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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, CC3 --> Vanilla Windows (without wiping?) in Technical; Hi all, In the coming months I have the job of planning and executing a move from CC3 to vanilla ...
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    CC3 --> Vanilla Windows (without wiping?)

    Hi all,

    In the coming months I have the job of planning and executing a move from CC3 to vanilla windows (cost saving exercise )

    I have been over this a thousand times in my head but I am still not sure on the best way to proceed. As a bit of background we have quite a complex network and am reluctant to start from scratch (the main area's I am worried about - mainly due to lack of knowledge and understanding - are connecting drives back up to the SAN and a few other bits and pieces).

    As such I am now thinking about doing the following:

    • Removing all RM/CC3 components from our 3 RM servers (we have other non-RM servers)
    • Installing RIS to handle client builds
    • Installing/configuring WSUS to handle updates
    • Creating a new 'master' OU with inheritance disabled which will serve as the base for our new policies and GPOs. Sort out and test package allocation from here.
    • Sort system for allocating drives and printers


    What are peoples thoughts on my (very basic) plan above. As a side-note we have no performance issues at all so I am not too concerned about leaving a few old RM components around as long as they do not interfere with the running of the network.

    Thanks in advance for any advice and feedback,

    Michael

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    I got for FOG with client builds

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    CyBeRkId2002 (1st June 2011)

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    bart21's Avatar
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    +1 for fog

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    Wouldn't even try, you will probably encounter an array of problems. An ex-colleague tried to remove all the CC3 components from a laptop to make it a Vanilla client here, and it ran dog slow with various problems - so really wouldn't suggest doing that to live servers.

    Plan, plan, and then plan. Once you've planned it, plan some more and then take a holiday. When you come back, plan some more and then flatten the network and start from scratch. It really will be a whole world easier, and you'll have a stable network from it (not saying RM is not stable, saying that removing the RM stuff from the servers could make it unstable).

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    webman's Avatar
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    How are you going to save money moving away from an existing CC3 network, where all licenses are still valid? Your investment in CC licenses will have been wasted. Do you use RM support? If not, don't pay for it. Just think of all the third-party software (and your time!) needed to replicate everything you already have included with CC3.

    If you do insist on moving, I'd definitely recommend what Hightower says - don't bother uninstalling - more hassle than it's worth.

  9. 3 Thanks to webman:

    Chris_ (31st May 2011), CyBeRkId2002 (1st June 2011), Hightower (1st June 2011)

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    Michael, I am pursuing a similar CC3 exit path to the one you suggest. The majority of our desktops are now running vanilla XP with WSUS for updates and WDS for OS deployment. We are just about to start pushing out Win7 with MDT2010. We have setup new OUs at the root and applied GPOs with loopback enabled, allowing us to slowly transition away from C3.

    I'm still to finalise a plan for the servers but my current thinking is to add some 2008r2 DCs and transfer across FSMO, DHCP, DNS etc then demote the old RM DCs to member file servers, then remove/disable CC3 server components.

  11. 2 Thanks to meastaugh1:

    chris_uk (1st June 2011), CyBeRkId2002 (1st June 2011)

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    Hi all,

    thanks for the responses!

    @Hightower: thanks for the reply. Have been looking into the one area which worried me the most today (connecting drives to the SAN via iSCSI and doesn't seem as bad as expected). Will definately give flattening more consideration.

    @webman: The cost saving is in the support. Every now and again we come up against an issue related to the RM software which we cannot solve without logging a support call. What do we do then without a support contract? Also, certain windows updates can cause issues with the RM network and as such, rather than using WSUS they release update patches every month or so with 'approved' MS hotfixes. Without support you are not entitled to these and would require manually checking, downloading and allocating every month.

    @meastaugh1: How are you finding your network performance wise? Did you have any trouble running and configuring WDS and WSUS alongside CC3? I suppose my main concern is running into things which RM have locked down on the server but I imagine these are mainly within the Domain Controller GPO. Any other tips you can provide as you seem to be going through the exact process we are looking at.

    Thanks all for your time replying,
    Michael

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    Hi All,

    I am also in the process of removing CC3 from our network. I have made up new OU's with inheritance disabled and setup associated GPs for them. I then ested GPs on both RM and vanilla desktops. All seem ok. The next move for us is to reimage all the computers back to vanilla and then decomission and rebuild our servers one at a time. It would be good to keep contact between us so we can let each other know of any issues we may have run into! Please feel free to PM me for my email address.

    Good luck!

    Jamie

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    @CyBeRkId2002 on the whole it's fine. The only significant issue is that it can take a few more seconds than I'd like when a user logs on to a computer for the first time. This is because there seemed to be problems with logging on to a vanilla workstation with a CC3 profile, so until migration of the desktops is complete, I've set the vanilla desktops to use local profiles. No CC3 specific issues with WSUS or WDS that I can recall, as long as you've got them installed on separate (physical or virtual) servers. The only issue I've come up against, where the the RM DC GPO is the cause, is when I setup a vanilla terminal server and placed the server in the Servers - No Inheritance OU, as this still has the RM DC GPO linked to it. This caused a problem because this policy sets permissions on explorer.exe to only allow adminitrators access to this file (to prevent non-admins logging on to servers). This was fixed by changing the GPO and would only affect you if you're setting up a TS.

    Let me know if you've got any more specific questions and I'll try to help/advise.

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    To me, this honestly sounds like a headache. Someone having to use local profiles? What's that about!

    Seriously, you have two options. Stick with CC3 or go vanilla with a complete new install. There is no half way house of removing the RM stuff in my eyes - that is just begging for a call from Mr Argghhh Why The Frick Did I Do That?!

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    Same as Hightower, I can't see any benefit to running a 'dirty' system if you have the chance to restart. You will constantly be chasing bugs or phantoms caused by some remnant of CC3 & even if it is specifically that you won't be able to be sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    How are you going to save money moving away from an existing CC3 network, where all licenses are still valid? Your investment in CC licenses will have been wasted. Do you use RM support? If not, don't pay for it. Just think of all the third-party software (and your time!) needed to replicate everything you already have included with CC3.

    If you do insist on moving, I'd definitely recommend what Hightower says - don't bother uninstalling - more hassle than it's worth.
    Speaking from our experience, we're running CC3 at the moment and will be moving to a Windows 7/2008 R2 system next summer. We won't be going for CC4. Why? It'd cost us the better part of 70,000 to buy the licences and CALs for CC4 alone. We can get replacements for all of the CC3 functionality that we use for barely a third of that plus frankly the tools we're getting do a much better job than RM's. Yes, moving from CC3 will take a lot of time, effort and planning but considering that Microsoft practically give you tools like SCCM and that we're already using tools like Papercut for printer management, why exactly would we want to pay through the nose for CC4? Especially in these austere times?

    The other advantage is that we can set up our network in the way that we want it to be set up rather than in the proscribed CC3/4 method. Don't get me wrong, I think CC is a good product for those who need it but for us at least, it's a square peg trying to be forced into a round hole. As my colleague @Roberto says, that's not the fault of the hole or the peg but either way it isn't a good fit.

    I think blatting the entire network is a tad excessive. We're going to be keeping our domain in place but the domain controllers and workstations will be rebuilt or replaced and no trace of the CC3 software will remain on either. Member servers are already non-CC3.

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    Yes i agree with the idea of doing a clean install and migrating the users and resources over. It is a tall order if you have lots of complexity with the CC3 network but should be worthwhile when its working correctly. Having said this not everyone has the time to plan it out or sometime the resources to do this (i'm not going to mention the skillset because i feel that schols nowadays have really good NMs and Technicians that can manage vanilla networks as well as other such as RM , Ranger, CSE etc).

    There are tools out there that replaces some of the functionality the RM system provides. The hiding of shortcuts when not installed on the PCs, reset of profiles and permissions can be done quickly now with various tools or scripts so its not a problem. Norphy also mentioned SCCM (the CAL - this is the thing that costs) is included in the EES Enterprise pack so it reduces the costs even more because EES is licensed on the FTE count of staff rather than the number of station a school may have.

    A new domain might lok like a complex idea but with trust relationship setup iniatially to migrate the groups and users over it should be okay for most of the part. I believe RM have now also started offering support for vanilla networks as well so they know certain amount of schools will be leaving RM and not moving to CC4. This is fair enought because the support of RM is really good we found them to be very good when we had issues.




    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy View Post
    Speaking from our experience, we're running CC3 at the moment and will be moving to a Windows 7/2008 R2 system next summer. We won't be going for CC4. Why? It'd cost us the better part of 70,000 to buy the licences and CALs for CC4 alone. We can get replacements for all of the CC3 functionality that we use for barely a third of that plus frankly the tools we're getting do a much better job than RM's. Yes, moving from CC3 will take a lot of time, effort and planning but considering that Microsoft practically give you tools like SCCM and that we're already using tools like Papercut for printer management, why exactly would we want to pay through the nose for CC4? Especially in these austere times?

    The other advantage is that we can set up our network in the way that we want it to be set up rather than in the proscribed CC3/4 method. Don't get me wrong, I think CC is a good product for those who need it but for us at least, it's a square peg trying to be forced into a round hole. As my colleague @Roberto says, that's not the fault of the hole or the peg but either way it isn't a good fit.

    I think blatting the entire network is a tad excessive. We're going to be keeping our domain in place but the domain controllers and workstations will be rebuilt or replaced and no trace of the CC3 software will remain on either. Member servers are already non-CC3.

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    When you have both vanilla and CC4 up to the spec you want they can equally run as well as each other but with CC4 its crazy costs! I m sure RM are trying to price themselves out, 6-8 years ago a RM school wouldnt dream of moving away from RM now I think the cost is driving people away

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    It doesn't take much to turn a simple question (how to go vanilla without wiping) into an RM v Vanilla thread. If people want to contribute to those topics why not find a thread about that, and stop turning these threads into the same discussion (is it about once a week these discussions come up?!)

  21. Thanks to Hightower from:

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