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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, RM CC3 to Vanilla Advice in Technical; First off let me apologise for starting another thread on RM to Vanilla but I wouldn't ask unless it was ...
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    RM CC3 to Vanilla Advice

    First off let me apologise for starting another thread on RM to Vanilla but I wouldn't ask unless it was very important.
    Secondly, I am new to Edugeek so go easy on me!!! I am new to the RM network and and therefore a little lacking in knowledge when it comes to their systems.

    Basically I am looking to migrate from CC3 to a vanilla network this summer so this would include migrating servers and 170 workstations.
    At present I have two CC3 servers. These servers are running on VMware ESXi 4.1 and have been running well since I virtualised them last summer. One server is the standard DC, DNS and DHCP server whilst the other is a global catalogue and storage server. Our 170 networked PC's all have the CC3 client installed.

    My preferred plan is to create new virtual machines (running server 2008 R2) on a newly purchased server running VMware and migrate existing AD data and cofigurations across onto the new servers before decommissioning the old CC3 servers. For the new servers I would replicate the settings of our existing CC3 servers but without the CC3 sitting on top. I can do this in a test environment before summer and spend summer testing the network and re-imaging 170 RM workstations.
    The other option was to create new servers, new AD data, new group policies, new security rights, etc. Basically a new build from scratch before turning on in the summer and testing on the network.

    What I would like to know is if any of these two options are feasible or have I overlooked something? Do you guys have any help or advice which may prove useful? Maybe someone has been through this process before (many schools have now) and could help?

    Many thanks in advance.

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    Although I have no experience on CC3 or any RM stuff my personal view would be start fresh and from scratch if you know what you are doing and are prepared to spend time on it. Thing when migrating between systems is that there is always something that sticks in there and may haunt you later on.

  3. Thanks to MatthewL from:

    kernow_chap (15th February 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewL View Post
    Although I have no experience on CC3 or any RM stuff my personal view would be start fresh and from scratch if you know what you are doing and are prepared to spend time on it. Thing when migrating between systems is that there is always something that sticks in there and may haunt you later on.
    Thinks that is what I am worried about. I know my first option is the least time-consuming but I feel as though I may later regret not doing a clean build from scratch. Thing is, I am not sure how closely-knit the CC3 system is linked in with AD and other Windows services.

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    I agree with above - do it from scratch: RM's GPO's can be so specific that moving them directly to a non RM server can have undesired effects.
    We're doing the same this summer, from scratch: nearly 600 stations and 3 CC3 servers, going over to 2008R2 and Win7.

    Plus of course with GPO's going over - they wont play nicely with anything above XP.

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    kernow_chap (15th February 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    I agree with above - do it from scratch: RM's GPO's can be so specific that moving them directly to a non RM server can have undesired effects.
    We're doing the same this summer, from scratch: nearly 600 stations and 3 CC3 servers, going over to 2008R2 and Win7.

    Plus of course with GPO's going over - they wont play nicely with anything above XP.
    Excellent, thanks for the advice. I was not aware of the GPO issue and that definitely leaves me one option - create from scratch. It is going to be better that way anyhow as it is the only sure way that it will get rid of the RM toolset. Now to start planning...

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    One big hint which will save a LOT of time is to make good use of snapshots as you're using ESXi - create a snapshot after every major milestone so you can roll back in seconds if something goes pear shaped. You can even use the first few snapshots when you go from testing to live/production testing.
    All hail virtualisation

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    One big hint which will save a LOT of time is to make good use of snapshots as you're using ESXi - create a snapshot after every major milestone so you can roll back in seconds if something goes pear shaped. You can even use the first few snapshots when you go from testing to live/production testing.
    All hail virtualisation
    I was under the impression that you should never roll back virtual DC's using snapshots as it can mess things up in AD?

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    AD will barely exist at the stages I'm talking about - typically you won't be importing/adding huge amounts to it until it's nearly time for release. I mean do snapshots after windows install, updates, domain joins, major installs like SQL etc.
    Even then I believe it can only cause a problem with replication to other DC's - proper backups should be done with the likes of Veeam or similar.
    There's probably a couple of options you can use to stop problems but as I haven't looked into them I'm not sure - I'd imagine that using the quiesce memory state may stop any major problems with snapshots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_ View Post
    I was under the impression that you should never roll back virtual DC's using snapshots as it can mess things up in AD?
    Quite correct (luckily my experience of this was on my development network - Phew!) - It's a really big no no.

    It might well be ok in an environment with only 1 DC, but I wouldn't like to try it. Every other type of server I have though has been rolled back to a previous snapshot though

    @synaesthesia - All Hail the God: Virtualisation!
    Last edited by Mr.Ben; 15th February 2012 at 02:23 PM.

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    Definitely do it properly when it's in use snapshots are not a useable backup solution. Veaam is worth it's weight in gold for us on that front.

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    I.m in the process of our CC3 migration also. I have opted for the from scratch angle.

    I have the new servers setup on there own lan for now and making sure all shares etc are all ok. Testing GPOs for user groups and stations. Next is rebuild setups for stations, will make sure every build for each different station is right before roll out.

    The great thing from scratch is all the aquired rubbish will be gone and the setup is just how we need it.

    Would be good to share our experiences/problems during the process if anyone is interested? maybe setup a CC3/Vanilla migration section?

  14. Thanks to paulellam from:

    kernow_chap (16th February 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulellam View Post
    I.m in the process of our CC3 migration also. I have opted for the from scratch angle.

    I have the new servers setup on there own lan for now and making sure all shares etc are all ok. Testing GPOs for user groups and stations. Next is rebuild setups for stations, will make sure every build for each different station is right before roll out.

    The great thing from scratch is all the aquired rubbish will be gone and the setup is just how we need it.

    Would be good to share our experiences/problems during the process if anyone is interested? maybe setup a CC3/Vanilla migration section?
    It would seem the starting from scratch is certainly the preferred option so that is what I will start planning for.

    I am definitely up for sharing experiences and even helping out each other with planning. Of course anyone wishing to get in touch is welcome for a visit to the school if you happen to be down in Cornwall. There is little info out there regarding RM migrations and what I would like to do is create a step by step account of our transition to vanilla to (hopefully) help others. That is providing it all goes as planned....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_ View Post
    I was under the impression that you should never roll back virtual DC's using snapshots as it can mess things up in AD?
    Only virtual DCs not running Windows Server 8...

    AD Virtualization Now Just Works
    Ensuring that virtualizing AD just works should be a great relief to many systems administrators, because even though the rules for a safely virtualized AD arenít that difficult, the responsibility for it is spread across several teams. This means that keeping AD safe in a virtual world isnít just a technical problem; itís a people or organizational problem. And the consequences for screwing it up can be severe, as illustrated in the Microsoft article ďUSN and USN Rollback.Ē

    What causes problems for AD before Windows Server 8 in a virtualized environment is that the AD distributed application isnít aware of any virtualization-specific actions taken underneath it at the host level. Specifically, you can confuse AD and potentially induce an unhealthy condition known as USN rollback if you restore a DC VM from a snapshot or image backup. Why? Because a distributed application such as AD has more off-server dependencies than a single-instance application. When a DC has been restored from an image backup, it magically appears as though itís from an earlier timeóbut in an incomplete manner because neither its partners nor the restored DC itself recognizes it.

    In contrast, Windows Server 8ís ďvirtualization safeĒ AD technology ensures that a virtual domain controller (VDC) is able to detect when snapshots are applied or a VDC has been copied. Detection of these changes is built on whatís known as a VM generation ID (gen ID) to detect changes and protect AD, or take corrective measures. This requires changes to Hyper-V, and Microsoft is working with other virtualization vendors to make sure they include this technology in the latest version of their hypervisors as well. Itís in their interest to do so, because until then Microsoft has a competitive advantage in its own Hyper-V.

    AD Domain Controller Cloning
    The teamís second goal of making AD simple to deploy was made possible by the gen ID technology. Because of it, itís easy to safely clone virtual Windows Server 8 DCs. From the administratorís viewpoint, the process is pretty simple: You copy/paste/rename the source virtual DCís .VHD disk file to create a second copy on disk. Relocate it to the destination folder you desire. Use Hyper-V Manager or Virtual Machine Manager to create a new VM, and associate the copied VHD with the new VM. Then, just start it up. Thereís more that happens under the covers, of course; Iíll be describing more about this VDC cloning process in a future article. (Source)

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    Ashm (17th February 2012), Chris_ (16th February 2012), sparkeh (17th February 2012)

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    Hello all,

    I too will be taking our existing CC3.2 Network to a nice Vanilla network this year, I aim to have it all setup and functioning correctly before the summer holidays so I can then roll out the final changes such as Rebuilding Computer, Adding Users + Data etc in the Summer Holidays, However im still in the planning stages in this and wanted to know what some people will be using to replace the RM Components, The most interesting too I would like to hear about is there alternatives from RMAppAgent and of course the Management Console !!

    I have planned for everything to come as clean as possible and so for that I have been given approval for 3 new servers (DC, and 2 Additional [SIMS and User Data / Shared Resources] and possibly set one of our existing CC3 Additional Servers up as a Terminal Server) and to go with that too we have 500 + Computers / Laptops here and are getting 200 New computers to replace some old RM All-in-One's and some old Laptops along with a whole new IT Suite in Design and Technology / Creative Arts. So starting from scratch should be easy enough and just to top it all as of the next Academic Year I will be moved into a much bigger and better office so will be quite happy and my current office / server room will become the server room.

    I am going to use Windows 7 SP1 with Windows Server 2008 R2 for the DC and Additional Server and 2003 SP2 R2 for SIMS and the Terminal Server, On the clients I will use Windows 7 Proffessional / Enterprise SP1 with Office 2010 and XP Pro SP3 on older clients.

    As well as that I will be setting up a Linux Web Server and Web Filter Box, In which I am going to make my own custom filtering server to replace the SmartCache 2 box that we have (I do like linux) and host the new school website which I have been designing.

    The new side of installing the servers should be easy its just the long part of configuring everything ands etting it up and would be interested in peoples GPO's and RM Alternative Software and the way there setting up there network, PM me or post it here please

    Hope all goes well for everyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timethrow View Post
    Hello all,

    I too will be taking our existing CC3.2 Network to a nice Vanilla network this year, I aim to have it all setup and functioning correctly before the summer holidays so I can then roll out the final changes such as Rebuilding Computer, Adding Users + Data etc in the Summer Holidays, However im still in the planning stages in this and wanted to know what some people will be using to replace the RM Components, The most interesting too I would like to hear about is there alternatives from RMAppAgent and of course the Management Console !!

    I have planned for everything to come as clean as possible and so for that I have been given approval for 3 new servers (DC, and 2 Additional [SIMS and User Data / Shared Resources] and possibly set one of our existing CC3 Additional Servers up as a Terminal Server) and to go with that too we have 500 + Computers / Laptops here and are getting 200 New computers to replace some old RM All-in-One's and some old Laptops along with a whole new IT Suite in Design and Technology / Creative Arts. So starting from scratch should be easy enough and just to top it all as of the next Academic Year I will be moved into a much bigger and better office so will be quite happy and my current office / server room will become the server room.

    I am going to use Windows 7 SP1 with Windows Server 2008 R2 for the DC and Additional Server and 2003 SP2 R2 for SIMS and the Terminal Server, On the clients I will use Windows 7 Proffessional / Enterprise SP1 with Office 2010 and XP Pro SP3 on older clients.

    As well as that I will be setting up a Linux Web Server and Web Filter Box, In which I am going to make my own custom filtering server to replace the SmartCache 2 box that we have (I do like linux) and host the new school website which I have been designing.

    The new side of installing the servers should be easy its just the long part of configuring everything ands etting it up and would be interested in peoples GPO's and RM Alternative Software and the way there setting up there network, PM me or post it here please

    Hope all goes well for everyone else.
    Hi,

    Also looking to do this in the summer - still in the process of deciding 100% though!

    Would love to hear what everyone is doing - especially on the gpo front.

    I would suggest that you go with 2 DC's at leats whatever you do!

    We use Impero here already so that already replaces some of RM's tools.

    You could use WDS & GPO or SCCM to replace the os and app installations no problem at all.

    Keep th thread going - I'd love to hear how you all get on and share experiences.

    J

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