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Network and Classroom Management Thread, From RM CC3 to who? in Technical; ...
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    From RM CC3 to who?

    Hi,

    We're looking at alternatives to RM CC3 as they have quoted us an obscene amount for an upgrade to 2 of our servers. We originally wanted to move to CC4, but when the cost equated to nearly £40k we accepted that we might have to wait another year. However, just to upgrade our servers to tide us over for another year will be £25k. So we're looking at moving to another managed provider.

    We have considered vanilla windows, but we don't really fancy the extra time required to manage the network. We're currently considering Burconix and CSE who are both coming in to give us a demo. Are there any others we should consider?

    Any feedback would be appreciated, especially from Leicestershire or East Midlands schools.

    Simon

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    maark's Avatar
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    A vanilla solution would be better - you can use Active directory to do a lot of things though you will need a few extras - e.g. scripts to control printers, print auditing software - pcounter or papercut are good and cheap. For a fraction of the price quoted you could get a company in to help you and provide support - we have used a2zcomputers from loughborough before but do nearly all in house now - benefit of standard microsoft setup is that you are not tied to one company.

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    We may be going Vanilla too in the not so near future (fingers crossed). When this gets confirmed I plan to work on a project that takes some of the hit out of the management, and develop something similar to the RMMC. Yes RM, this is the one thing you actually got right!

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    Just to reiterate, we have considered going Vanilla and decided it's not for us. Just wondering what other options there are?

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    CSE used to be with my school dont use their client software! urgh! but generally their server setups are good using Xen server etc.. but I ve found it easier being Vanilla and that was for months by myself because I can go to technet or many places for help instead of relying on one source

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shayes View Post
    Just to reiterate, we have considered going Vanilla and decided it's not for us. Just wondering what other options there are?
    Not to keep on about it, but could you say why doing things in a vanilla way is not for you? If you could, it might help people point you in the direction of a suitable product or products to give you the functionality you want, without needing an all encompassing package to do it all for you.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    A vanilla solution would be better
    Why?

    Anyway, I've been an end user on a CSE system and didn't find it a very nice experience at all.

    Another managed solution provider is Viglen.

    I've sent you a PM also.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Not to keep on about it, but could you say why doing things in a vanilla way is not for you? If you could, it might help people point you in the direction of a suitable product or products to give you the functionality you want, without needing an all encompassing package to do it all for you.
    See original post:
    but we don't really fancy the extra time required to manage the network.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    We are a vanilla house but with some Burconix middleware to take the stress out. It's a very nice balance, IMHO.

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    A lot of the headache of a vanilla system is setting it up, but done once or twice it's easy peasy. After that there is no real management overhead compared to a managed system. You could buy someone in to do the initial setup.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    but we don't really fancy the extra time required to manage the network.
    Yeah, that's not really a very detailed explanation. Where is this extra time lost? What tasks do you have to do extra with a vanilla system that you don't with CC3? Is it packaging? Machine imaging? User management? Just wanting to know, as many things can be managed just as easily with vanilla with a few added bits of software...

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    Slightly off the original topic ... Vanilla can be made much more manageable with the right selection of tools, one which came to light for me recently was by RES Software which gave a very nice method of desktop control, I was quite impressed with the demo which I saw.

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    To be frank, the reason why we don't want to go vanilla, is because we wouldn't know where to start. I appreciate that there may be various tools that can deliver apps, and printers and such-like, but we'd prefer to have a whole managed solution where everything can be found all in the same place. The other issue is that the change over would require both myself and my network manager working pretty much flat out for the entirety of the summer holidays, which I am neither paid to do nor prepared to do. If there's someone who can do most of the dirty work for us then we'd be much happier.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shayes View Post
    To be frank, the reason why we don't want to go vanilla, is because we wouldn't know where to start. I appreciate that there may be various tools that can deliver apps, and printers and such-like, but we'd prefer to have a whole managed solution where everything can be found all in the same place. The other issue is that the change over would require both myself and my network manager working pretty much flat out for the entirety of the summer holidays, which I am neither paid to do nor prepared to do. If there's someone who can do most of the dirty work for us then we'd be much happier.
    Changing from CC3 to anything will require a large amount of work - every machine will require reimaging, normally a full rebuild of servers etc. Its a full replacement of your network after all.

    If you're not sure of where to start, then surely getting a company in to do the initial leg work is all you need? Then once its in, they should be able to provide you with support and training? There are a lot more companies that can create you a vanilla network than there are who can provide you with an entirely managed software package.

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to be off the cuff here but my idea of why schools have RM and other management software is that they don't have a an experienced NM who can manage/install a network. Ok maybe you lack the experience or don't want to commit to the time to install the network, but you will save 10's of thousands with a vanilla system and like I say you can employ a freelance to come set it up, provide initial training and support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Changing from CC3 to anything will require a large amount of work - every machine will require reimaging, normally a full rebuild of servers etc. Its a full replacement of your network after all.

    If you're not sure of where to start, then surely getting a company in to do the initial leg work is all you need? Then once its in, they should be able to provide you with support and training? There are a lot more companies that can create you a vanilla network than there are who can provide you with an entirely managed software package.
    Which is why I'm asking for people who can provide these services. Jeez, this is hard work.

    Once again, we would prefer a managed solution to a vanilla setup.



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