As always said it is what is best for the school.
from what i have seen and read about cc4 (we are cc3) there are a lot of improvments.
one which i will find amazingly useful is that packages allocate whilst the user is logged on. this is done in the background. we have problems with flash 'dropping off', so its a case of allocate then reboot or log teacher/student off, log on as me manual install. cc4 installs in the background and will just start working.
the package viewer looks amazingly useful to. especially when doing licence audits. we all know we 'temp' instally software (with only x licences), if a room is out of action, to another room then forget. not best practice or legal but on times is needed.
and at the end of the day cc3 is only xp which as much as ppl try to forget this - support etc is coming to an end.
saying that it does have its downfalls (cc3). dont know if it is true with cc4 but sometimes i want to run as admin to install a program when a kid or staff member is logged on. actually going to check if there is a hack for this now lol (ideas pls lol)
As I think I have said before, you cannot make a blanket statement about which is better, Vanilla or CCx. Both have advantages and disadvantages that you have to weigh up in relation to your own school's needs and resources.
Couple of years ago I was in the position at two schools of weighing up replacing their peer-to-peer with either Vanilla or CC3. After an involved investigation I recommended CC3 to one school and Vanilla to the other as they fitted in with what the school wanted.
The CC3 school decided that they didn't want me to purely focus on running the network and can honestly say that CC3 has freed me up to work on other projects that the school thinks are important. I can also honestly say that I have learnt more at the Vanilla school as I had to set everything up myself. However, the recommendation I make is not based on what I think is best for me or my career but for the school.
CC4 is a different kettle of fish though. From the limited experience that I have with it, functionally, I like it a lot. I now have a school that is seriously considering it and have to make a decision soon. SR1 trials appear to have gone well and after speaking to a few people who have installed SR1 I am much encouraged.
I also have to say that RM support is on the whole excellent and don't recognise the comment about 1st line monkeys at all. The cost element is a factor but if you are a primary school without a full time tech then I think it is very useful indeed.
CC4's BIT's package alloaction doesnt work nearly as well as RM make out nor does the package assigment overview.
SR1 has been a success thus far but they have had limited exposure to larger sites which is why they are taking an image of our servers this week to test out SR1 before upgrade before hand which is very handy for us but does raise some concerns. CC4's current implimentation isn't well load ballanced unlike a vanilla setup and relies heavily on the Forest Root, with no replication of the Postgres Database for which all the CC4 bits are held. CC4 WSUS also can only be installed on the FR, its all stuff to think about, you will definatly need a beefy server for that role especially on a larger network.
I think your best bet would be to go and visit some local schools to see what they have got.
I work in two schools, one managed, one not and the glaring difference for me is that on the managed one, other people (trusted, lovely people of course) can do things like setting up users, changing passwords etc through an interface which means that they can't break anything else.
On a vanilla, in my experience, it ain't so easy.
In a primary, there is very limited time and technical staff so you need to consider this.
If you DO go vanilla, see if there is someone on here who could come and help you set up the basics, as this is the scariest part! You don't quite know what you want until you haven't got it, if you know what I mean.
As for RM, not long ago I did a direct comparision between RM and two others and RM were very much more expensive -and they had irritating things like charging you for every new machine on the network (others did "1-100' machines)
Well know 64bit yes, all they can do is server 2003 enterprise which will address more than 4gig using PAE. Beefy for an RM CC4 FR would be 2x2.5ghz Quad Xeon with 8gb RAM if you have a site with more than 400 stations, our 2x3ghz Daul Core Xeon job with 4gb of RAM is struggles especially if you are rebuilding stations or assigning packages while god forbid people are actually using the network.
Same server on CC3 never even broke a sweat.
No version reporting tool that i know of.
No ACL Detective
No Network Recycle Bin
No Automated RM Updates
No Renaming of workstations
No RM Auditor, Logon & Web Monitor (not that you would want it)
I do sound somewhat negative about CC4, its not all bad and for smaller secondarys and primarys i can definatly see a benefit.
Theblacksheep (10th June 2009)
One of my biggest issues with non vanilla systems.Almost any tech support company can help you out, or non RM school can help with problems if you stick with vanilla. Indeed google can be very helpfull
I know of some primary schools that are not able to get local support becuase they run RM systems. This is not a good thing.
If RM is so good why do very few (if any) non educational establishments use it? Please do not tell me about how special schools are etc etc etc. Most staff could be trained to the basics if required. Even RM users/adminsitrators require training.
From what I read on here it is mostly vanilla network questions which need to be answered so how does this sit within this post?
I have ran a CC3 for 7 years now and not needed any SLAs for 6 from either RM or LA and have utilised AD and GPO of windows system when needed.
Initial costs are a little bit more than vanilla but long term these costs are recuperated from being able to do things quicker without having to script this and that so that you can get on with managing the network and giving the help to teaching staff more so.
Knowledge is a wonderful thing and lasts forever but Time is in short supply.
Little-Miss if you have the time then go vanilla if not then CC4 it's a choice only you can make.
good luck in making it
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