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Network and Classroom Management Thread, CC4, still a no-go area? in Technical; After reading a bunch of comments here about CC4, is this still best avoided? We have an RM CC3 network ...
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    magicpatch's Avatar
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    Question CC4, still a no-go area?

    After reading a bunch of comments here about CC4, is this still best avoided? We have an RM CC3 network which is really starting to creek and grown now as the server is a little underpowered for the amount of machines we have on the network now!

    We have basically an alternative from our LEA, its just a plain vanilla Win2k3 server setup but they do all the work setting it up etc. No idea what they base their setups on, I assume other schools they do this for, but after they leave then I can get to work and change everything to suit the school better.

    We have our local RM person coming down in a few weeks to talk about CC4, we'll give him a chance but looking here and on the RM Forums it seems CC4 is best avoided, so I was just wondering if that is still the case and to defiantly move somewhere else when we have the chance.

    Thanks

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I don't have first hand experience of CC4, but lots of people on these forums have complained and have mentioned it being very buggy in places. I think you need to look at costs, but also the needs of the school. I would of course give RM the opportunity to sell their product to you, but by all means, ask them about the problems you have heard about. Depending on their answer, it will determine your response.

    Personally I prefer a Windows Server 2003 vanilla setup. I know it like the back of my hand and I know how to resolve problems quicker. Some things RM do I like, but most of the features you can find in a vanilla setup. I think you'll find you'll have a lot more budget remaining which can be put to good use; such as software or other resources.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    A lot of anecdotal feedback from CC4 seems to indicate that it runs ok on small networks and if a fresh install is performed - upgrades from CC3 seem to cause a lot of issues.

    Personally I wouldn't recommend CC4 until. at least, SR1 has been released, bedded in and evaluated. RM have put a lot of effort and manpower (at the expense of some other projects, but thats another discussion) in this release and hopefully it will resolve a lot of issues. If you want to get an idea of what SR1 includes (and have access to RM KB) take a look at TEC1303378.

    Also, I am in no rush to leave CC3 behind, its a nice stable product that does everything I need it to without all the bells and whistles of CC4.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Also, I am in no rush to leave CC3 behind, its a nice stable product that does everything I need it to without all the bells and whistles of CC4.
    A-men to that! Next two or years are the best years of CC3 - Dual and Quad core workstations, Quad and Six core servers, loads of RAM, 15k drives, gigabit ethernet = one fast CC3 network!

    Best years of Connect 2 for me were the last year or two for the exact same reasons. Unfortunatly for RM the business case for an upgrade from C2 to CC3 was far more compelling than it is for CC3-CC4. CC3 offered massive improvements in security, managability, reliability over C2. What does CC4 offer over CC3 really, deep down?

    Butuz

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    magicpatch's Avatar
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    I agree, I don't have many problems with CC3, problem is our server is crashing on a daily basis and the Active Directory died a year or so ago after the Easter Holidays and its never been the same since!
    So we are being forced to play our hand a little eariler, I guess its not possible to just get a new CC3 server and run that for a few more years, as people said there isn't much wrong with a solid Win2k3/XP network, we are only an Infant school and don't really need something that is super powerful.
    Its a problem area thats for sure.

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    Chafftech's Avatar
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    If you are LEA supported they should be able to install a new CC3 server. RM are still selling CC3 preconfigured servers on their website once this is in place all software migrated and all workstation built to the new domain you are done.

    This is preferable to CC4 at the moment, trust me on this one. You can always upgrade to CC4 in couple of years time.

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    Im new to the forum but having spent the last 9 months watching RM stumble their way through a green field roll out of 1600 users on CC4, the answer to the question is
    No! Stay away. Its still not ready - We are curently investigating ditching it and going back to good Ole Uncle Bill.
    I have a catalogue of issues that will bore or amuse many, so I wont list them here, however I am more than willing to provide on demand. We have been spun all sorts of inconsistant and confliciting tales of CC4 by RM and why/when it was out there in the first place. The number of sites with issues would warrant a case action in other industries - After all its a lot of taxpayers hard earned wedge these guys are taking. Let me know if you can help with any corroborative info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moffatman View Post
    I have a catalogue of issues that will bore or amuse many, so I wont list them here, however I am more than willing to provide on demand.

    We have been spun all sorts of inconsistant and confliciting tales of CC4 by RM and why/when it was out there in the first place. The number of sites with issues would warrant a case action in other industries - After all its a lot of taxpayers hard earned wedge these guys are taking. Let me know if you can help with any corroborative info.
    We demand, for pure RM comedy incompentance purposes!

    .

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    It sucks

    We had a complete new CC4 install by RM in September.

    2 x servers and 60 desktop PC's.

    Here is how it works.

    You have a fault, you report it to RM, RM ask you to complete task XYZ, you look into task XYZ which means reading up on ABC and DEF. You finally complete all tasks to complete the original task of XYZ and the original fault is still present.
    You contact RM again about the original fault, they ask you to do 123, to do 123 you need to look into 456 and 789 and so the pattern goes on.

    Faults are coming in thick and fast, nearly all of my time now seems to be dealing with RM issues, I am half tempted to move over to their payroll as I may as well be working for them.

    I hate it, its one area that would actually make me consider changing jobs.

    Just my personal opinion.

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    We had a CC4 upgrade from CC3 last July, probably one of the first to go head outside of field trials. After a summer of battling we have most of the problems now ironed out however CC4 still have a number of problems many of which i believe will still be present after SR1. The biggest one for me is the poor station startup and logon times from cold boot which is a particular problem on laptops and older stations and will definatly come as a shock for those comming from Vanilla Windows environments. There are also countless little buggy issues, the management console is slow and prone to crashing or throwing up random errors. The network recycle bin which many have purchased has been withdrawn and is still awaiting a fix, RM tutor which is a large part of the CC4 client costs is has only just been made usable the list goes on.
    I'm happy RM are on the right track now but they still have a long way to go to restore confidence in CC4 and certainly before i order anything from them anytime soon.

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    The junior school that I do outsourced support to planned CC4 last April and implemented it in July.

    Since the original commissioning myself and the ICT Co have clocked up around 500 overtime hours (including the usual hours where applicable).

    The features that attracted us most to CC4 have since been removed and SR1's purpose appears to be to stabilise the CC4 shell.

    CC4 stability has improved over the months but it's still a long way off the promised product that we got the sales pitch on.

    We've got an open complaint and refused to sign our lease until a suitable level of compensation can be arranged. Although I'm not sure what sort of price tag you can put on:

    - One year/+ affect on Teaching and Learning;
    - Loss of confidence in IT for teaching staff and students;
    - Effect on IT development for a school targeted for IT focus by OFSTED (recent, could come back anytime);
    - Loss of confidence in CC4 by myself and the IT Co.

    The amount of times I've mumbled... "Should of went Vanilla" isn't worth mentioning.

    I doubt CC4 will be CC4 until SR2, for now I'd say stay away.

    Where I'm based we're using CC3 and were meant to do a summer install last year... I hope it's not even considered for this summer. Summer 2010 would probably be more appropriate.

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    webman's Avatar
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    We're still planning on moving to CC4.

    But unlike a lot of schools; we are not "upgrading" CC3 - we are setting up a new, parallel network with fresh CC4 installs and only copying/migrating over what is actually necessary.

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    A-men to that! Next two or years are the best years of CC3 - Dual and Quad core workstations, Quad and Six core servers, loads of RAM, 15k drives, gigabit ethernet = one fast CC3 network!

    Best years of Connect 2 for me were the last year or two for the exact same reasons. Unfortunatly for RM the business case for an upgrade from C2 to CC3 was far more compelling than it is for CC3-CC4. CC3 offered massive improvements in security, managability, reliability over C2. What does CC4 offer over CC3 really, deep down?

    Butuz
    I agree totally. Funny thing is with Vista now and WIndows 7 around the corner, only now machines are really starting to run Windows XP at a speed I am happy with. - or am I just being stupid?

    GJE

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    But unlike a lot of schools; we are not "upgrading" CC3
    Said it before somewhere, but I reckon the new versus upgrade claim is a bit of a crock. They both end up running the same software, and most of that is independent of the old CC3 bits. The reality seems to be that most of the upgrades are big sites and most of the new ones are small sites, that is the bigger the scale the more likely you are to have or notice problems.

    I'm not saying a parallel install is a bad idea - it's a good idea. Obviously an unloved, badly maintained CC3 might present some problems during an upgrade, but it won't affect whether some new application is buggy or not surely?

    I suppose the only way to settle this is for someone to point out some problems they've had that are exclusive to an upgrade.

    Only now machines are really starting to run Windows XP at a speed I am happy with. - or am I just being stupid?
    Not really. Freshly installed XP really isn't that bad on older hardware, but the real-world footprint has increased significantly in other ways during it's lifetime, for instance how much memory does a typical AV app need now?
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 18th March 2009 at 11:59 PM.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    We're still planning on moving to CC4.

    But unlike a lot of schools; we are not "upgrading" CC3 - we are setting up a new, parallel network with fresh CC4 installs and only copying/migrating over what is actually necessary.
    Do RM not do RM Interlink anymore, like they did for RM Connect LM and Connect 2.x ?You use to get a J: Drive which was MyWork on the other network, and passwords were kept in sync.

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