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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Easy & Efficient Network Monitoring Solution in Technical; Good Morning All, I run a school network consisting of a Win 2K3 Server and 80 PC and Lappies. Mainly ...
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    EN4
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    Question Easy & Efficient Network Monitoring Solution

    Good Morning All,

    I run a school network consisting of a Win 2K3 Server and 80 PC and Lappies. Mainly XP, but do have a few 2K.

    I am really looking for an easy to use, straight forward and efficient Network Monitoring tool that will primarily enable me to control and run Windows Updates across the network, but also that will allow me to monitor PC/Network heath/ and installed applications etc

    Can anyone recommend a great tried and tested solution?

    Many thanks in advance.

    EN4

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    There are a few products in the Microsoft System Center range such as Essentials or Configuration Manager that will do this in a single unified product, but I wouldn't call either of them particularly efficient when it comes to the server resources they consume.

    WSUS is free and is the industry standard for managing Windows Updates (the above MS products both use it under the hood). Combine that with something like Lansweeper or Spiceworks (both of which have very capable free versions) and you may well hit all your functional requirements without having to spend a penny or dedicate a lot of server resource.

    I have previously used Lansweeper and WSUS together, and currently use System Center Essentials. Both solutions worked well; I was drawn to SCE by the integration aspect but am actually considering moving away from it again as it has some irritating glitches at times and is pretty resource hungry.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 18th March 2011 at 09:20 AM.

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    EN4
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    Thanks for the reply AT.

    I have looked at SCE, but found it resource hungry...

    tried WSUS a few years ago and never actually got to grips with it so gave up. Might have another look at it soon then.

    If GP is set to limit users installing software, will WSUS still install updates when the users are looked in, in the background?

    Many thanks

    EN4

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    WSUS is basically a cache/approval system for the normal Automatic Updates system built in to Windows, which is used as the delivery system. Updates can be configured to apply automatically on a schedule just like they can be when you are not using WSUS. The user does not need to have installation rights.

    I have it set up so that the machines wake up during the night and apply updates then when no-one is using them. If you want them to install during the day you can configure it that way but updates requiring a reboot will either reboot automatically or nag the user to reboot manually, depending on how you configure it. And yes, those are the only two options; you can't just have it wait silently until the user logs off and then reboot.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 18th March 2011 at 02:16 PM.

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    EN4
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    Thanks AT... I think I'll give the latest version of WSUS again soon

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    I think I have already mentioned this software somewhere, but I ll repeat it for you
    At my university we have rather strict rules about software that are installed on PCs, students always need to install something. That is why the system administrator maintains the inventory database with Network Inventory Software: Audit and Track Network Computer Inventory (Hardware & Software) for Windows This tool is installed on the remote pc only and tracks all changes that have been made on the network pc's: new software that has been installed, updates, patches, licences, and allows to generate differant reports.

    Moreover, this software has one more function, its a hardware inventory, I donno whether you need it or not, but perhaps my advice will be useful

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