speckytecky (20th May 2008)
1) Well known Network Supplier to the School Sector
2) New servers bought last year.
3) Servers installed by third party
4) Network re-built by in-house technical team
5) All servers have now failed and students do not have access to their user areas.
6) GCE and some GCSE coursework deadlines have not been met.
7) Network still not up after 2 weeks.
8) NM under stress and coming into work in early hours of morning.
9) SLT not keeping staff informed.
What to do?
speckytecky (20th May 2008)
What are the specifics? People cant log on? What exactly can they do?
Like Chris says to help please can you post more details.
Do you have a backup of when they were installed by the 3rd party company? Presuming it was all hunky dory at that point (or at least usable!)?
Sorry HoD ICT so will have a limited technical knowledge.
The printers went down and then the servers. Problems with backup drives which were destructed and replaced then problems with RAID controllers which were replaced. But servers then failed completely so were taken away and rebuilt. Brought back in but problems persist, ie, no work stations connect to the servers. Email is down and internet is only functioning eratically.
The clients can be used as stand alone but printers have to be connected as stand alones etc.
PDFs will not open even when computers used as stand alones meaning that we cannot access digital exam papers for revision.
So, basically, the users cannot log on to their user area. there is a clean backup - apparently!!
I have been trying to get the third party and supplier in to fix the probs since the servers were installed last April. IMHO, there has not been enough motivation/cooperation from the triangle of vested interests (the installation team, the supplier and our tech team) to get the work done - each blaming the others bad workmanship. Personally I think they will cover each others back and the carnage wreaked for T&L will not be documented.
I feel sorry for our NM as he has been understaffed.
This sounds like the network has not had its upkeep as you say probably due to being understaffed.
What area are you in?
Is the server a domain controller ? Does it have the pc/users listed in active directory ?
Or has it been rebuilt and no users/pc's exist ?
Email down = was one of the servers an exchange server ? Has it been restored from backup ?
Sounds like a nightmare scenario.
Your NM got any help ?
Easy bit is the pdf's, install adobe acrobat reader or fixit pdf reader (both free) to access pdf's
PM on its way.
Its looks like a DC problem.
That will probably a Global Catalogue so they would explain problems if they have exchange.
It will be probably DNS so no internet connection.
They wont be able to logon
Thanks for the replies and it is giving me an interesting insight but why am I not getting this from the triangle of supplier/installer/Local tech team??
there is no way that I am going to be able to tell the NM his job, so imparting this info to him is not going to happen for that reason.
I guess what I am angling at is how do I
1) get the triangle to realise the impact on T&L and make them aware of our anger as the SLT do not seem to be doing this
2) get the Tech team and SLT to regularly update the staff/students in a useful way
3) Get advice to a similar detail that you are giving here to the ICT teachers/SLT - not happening.
4) make the SLT not expect the NM to come into work at 08:30 after leaving work at 03:00 and understand the H&S issues
5) Ultimately, get the triangle to admit the mistakes with a view to reporting on what has happened so that there is not suspicion
As Head of ICT I'd have expected you to engage with the SLT, or the member of SLT responsible for ICT, about the terrible impact on T&L (although I expect they already know this).
My priorities in this situation would be:-
- Getting network to useable state ASAP, disregard all else
- Inform all school as to what went wrong
- Leadership for ICT (Yourself, NM and ICT Co-ordinator) have enquiry into what went wrong
- Learn from mistakes and ensure that something as catastrophic never happens again
Your NM should be on the phone to the Suppliers and threatening to get them black listed with the LEA and other counties...
What is staggering is that the NM has not been able to get the network back up after 2 weeks...
You still do not give information of to what the status of the servers are ?
1/ Do the servers start ?
2/ Can the NM log onto the Servers
3/ Can you ping the servers IP from the Client PC's ?
4/ Can you ping the servers name from the Client PC's ?
5/ Do you have a redundant spare server ?
We all as NM's have a LOT of work on our plates but our Job is to make sure the Network is Stable and get it up again within a day or two if it falls over...
I will ask the NM if he can log onto the Servers
Can you explain the ping bit!
We do not seem to have a redundant spare server which is what I would have expected. Both new servers have gone and the two old ones but it does seem that they have been able to get SIMs up and running.
I would have thought the supplier could just bring in a new server and replicate what we have - but is that naive of me??
I've had a quick exchange of PMs with Papakura ... because he does not want to tread on toes to some extent as because he fully appreciates that he is not an NM some of the language we use and he uses may cause a few misunderstandings.
He is not sure of the exact hardware software fault, but there is an element of middleware involved. This does increase the issues with diagnosing what is wrong, and I would presume that one of the reasons why they do not have many staff is due to the middleware normally doing a chunk of the work for the school ... a number of people here take a similar approach.
The downside is that it is not doing the job right now and the company with the middleware are the ones taking it off-site to do stuff.
I think one of the key things is to try and get the NM on to EG and then those with the same middleware can help him sort things out or help him find the right levers to pull to get the middleware providers to get it sorted. If he is workign the hours it seems he is, it is not from lack of effot on his part to get it sorted.
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