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Network and Classroom Management Thread, To RM or not to RM, that is the question... in Technical; Had a guy in today from Link2ICT on a consultancy basis. During our conversation one thing he mentioned is to ...
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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    To RM or not to RM, that is the question...

    Had a guy in today from Link2ICT on a consultancy basis. During our conversation one thing he mentioned is to become an RM school and praised CC4 quite highly.

    Now my previous school was a CC3 school and i quite liked it, we never had any major problems, but as i was the dogsbody there i never got any indepth experience of it, so i may have missed something terrible!

    Now reading a few posts on here, a lot of you CC3 schools have moved to Vanillia.

    So can i have some civil suggestions to why i should or shouldn't have an RM network. (we are a primary school)

    Last edited by Little-Miss; 9th June 2009 at 08:01 PM.

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    speckytecky (15th August 2009)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Someone from Link2ICT recommended an RM CC4 network? That really surprises me. Usually they offer school services themselves to create/migrate networks. Essentially what I do.

    RM CC3 is ok, but I do prefer a vanilla setup I must admit. I can be far more creative and customise fully to the schools needs. As for RM CC4, if you search this forum the general consensus is it's not recommended.

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    Little-Miss (9th June 2009)

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    PEO
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    personally.. not my cup of tea imo - have RM sorted out the management system for cc4? I heard they had issues with it and they were still selling it..

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    Little-Miss (9th June 2009)

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    RM V Vanilla

    Hi there !

    My personal View Is go vanilla. I have extensively used both and I must say that although CC3 is quite good I would always go vanilla if given the choice.

    The main reasons for this is that although everything is tightly integrated in CC3 such as the management console and workstation builds I feel that this approach is quite restrictive and can cause issues with deployment of software & security features, to name just two. I know people out there champion RM and for the most part they are right too but I much prefer to do things "my way" not how RM see fit.

    At the end of the day if you don't have all that many users and aren't into active directory management then CC3 /4 are are good option. Its a personal choice but I feel restricted using cc3 If it were upto me I would opt for 2003 / 2008 server for active directory, shares and printing. Osx server (prob not in a primary but its excellent for media, email and podcast duties) and xp / osx desktops. Use AVG antivirus or similar and ranger for networks for security.

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    Grommit (25th June 2009), Little-Miss (9th June 2009)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I like it, but that's mainly as it makes my job easy. If you have the expertise of a vanilla network and you're willing to spend the time keeping it running sharp, you'll benefit from greater performance and freedom. If, however time is of the essence CC4 may well be worth a shot - but only if you're waiting a bit. RM have been rolling out the SR1 release this month and as from a few days ago it's been sent out to existing users. I'd give it a couple of months to gauge how those installations go. I'm one of the rare folks on here that actually *likes* CC4. It makes life very easy, it's far more intuitive than CC3 and gives you more easily accessible options than a vanilla network, unless of course you can put the work into it. It does have it's problems currently, many of which SR1 is supposed to fix.

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    Little-Miss (9th June 2009)

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    PEO
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    pm sent

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    Little-Miss (9th June 2009)

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    t4ll1f3r's Avatar
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    CC4 nearly killed me and my network. It wasn't ready when they launched it. And it's still not ready with all the patches we have applied.
    Microsoft saved our network by managing to limp along whilst CC4 conspired to bring it to it's knees. We were promised SR1 back in November it's now going in in August. I would not recommend it in it's current state to anyone.

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    A lack of serious issues is definitely not limited to RM networks. A reasonably configured vanilla network can be extremely stable, also much cheaper from an ongoing cost point of view.

    Admittedly there is a little bit of learning involved in managing a vanilla network but it is not overly difficult. From a support point of view going RM would give you a contracted support network but there again you could probably get that kind of support by having your vanilla servers maintained by an external company on a support contract for less than the full RM deal.

    Going RM may also affect the usable life of your hardware as all of the additional managment stuff that it includes needs RAM space and CPU power which will mean older machines will become too slow quicker than on a vanilla system and new machines whould be speced with a little extra just to deal with the extra overhead (most systems are already speced this way for futureproffing but it rules out budget systems) especially with CC4 (so I hear).

    Either way is a valid solution but you must assess whether the avalible benifits of a managed system are worth the cost and also make sure that the school is willing and able to spend the money that may be required to make the new system actually work comfortably on the client systems as well.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Ah yes, sorry I did forget to add (forgetting what I want to type in a post before I'm half way done - I'm getting old!)
    CC4 *needs* a bare min of 512mb on workstations. I'd recommend a gig, and thats even when powered by a decent processor (non Celeron/Sempron type). It's hungry, so very, very hungry.

    Saying that, had a nice one today. CC4 network that people were complaining was a little slow. Found the server's HDD's at 35% fragmentation and most workstations with 45% fragmented drives! The difference after a defrag was just astonishing!

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    CC4 SR1 is the current state for new systems, but as noted above it's early days and regardless of what that consultant said the verdict isn't in yet - perhaps by the end of this term.

    CC3 I can live with, but bugs aside I personally don't like CC4 because it seems bloated (all that code eating all that memory on stations is necessary to provide what?), a lot more proprietory (location is a DB field not an AD OU and so on) and one way or another has taken much more effort to administer (fun things like having to run that Package Update Utility).

    Meanwhile what makes this thread impossible: We know what CC4 is, but haven't got a clue what "vanilla" means. My vanilla is quite different from anyone else's. Some vanillas might be good, but some are complete disasters. We can't say whether CC4 will be the best choice unless we know about the alternative(s).

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    Michael's Avatar
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    We know what CC4 is, but haven't got a clue what "vanilla" means. My vanilla is quite different from anyone else's.
    The general definition is a native Active Directory domain configuration to manage users and computers, along with fully configurable Group Policy Objects. You can do this with Windows 2000/2003/2008 Server and is straight forward. How you set/configure this is really upto you. And I think you've hit the nail on the head. My vanilla setup will be different to yours and demonstrates your true skills as a computer professional to create and customise your network to the max
    You may also wish to purchase applications which add functionality and a good example of this is Print Manager Plus. It pulls usernames down from Active Directory and allows you to specify printer restrictions or credit limits.

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    speckytecky (15th August 2009)

  22. #12

    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Eugh, i think my head is going to explode!

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    demonstrates your true skills as a computer professional to create and customise your network to the max
    Importantly: Without producing a pile of junk because you didn't have all the skills necessary for that process.

    There is a lot of credible work/detail in CCx and speaking as a bit of a rocket scientist, I am 100% certain it would take someone months of wall-to-wall work to reinvent and debug the useful bits **from scratch** on a vanilla. And you'd still need to add 3rd party print management, tutors, better s/w deployment if required.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I think the general thoughts are, if you are paying someone to maintain the network, a "vanilla" install will be your best bet. Otherwise, an RM system would probably be wise as long as you have the infrastructure, as you'll have the wealth of knowledge and support they can provide under their contract terms.

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    They need all that support because the product is so poor.
    Everytime you try to do anything that involves RMMC you are in for trouble.
    DON'T DO IT!!!

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