc we sit upon to top of your network and you do not need to rebuild your entire network to remove Impero off a machine .. not that you want to

    Russ



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