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Network and Classroom Management Thread, How common are multiple network domains on a school network these days? in Technical; We are have a problem with a software solution which does not support multiple network domains, in our case academic ...
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    How common are multiple network domains on a school network these days?

    We are have a problem with a software solution which does not support multiple network domains, in our case academic and admin.

    According to the vendor this multiple domain configuration is not common in schools these days and this is the reason for their solution only supporting a single domain.

    Do you run multiple domains on your network and do you consider the vendors perception of school network topology to be correct?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    EduTech's Avatar
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    It might be best to add a poll to this thread,

    I am seeing many schools now move away from the multiple network domains to be honest, It used to be very common but now people are generally (from what i have seen) just having one network for school and implementing VLAN's etc.

    James.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    In my last school we ran a multiple domain, infact in all the schools I have worked in (even if helping out with wireless or something) they have all been multiple domains. One for the staff, one for the students.

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    Flakes's Avatar
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    hmm opposite experience here, all schools i know of use a single domain.

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    Disease's Avatar
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    We use a 2 domain system here, Curriculum and Admin. It works well, I may consider joining them next year when we go to Win 7.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    All schools i have been at have been in one domain. Just built a new domain for a network and thats all 1

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    We have 2, however it's a bit special.

    We share a 6th form with another school. There's an extra domain which has a one way trust with both school's domains, it host a shared drive that's available to teachers in both schools.

    We'd binned the separate admin domain long before I started here, over 4 years ago. My last school merged their networks 5 years ago.

    It's a throw back from when you had no dedicated IT staff, you'd have a curriculum domain operated by the head of IT and and an admin network ran by the business manager.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Still fairly common, but mainly in primary schools. Many are slowly moving away from 2 domains to make life easier for getting classroom teachers and support staff access to the MIS. It started with some schools using a second NIC to bind a Curriculum IP onto the Admin DC, but now it tends to be integrated into a single domain when the school does an upgrade on the admin server.

    One of the other reasons why some schools are still keeping them separate is that they are supported by different companies (for a variety of values of 'support').

    There is an argument that certain security standards say that the MIS and other systems containing data of a certain level should be kept not only logically, but physically separate (an EG search for ISO27001 will show previous discussions) and my main concern when schools go over to a single domain is they need to address a raft of security issues.

    As for software across multiple domains ... yes, it can be a pig and so a number of companies don't do it anymore. As with all things, the more complex, the greater the risk of it not working the way it should (or working at all!)

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    AWicher's Avatar
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    One domain to rule them all, one domain to find them,
    One domain to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.



    Yeeeeee,
    Its been a long day already!!!!

  10. 2 Thanks to AWicher:

    bossman (15th August 2011), tmcd35 (5th July 2012)

  11. #10

    john's Avatar
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    One domain at my place and has been for a long period of time, its to costly on hardware to have two, as well as twice as many things to manage and the hassles of stuff being on one domain and not the other.

    I can understand the reasoning at times though, my first school had one domain but had it segregated for some areas so the AD servers had 2 NICs one for Admin and one for Curriculum, they then had a few servers on the Admin side with its own DNS and DHCP, and the rest on Curriculum, lots of servers sat on both LANs such as Exchange, File, ISA etc but it allowed that bit more segregation, they also had physically separate switching and fibre links for the two so you had some cabinets with two switches one for Admin and one for Academic.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    In Kent primaries, it's very common to have 2. EIS (KCC's IT) will not install SIMS on the school's network it has to be run on an admin network... and it's a PITA.

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    EIS were very helpful when i migrated my SIMS database off of my admin domain (RIP) and onto our general school domain....

  14. #13


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    2 Domain schools are common enough that we Smoothwall folks added support for multi-domain auth for just that situation.. @Zoom7000 was the inspiration behind this feature

  15. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    Zoom7000 (5th July 2012)

  16. #14

    localzuk's Avatar
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    As far as I'm aware, all Somerset schools are single domain now - as this is the advice from the LEA (or was way back many moons ago, before I even started here).

    I think 2 domain systems are slowly but surely disappearing.

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    Single domain here. One of the first things I did when starting was merge the two together into a single AD domain. The admin network was more or less on the same physical infrastructure so it didn't make sense anymore.

    It was a throwback from the days when the admin network was managed by the LEA, way before the school had general IT for students, or at least only an Acorn network (I still find Econet ports around the place :P)

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