Just looking for some ideas for an infant school. They currently run standalone systems with no server which is a tad messy.
RM is a no-no, so a couple of options.
Terminal server and semi-thin clients was the onsite fellas first idea - however this is something I'm not too over the moon with in a primary, especially when running some quite intensive gear. However it will be very easy to manage and keep secure, certainly helping with software "distribution".
Vanilla system with fat clients. Bearing in mind the lack of on site support and I'll be there on a 4 week basis, I've suggested something along the lines of Ranger. OK, so it's RM under a different name but a small GUI over a vanilla system means we've got light clients doing the hard work and minimal guff over the top, leaving it quite easy to manage for the onsite people.
Plain vanilla would be the cheapest option certainly but will be a bit of a nightmare to set up. Where would you start, security and GPO wise? And the same goes for package management and deployment, it would then require them to invest in something like Winstall and push it out via AD?
I've managed plenty of all these systems but have never been involved in speccing something up. We're all wary of a TS which might require one hell of a server which may be cost inhibitive. We can probably be up and running for £6k on a Ranger based system including hardware, software setup (obviously I wouldn't be doing the initial setup) and software licensing. Would that be a reasonably attainable figure for any other suggestions?
WDS is a given, it's certainly my preferred method of deployment across all sorts of networks
The network infrastructure is already in place. It's only a 2 form infants with a total of 26 desktops which will be on this system. The rest will access it only for shared resources as standalone clients (staff laptops, admin stations).
A vanilla system won't be a nightmare to set up, as suggested though it's just getting the right combination of GPO's in place for security. They do want a login per pupil which isn't a problem at all, I'm just wary about ease of management for staff who are ICT coordinator because they're "vaguely into IT" as a hobby.
I don't have a problem using remote tools to help out however having 13-14 schools to look after a week means I have little time other than my own to do such things - and the time I do often spend researching and investigating is just that - and also well out of the time when people are onsite to help. Plus it's probably not in the schools SLA
But my own concern is getting what the school want in place. I know they just need systems which are capable of running with a bit of grunt, they have a reasonable batch of 1GB+ P4/Pentium Dual Cores in place which work just fine. The "benchmark" software they are touting is the Sherston resource pack - a good 20GB of colourful stuff As long as they can run those, Office and connect to the internet, that's the bases covered. No laptops involved other than the staff ones, which wont be covered on this system.
So, a basic "server" will probably do the job just fine, as it'll be doing little more than serving files and running AD. It'll be using RDX based backups as a certainty.
Cheers for the input so far.
I recently done the same at an Infants, 6 classes. Backbone is 2 HP ML115 Servers (W2K3) + Netgear Wireless APs. Have 2 lapsafe trolleys with a total of 30 Dell Vostro 1510/20s and 10 staff laptops. and 10 older desktop PCs. Each child has their own login based on class name. Staff think it's great and seeing Y1/Y2 creating pod casts, videos etc is great.
Oh that's another thing - likely they'll be replacing PC's on an "as they go" basis. As a result will there be any issue mixing XP and Win7 systems? Will that incur difficulty with GPOs and software deployment?