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*nix Thread, Managing costs and moving to *nix in Technical; I meant the initial deployment / crossover dhicks :-) And you could script a product key change based on the ...
  1. #46
    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    I meant the initial deployment / crossover dhicks :-)

    And you could script a product key change based on the mac address of the machine... thus, if you had in your inventory the OEM license & mac adds you could pair it that way... it's alot of effort though, i am glad i'm not yet in that position.

    I think he wants some unix loving & if he succesfully does this... it'd a fantastic medal of honor & save his school some cash, should document as he goes if he does it :P
    Last edited by dwhyte85; 9th June 2010 at 02:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danrhodes View Post
    What will happen to all the ICT Teachers, I must not be up on this development yet, has my head been in the sand?
    Our ICT specialist is moving into a different subject area.

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    For the thin client part you might also want to look at Ulteo who provide thin client/ web OS with MS program integration

    An other option would be to ditch the Citrix/ thin client side altogether and use virtual box or similar to run a virutal machine on those desktops that need access to sims. You'd need machine with enough ram and also you'd have to update those vms manually though

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwhyte85 View Post
    I meant the initial deployment / crossover dhicks :-)
    Oh yes, of course. Hey, I'm always available if the price is right :-) Seriously, though... how much of our problem is simply never having enough time to get stuff sorted quickly enough so people can come back and use the network in a reasonable time? Would some sort of summer-time expertise / labour swap / merry-go-round be a good idea?

    And you could script a product key change based on the mac address of the machine... thus, if you had in your inventory the OEM license & mac adds you could pair it that way...
    Tried that, too - image the machine disjoined from the network and with registry settings so it auto-boots to local admin account, use newsid to join it to the network when it first boots up, write some registry settings so it no longer auto-boots. Bit of a palavar, again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danbuntu View Post
    An other option would be to ditch the Citrix/ thin client side altogether and use virtual box or similar to run a virutal machine on those desktops that need access to sims.
    Just from experience, I'd say the easiest, simplest and most secure way to run SIMS is over Terminal Services. That's whether you're doing so from a Linux workstation or just because you fancy it being easier to manage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Our ICT specialist is moving into a different subject area.
    We have that sort of with our year 7s and soon to be year 8s, an integrated curriculum - no actual ICT lessons but a mixmatch, you do your ICT in Science lesson when documenting in Excel - type thingy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danbuntu View Post
    An other option would be to ditch the Citrix/ thin client side altogether and use virtual box or similar to run a virutal machine on those desktops that need access to sims. You'd need machine with enough ram and also you'd have to update those vms manually though
    You don't have this option on non-VMX processors, at least in my small-scale experiments. Chances are this is most of the machines in a school, especially if they are more than a year or so old.

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    Is there not a half - way solution to this? We buy all of our MS through the LEA, which is a one off cost. We dont run the latest versions of everything (currently still office 2003 for example, although moving to 2007 soon) but there are no annual costs. If you just purchase the OS licences this year (we pay about £35 ish a copy, and £80 for the servers), then remove MS office and install open office. Total cost will be around £12k this year, and then zero in any subsequent years. If you factor in the time of re-building the whole network from scratch, and re-training all staff then this might be worth it?

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwhyte85 View Post
    We have that sort of with our year 7s and soon to be year 8s, an integrated curriculum - no actual ICT lessons but a mixmatch, you do your ICT in Science lesson when documenting in Excel - type thingy.
    That's how it was 20 years ago when I was in year 7 (I feel old now!) although there wasn't an IT GCSE at the end of it for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    Is there not a half - way solution to this? We buy all of our MS through the LEA, which is a one off cost. We dont run the latest versions of everything (currently still office 2003 for example, although moving to 2007 soon) but there are no annual costs. If you just purchase the OS licences this year (we pay about £35 ish a copy, and £80 for the servers), then remove MS office and install open office. Total cost will be around £12k this year, and then zero in any subsequent years. If you factor in the time of re-building the whole network from scratch, and re-training all staff then this might be worth it?

    Steve
    That's actually not a bad idea, especially if you don't intend to change OS/office version for years. May end up costing more long term if you do change but you won't be spending that money during the belt tightening years ahead. You can always switch back when it's sunny days again. I think this something you should seriously look at putting to the bursar.

    Another thing to consider is that if BSF does still take place, any managed company that comes is likely to throw away any Linux system you install and put in place a Windows system again, which is even more disruption for staff/students

    If you are deadset on it then for the server side you can do..

    Proxy - Smoothwall is also a yearly license as far as I know, so you'd still be paying for that But it is pretty easy to make a Linux proxy that does AD Auth using Dansguardian (which smoothwall is based on) for free, so you could look at that to replace your ISA server. This is how we do it here.
    Email - Zimbra instead of exchange.
    File sharing - can be done via Samba, we had all of our student/staff data on a Samba server a few years ago but dropped it because it was more of a pain than it was worth, but it wasn't to difficult to setup. YMMV
    Last edited by DrCheese; 10th June 2010 at 09:03 AM. Reason: not really needed

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    Moved thread as requested to *nix forum

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    LZ, I respect your opinion as your posts are always so considered, indeed you have helped me before now, however to be blatant, there is a reason MS is so successful:

    Swap your headteachers windows laptop for an ubuntu one for a fortnight.

    Problem solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superfletch View Post
    LZ, I respect your opinion as your posts are always so considered, indeed you have helped me before now, however to be blatant, there is a reason MS is so successful:

    Swap your headteachers windows laptop for an ubuntu one for a fortnight.

    Problem solved.
    We're starting smaller than that - we're swapping our ICT co-ordinator's laptop with an Ubuntu one for a fortnight.

    So far, I have found free alternatives to most programs she uses, and installed a XenApp client for SIMS.net etc...

    Also, I disagree as to the inferred reason that MS are so successful though...

  14. #59

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    This is a little old but should have lots of information on it especially as it is one of the strongholds of OOS zealotry Slashdot | Best FOSS Active Directory Alternative?

    Here are some more:
    Slashdot Technology Story | Windows Server Trusts Samba4 Active Directory - to replicate existing stuff off AD
    Linux.com :: Windows to Linux Migration Guide
    Slashdot | Samba Success in the Enterprise?
    Slashdot | Linux Desktop Deployment Postmortems? - desktop deployment
    Slashdot | Directory Service Implementation From Scratch?

    There are usually some suprisingly useful comments on the slashdot stories.

    There is also this http://theopensourceschool.blogspot.com/ from a school near here that has gone open source.

    This lot also went open source + apple but I would not use them for a model as everything that I have heard apart from their press releases has been negitive http://mhp.school.nz/
    Last edited by SYNACK; 11th June 2010 at 07:09 PM.

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    I know it's not the opinion your looking for but I'm going to be another voice for finding the money or cutting your license bill I'll explain my background and why.

    Background: I'm the senior of 2 IT techs at a 1,200 pupil grammar school. We run a network a little larger than yours 360 desktops and 140ish laptop 80 of which are set up to roam in and out of school as teacher laptops. We have flirted with the idea of going open source but have remained a hybrid site.

    2x Win2k3 R2 DCs
    Win2k3 R2 print and WSUS server
    Win2k3 R2 Sims server
    Linux firewall / proxy / filter
    Linux web server
    Linux file server
    Linux NAS backups.

    Laptop clients are windows XP, Desktops are winXP locally installed with an ubuntu network boot option.

    We buy our licenses outright when we buy machines. Many say this is more expensive in the longrun which would be true if you paid for updates for every version but we refresh IT suites around every 5-7 years and have stayed on XP clients with office 2003. Adobe CS we license every other of every 3 versions on average and buy a site licence. This saves us considerably on overall licensing costs with minimal impact on teaching & learning.

    We have had the dual boot option to ubuntu for 2 years now. It is set up so that users login with their domain credentials and get their home folder and printers mapped the same as they would with windows. Teachers were instructed by senior management to learn the system and have been given staff development goals to run lessons on the Ubuntu clients. The initial view when starting Linux implementation was to go entirely open source. However as the trial has gone on the impracticality of it has become more and more obvious. The linux system boots fast and is very reliable so quick internet lessons etc routinely use Ubuntu as the kids in many cases prefer it. However CLAIT examinations and prep have to be windows at this stage. The examination software is windows only and the marking software only properly supports office files created by MS office. MS access is a unique product I have found no real OSS equivalent so when it comes to database theory there is again a dual boot to windows required.

    Our move to Linux at the backend has been massively successful however. File servers performance has increased on the same hardware. Internal web server and internet access are incredibly reliable and all for the cost of the hardware and no continued licensing. Integration with our small room of apple imacs was also very straightforward with the open standards Linux backend.

    Now from reading the above you might think we're so close here we might as well change exam boards to release us from MS office and make the switch and embrace the massive savings of open source..

    The thing is however having run like this and compiled the spreadsheets etc it isn't that straight forward.

    Time is the enemy with the Linux side. After 3 years of backend and 2 years of client linux use I like to think I'm getting pretty good with Linux. I'm entirely self taught from forums like edugeek and of course google. It has swallowed time. We're a 2 man IT department and my time on the Linux side fault finding, writing scripts for EVERYTHING and the constant tweaking required with suposedly automated patches and security updates has meant a huge increase in workload on our other technician when I'm busy with the Linux system. The Linux system has also been down for extended periods ( a few days at a time). Long term I've learned from these and I could now avoid them but there is no help out there unless you are prepared to pay huge money which makes your MS licensing look like a pittance, no one will come in and make your linux network just work after a failure. You really will be on your own as an institution.
    In these situations we have been able to say "no linux system today please use windows boot option, Sorry". Without our windows system to fall back on we'd have seen massive disruption to teaching & learning and administration. To quote our head "Unacceptable dissruption" and for that reason alone we have not made the move to OSS entirely.

    To me this is the bottom line point for OSS. The money savings look great on paper. You get rid of the set costs of Licensing. You however get a whole new raft of variable costs. We replaced 60 network cards in 2 suites that were not Linux compatible to make our dual boot system available there. The school has paid me countless hours of overtime into evenings and weekends since we switched to sort out problems. If I were to leave this job now I would be in a brilliant position to get a new and better paying job elsewhere with the skills I have acquired and conversely the school would I imagine find it hard to impossible to hire someone capable of maintaining never mind adding to our system for the 20k a year they are paying me. We have used exceptional closure days for staff training and I'm sure hours of productive time have been lost in classes adjusting staff and pupils to a new way of working. I would argue however that as long as it doesn't interfere with assesment and results learning new skills outside of the MS space is a good for them. We've lost allot of time due to downtime as well which has a cost. Windows is generally well documented, well QA tested, and well supported by vendors of 3rd party apps and hardware. That has a financial benefit even if it is hard to put on a balance sheet.

    If I were you I would look into running an OSS solution especially for backend cost cutting. Longterm you can head that way in the classroom too but from my experience I would say a straight switch is professional suicide unless you have a much larger support and development team than I do here. If that were the case then as I mentioned above there are allot of licenses in the 20kish salary of a windows trained technician. I myself have been and will continue to work toward gettign a payrise because at this point I could be getting paid much better for less work elsewhere and the senior staff here are really starting to appreciate that having interviewed to add a 3rd technician recently. The position wasn't filled as no candidates demonstrated sufficient skills for the job. It will be re-advertised at a higher grade which is again a cost.

    Good luck with your project you certainly have interesting times ahead. Whatever you end up doing Edugeeks will be here to help like they were for me

  16. 3 Thanks to Teth:

    dave.81 (23rd June 2010), Geoff (16th June 2010), jinnantonnix (16th June 2010)



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