I guess you don't want vanilla then :)
I guess you don't want vanilla then :)
managed solutions are just add-ons to vanilla to make it easier to use - have only experienced rm which was ok but very expensive, heard bad reports about cse, ranger was bought out by rm so doubt if it is any better/cheaper
Ok, my suggestion? Speak to Insight UK - they do whole system installs such as that which I am talking about, but don't do full managed software. Doing this, as jsnetman says, will save you tens of thousands of pounds.
Other companies that do similar are Phoenix Software, and Computacenter. All of these companies are a part of the Catalist framework (specifically as a part of the 'Commoditised IT Hardware and Software - Specialist Channel Partners for Software' part.
I fear you are not going to get a cheap fully managed package from anywhere, as firstly the transition from CC3 to anything else will cost a fair amount as it will take many manhours of work, then there is the installation of the new system and configuration, and finally training on it. That is simply a very costly process, hence CC4 costing so much.
The reason most people say go for a Vanilla system is because that's what most of us have done over the last few years.
In terms of a fully managed Educational frontend, then RM is pretty much your only option but I wouldn't wish the cost and restrictions on anyone.
But any network manager should be able to build a new network in a few weeks. Its not as big a job as you would think.
What about peoples experiences with Burconix?
We had a smilar desicion scenarion not long ago and decided to pay the premium and get CC4. The big cost of upgradign to CC4 are the licenses, but you also get for what you paid, peace of mind on my case and the fact that I dont' need to worry about for example in digging the GPOs of the DC to setup the members of a department who want to have the IE history kept for 10 days and not for 2, for example, with Type Manager is deadly easy.
You can't dismiss that, by choosing a vanilla installation, you are putting all the burden on your shoulders of configuring the network, create software restriction policies and ensure the security of the workstations is sealed (only admin should be able to run exe, disable temp folder and such). All these can be achieved usign vanilla mode, but is much harder and surely more time consuming. RM in the long term pay off, specially is you are thinking on leaving your post in the future, or retaring: how are you guys documenting the vanilla network you have been supported by years?
RM is a very good product in the right situation i.e the school does not have a NM or staff with sufficient experience to trouble shoot network problems. If a school does have an experienced NM/Senior Tech they are throwing money away with RM. If you are a school with a high priced and experienced NM and have RM what exactly is the NM doing, the NM is certainly not using there skills to the highest of their ability as RM are doing it all for them.
How about Ranger? Ok, it's still RM to a point but only by name. Pretty much just GUI over a vanilla system however it's easy enough for the average joe to manage without the expense of CC systems. You'll be free therefore to expand on your own terms things like AV protection, server specs and what not and not lose out on functionality of things like Tutor, package management, user and station GPO management etc.
It has taken our school from being one of the worst in the country at 19% A - Cs up to being one of the top 4% and this has been proven to be the network reliability and durability which has then given the students and staff the ability to communicate at all levels.
Mix in some Linux and hey presto the perfect setup almost as we are moving to CC4 this summer (have been commissioning it ourselves) Phase 3 is underway of the proof of concept and we are really looking forward to it.
It also wasn't that costly to move forward to CC4 as an early adopter so we have scored there as well so don't comment on things you really know very little about unless you have the proper facts to back it up.
I know certain schools who have gone Vanilla and had 4 networks in the past 8 years which must have cost them a fortune as 2 were outsourced to different companies one of which went bust.
RM I believe have had a very good input into school networks not with their hardware but the management software, agreed like CC3, CC4 has had teething problems just like Microsoft have had with releases of their software but all in all they have worked hard to progress issues and deal with them.
@jsnetman: this is not in anyway shape or form written to antagonise but to remind people that there is always something for everyone and it may not be to everyones taste but you pays your money and you takes your chance as in everything in life. :)