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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Moving from RM CC4 to Windows Network in Technical; Hi I'm after a bit of advice from anyone that may have gone through the same transition. I am network ...
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    Moving from RM CC4 to Windows Network

    Hi

    I'm after a bit of advice from anyone that may have gone through the same transition. I am network manager at a secondary school that is currently running RM CC4 network. There is a team of 3 technicians and we have been asked to look into moving the network over from CC4 to a windows network.

    I am about to start drawing up a plan but wanted to know if anyone has gone through a similar transition? Any advice you have? What you learnt? How long it took? How smoothly it went etc. We have about 500 PC's and 80 laptops that we would be connecting up.

    Also if you are using a windows network any tools / applications you believe are invaluable and found really useful. (Comparitive to the RMMC, RM Tutor etc).

    We are going to set up a test environment in the school with a laptop trolley. Could this be achieved by setting up a seperate OU on the server and having the laptops running to that?

    Thanks for any information.

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    I would move cc3 to vanilla but cc4 must have cost the school a bomb in recent years? hasnt it improved?

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    Quote Originally Posted by irsprint84 View Post
    I would move cc3 to vanilla but cc4 must have cost the school a bomb in recent years? hasnt it improved?
    Not really no. Still endless problems and having to find workarounds that we wouldnt have to on a windows network. We upgraded a couple of years ago and the licences are due for renewal which will be another cost in about a year. Also we want to break the cycle of needing to upgrade when it changes to CC5 in 3 years or however many it is.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    I have seen many a network go from CC* to Vanilla - they haven't regretted it for a minute - computers & servers and the network in general works alot faster. You have to support yourself so if anything goes wrong your to blame and not RM but it also beats waiting for a week for RM to help with the most minor of problems. You can get management programs out there that can manage a network just as well and if not better than RM's products do and you also dont have to mess around with what program will work on RM and which won't. I know one school have now moved over completely - the don't use anything like RMMC just AD Management Tools really and they use FOG for imaging and GP for rolling out apps.

    Best thing to do for a test environment (Depending on licensing of course) setup a Windows 2003 Server in VMWare set it up as a DC. Then build a PC from fresh on XP without any of RM's guff and then build it onto the network and start managing it. Set the server and workstation up how you want with user accounts, GPO's, OU's etc etc and once you are happy - image that PC and roll it out onto a few other PC's on your network and get used to managing it and once you are confident that you can definitely go vanilla build the VMWare server on a physical server and setup your PC's - slowly move all of your machines across to the Vanilla Server. There are a few tools which you can use on the network one I like is Hyena (SystemTools Software - Windows System Management Software) and iTalc is great for Teacher / Admin machines for watching Student machines - in some ways its like RM Tutor.

    You could look through the Edugeek forum to get a list of management tools and see what you think - it's all on your personal preference.

    Hope all works out well for you.

    PS - It's cheaper for licensing also if you can get on MS School agreements

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    tj2419 (15th May 2011)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    2003 and XP? - If you have the liscencing I would look to go to 2008 R2 and Windows 7. Things have got better.

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    We're in the testing stages of moving from CC3 to Windows 2008R2 and Windows 7 throughout. The prospects are fantastic - performance even on virtual machines is way ahead of the real things -and the real machines are not particularly slow either.
    We intend to use (and are currently playing with) Microsoft SCCM for the management side of things along with other standard services like WDS and WSUS - everything is in one place and makes life quite easy from what we can see.There's other software out there (in fact I recall a recent Angry Technician blog citing something that utilises WSUS to send out programs too) so the more information you get together the better. We were looking at a move to CC4 entirely because of only having 2 full time technicians (NM and myself) to manage it. However we've already seen the proof that it's perfectly doable without. We're on a 500 station network.

    On top of which, the new EES licensing method makes the cost of upgrade very palatable indeed!

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    I was using 2003 and Xp as an example - 2008 R2 and 7 are by far the best option if licensing permits of course

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    WE moved from RM CC3 to Vanilla around 6 years ago. No regrets.
    We are on XP pro and Office 2003 with 500 machines. Having just bought into EES volume licensing for around 3,500 a year we can now update all machines to Windows 7 and Office 2010, possibly Forefront antivirus.
    I'm going to add System Center Configuration manager on (I think) as the CALs are included just need to get server licence (guessing 200).
    This is (EES) another major upgrade since leaving RM... don't know where to start at the moment , but should be fun in a geek way!

    My advise is that if you have decided to move from RM then go Slowly, run another domain in parallel . Do room by room testing as you go, just don't switch RM off until your confident.
    I have built my own management tools (visual basic) for PC/User monitoring. VNC is good for remote help. Use wake on Lan, pstools to shutdown and get inventories. Logon scripts to allocate printers and record whose logged on where.
    AB tutor a paid for software is good for teachers to view student pc's. like RM tutor.
    Active directory policies can control student desktops e.g they cant see the C: drive and Run command removed. AD can also allocate software (msi's) and printers.
    Cheers
    Steve
    Last edited by sfawcett2; 15th May 2011 at 09:36 PM.

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    Wow! seems like an RM bashing in full swing hehe!

    I must have been mad for even contemplating CC4!

    Migrated to windows 7 platform over 9 straight days from CC3 to brand new servers which we spec'd and built using an Hitachi SMS user storage backend attached to 4 servers using iscsi then using 3 other servers we built and attached to a Sun 7110 for VM storage.

    We now have 16 servers over 3 Xenserver hosts with HA and a fully functional CC4 network which is very fast and very very stable so I wonder what has happened to all your CC4 networks for them to work so badly?

    We have deployed various large (3Gb+) packages without a problem using WDS and updating all the workstations using WSUS very effectively, PXE building workstations very quickly which gives us a good turn around of builds if required (not needed yet as windows 7 very stable) injection of drivers into build so easy just like in CC3.

    RMtutor 5 is being used by all the teachers to which they all sing its praises (The kids hate it because the teachers now have full control over them) I will be building a new Windows 2008R2 network (Virtually of course) which will allow us to test and take exams to further our learning of the other side of the coin but as we have a fully functioning network which suits our needs we will not be changing unless RM go out of business.

    It did not cost an arm or a leg as we specified and purchased the servers we wanted so only had to upgrade the RM licenses which was a pittance for the tools that went with it.

    We have run with an RM network for the past 9 years and our school has benefit tremendously and allowed our teaching and learning to progress successfully from a 29% pass rate to 97% 5 a* to Cs last year and this is due to the teachers having a network they can rely upon 24/7/365.

    I know schools which have moved to Vanilla systems who have regretted moving but would cost a fortune now to go back as the licenses they had would be invalid, just across the road from us is a school which has had 4 networks in the 9 years we have had one RM CC3 which has been very good value for money.

    Good luck to those moving and I wish you well and I wish you every success but for now I will be staying with RM.

  13. 5 Thanks to bossman:

    irsprint84 (16th May 2011), sparkeh (16th May 2011), Sylv3r (16th May 2011), tj2419 (15th May 2011), webman (16th May 2011)

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    Thanks for all the helpful responses. Lots to be thinking about and i'm sure i'll be back with more questions Once again thanks.

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    no probs we are all here to help

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    Wow! seems like an RM bashing in full swing hehe!

    I must have been mad for even contemplating CC4!

    Migrated to windows 7 platform over 9 straight days from CC3 to brand new servers which we spec'd and built using an Hitachi SMS user storage backend attached to 4 servers using iscsi then using 3 other servers we built and attached to a Sun 7110 for VM storage.

    We now have 16 servers over 3 Xenserver hosts with HA and a fully functional CC4 network which is very fast and very very stable so I wonder what has happened to all your CC4 networks for them to work so badly?

    We have deployed various large (3Gb+) packages without a problem using WDS and updating all the workstations using WSUS very effectively, PXE building workstations very quickly which gives us a good turn around of builds if required (not needed yet as windows 7 very stable) injection of drivers into build so easy just like in CC3.

    RMtutor 5 is being used by all the teachers to which they all sing its praises (The kids hate it because the teachers now have full control over them) I will be building a new Windows 2008R2 network (Virtually of course) which will allow us to test and take exams to further our learning of the other side of the coin but as we have a fully functioning network which suits our needs we will not be changing unless RM go out of business.

    It did not cost an arm or a leg as we specified and purchased the servers we wanted so only had to upgrade the RM licenses which was a pittance for the tools that went with it.

    We have run with an RM network for the past 9 years and our school has benefit tremendously and allowed our teaching and learning to progress successfully from a 29% pass rate to 97% 5 a* to Cs last year and this is due to the teachers having a network they can rely upon 24/7/365.

    I know schools which have moved to Vanilla systems who have regretted moving but would cost a fortune now to go back as the licenses they had would be invalid, just across the road from us is a school which has had 4 networks in the 9 years we have had one RM CC3 which has been very good value for money.

    Good luck to those moving and I wish you well and I wish you every success but for now I will be staying with RM.
    RM was fine when I used it but only thing I m going to say about people 'who regret it moving Vanilla' must have not got the skills. RM is easy as well as Vanilla if you plan it correctly. The advantages of Vanilla for me is licensing cost, choice and vaster help from all over, management is about the same.

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    Would recommend Impero as replacement for RM tutor.
    Dovestones AD bulk user helpful for creating/altering user accounts.

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    and wise password changer - brilliant tools couldnt live without that !! WiseSoft - Resources for IT Professionals

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    Wow! seems like an RM bashing in full swing hehe!
    So what's new

    I see lots of threads like this and sadly people are too quick to trot out the "We/some I know had a CCx network ruled by the evil overlord RMator* who whipped the pupils everyday until they were saved by Prince Vanilla and now the sun shines every day, except the days it rains lollipops and the teachers now ride unicorns to work so go for it!!!!111!!11" kind of lines.

    Nobody can say that as we don't know the establishment setup or what is best for the school. Only someone who has sat down and gone through the pros and cons *for that establishment* can make that judgement. I have recently gone through 3 major network upgrades, at 2 we decided for CC4 and the other we decided on Vanilla. Why? Because each decision was made in the best interest of that school. Simple.

    *Edit: I copyright this name for a series of future children's books.

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