Network and Classroom Management Thread, Need to move from RM CC3 - what should I move to? in Technical; Having done this very thing over the summer holiday I would say this: it all depends on how much time ...
Having done this very thing over the summer holiday I would say this: it all depends on how much time you've got in your school to dedicate to troubleshooting network issues.
We work with a company called Softegg who provide technical support, and they setup the servers to allow for a Vanilla network, but I had to do the workstation/user side of things, and it took the entire summer holiday to sort out (creating images that worked, setting up WDS, setting up KMS, transferring old users, creating new users, creating a working mandatory profile, adjusting GPOs to work with Windows 7, setting up Printers etc) and I'm still ironing out the kinks in the system.
You can definately emulate, or indeed improve upon, an RM system and spend less money doing so. For instance, App Deploy does exactly the same as the RM method of creating applications to roll out across the network. However, the time it takes to setup the network, and the knowledge you might need to gain, has to be a large consideration imo.
Few things I have already done. I have test domain environment, have working so far
users with right GPO for their tyep - Students and Staff - still polishing a bit
and now will focus on SCCM for workstation deployment, still got FOG servers (which is brilliant) that I can use to re image workstation.
My biggest problem now is to move all the users to new environment, will try to do it with some test users.
Regarding moving from CC3 to CC4. At the moment we are paying almost £4,500 for so called secondary support - in last financial year we made 3 calls, which only one was resolved by RM, two remaining ones I managed to fix my self. This makes it very expansive call . Of course we had RM with quotes, but paying for another batch of licenses and installation almost 26 grand makes me uneasy. In last few month working on test domain I learned so much, that I feel more confident with AD than ever before.
Still I have contacts with companies, who can help me when I'm stuck - rather than paying for support contract, I can pay them per call.
I already talked to guy from school near me and he can help us with move as a private consultant during the summer, for very attractive fee. So for me no for RM.
In response to primary school, if you don't have technician on site all days, I would stick with some kind of management services, maybe contact CSE, their quote was cheaper than RM and their solution is closer to Vanilla - for example you can use WSUS, rather than wait for RM to test new updates
In response to primary school, if you don't have technician on site all days, I would stick with some kind of management services
I currently look after 4 primary schools (used to have 13) and vanilla is much easier to look after than any bolt on service. A properly set up vanilla server is easy to manage and just works. Once you start adding in other layers that try to do essentially the same as windows can already do, you run into issues.
for example you can use WSUS, rather than wait for RM to test new updates
Feel obliged to point out here that RM are doing you a huge service there Updates *do* go wrong. If you just WSUS it, you only have yourself (well, other than MS) to blame. With the RM system (which is still WSUS, just proxied via RM first for their approval/release) you can shout at them if something goes a little bit pear shaped
If you are looking at using SCCM, then I would strongly suggest integrating WSUS into SCCM - that way you can test your updates first on a few test PCs, then its really easy to retarget the same update list & deployment package to a different collection
I have 3 "main" update lists - Applications, Windows Client OS & Windows Server OS - all of which I update half termly, then each week I create "weekly" lists (date & timestamped) of the same groupings.. This makes it easier to find and pull any updates that start causing problems
Pretty much everything I do is via SCCM now - Software Distribution, OS Deployments, Software Updates, etc..