We run a vanilla system here and I think it attracts better IT staff. Our techs know they can do time here and move on to a business where as when we had RM they would find it harder to move out of schools.
I don't like these comments about 'attracting better IT staff with a Vanilla network'. Yes, some schools use management tools because they don't have enough staff, or skilled staff (and just expect the ICT Co-ordinator to do things). The fact of the matter is a lot of members on this forum use the likes of CC3, but it doesn't mean their skillset is limited because of this. In fact, a lot of people from the 'corporate' side of things that use Vanilla networks are stumbling on this site with solutions to their very problems. And who solved their problem? A lowly CC3 technician who hasn't got a clue.
Time some people opened their minds a little I think....
We use CSE, and a few months ago we sat down and seriously considered going Vanilla for when we roll out Windows 7 this September. We listed all the pros and cons of both and for the time being have decided to stick with CSE as the administration tools are very good (when they work!). However, we have hidden CSE from the User in Windows 7.
The three biggest Pros for us where the following:
1. Application Deployment - Uses the Prism Suite wrapped around their own tools; works very well and we can easily deploy apps to machines very quickly.
2. Start Menu Creation - We've ditched using the CSE Workspace system but use it to build the Start Menu instead. Works well; built our own GPO's to lock down the System. We can control what Apps and Printers are available not just on a machine by machine basis but by a user by user basis also.
3. Recovery Manager - An implementation of Shadow Copy which backs up everytime they save a file previous versions to a seperate server. Users have the ability to restore previous versions of files instantly by themselves and saves a lot of time in the classroom when they 'accidentally' delete a folder or files.
We had to look at how else we could do these three main things without CSE, and as I said, when it works the above does make our life a lot easier but we still administer the network using traditional methods with AD which we also do for the admin machines as these do not have CSE installed. Costs had to be looked at obtaining any other products which were more expensive with staying with CSE. But, we were having problems with some of their software not working as expected or just buggy. I give them a hard time on regular basis to ensure things get sorted.
Also, having the backup of CSE Engineers when things go wrong has always been helpful; I know my stuff but its always nice to have someone else challenge your ideas and suggest other ways of doing things.
Is it possible to have deja vu about having deja vu?
For a fuller version of my opinions on this just search for any of the hatful of threads on RM vs Vanilla as I am tired of typing the same thing about once a week.
But in summary: CCx != networks for those of limited technical ability and the suggestion is quite offensive to the many skilled techs that do a good job with CCx; no one is able to make definitive statements like "Vanilla is better then CCx" as it depends on the school, its priorities and the tasks it wants it staff to concentrate on.
Isn't it time this topic died for good?
I hope discussions like this never die, because without them we'd all live in a communist state!
@all People with Vanilla networks who think RM is just a dumbed down instrument of torture"
I don't envy anyone who has built their own Vanilla network just as we have built our own CC4 network (Just got Windows 7 build sorted) and anyone who is small minded enough to think that people who run RM systems are not up to scratch then they may have to think again.
Vanilla systems have as many problems if not more than RM systems but that is not the point as I have stated in the past RM systems (which is a Vanilla network with a management console application) allows webman and myself time to construct other ideals and implement other software i.e. open source software within that framework.
I do wish people wouldn't keep bringing this up as it is not very professional of them and it reeks of ego massaging, I don't need to massage my ego as I don't have one, just a damn fine network which has given this school only 8 hours of downtime in all those years (over 8) and allowed the students to excel in many ways using the communications systems and applications which are ever present with the least fuss.
When asking the students about what they think about the network their immediate reply is "It just works" and this is the bottom line when your customer is satisfied with the end result this is what matters the most not the system you use.
Thank you for listening :)
Yeh I love topics like this, keeps the day interesting and provides a good excuse to talk about our networks :)
One question to all the RM fanboys out there, do you think their pricing and upgrade strategies are good? I've always got the impression that RM are kind of like Capita, keep you locked in so much that you can never leave hence why they charge so much but maybe I'm wrong?
You can't just look at the figures alone - one must take account of the total cost of ownership and what value it has to the school, in terms of staffing, features and so on. We hardly spend any money with RM - we buy no hardware from them, no support contracts, or other stuff - just the CC software and appropriate licenses. This is the flexibility that we have and for us, it works great.
Regarding the upgrade strategy - I'm going to do a Grumbledook here and sit on the fence. :) RM are a business and need to make money. They can't carry on supporting older systems forever - and this is the same stance that Microsoft take with certain products (Windows). However, it would "be nice" to be able to have the option of running Windows 7 and Server 2008 with maybe CC3. If this doesn't work for you - don't go with RM. If you don't mind RM's pace of OS/application support, then it's not a problem.
Can we have a poll, managed or vanilla or maybe RM, Ranger, CSe.... and vanilla
It wouldn't achieve anything I am afraid as we are all being slowly assimilated into the guise that is cloud computing which will only be of the managed services choice then what are you all going to moan about then? Eh "which cloud computing MSU is better than another" all I can say is "grow up" and lets not bring this down to a "mines bigger and better than your's" debate. This old chestnut is I am afraid dead in the water!!!
Microsoft have got some real good products which can and are added to by other people who see this as a way to make things better and more reliable for use by the masses not just technical people eventually the skills now required will have been forgotten say in 20 - 30 years time as progress takes its toll. As I watch it grow and develop it reminds me of another era called the Industrial Revolution (Nearly old enough to have been there......I said nearly :) ) and therefore what we see now will be I feel another remarkable event in history over the next 50 years.
Hopefully not a return to the workhouse for some hehe!! :)
Anyway I digress, back to the matter of exercising our manhoods or womanhoods in some cases, shall we or can we stop bringing this debate up as it just wastes peoples valuable time. :)
Touchy subject this managed/RM network stuff is, but really i am a big fan of RM in the right place and for the right reason.
Running a vanillia netowrk here the only thing I really feel that I lack here is the ability to package up programs without MSI files and deploy them (though I've just decided to start looking into that again).
I accept that there are pro's and con's to both methods. For me I'd rather not pay to do something Windows can do. I'd rather learn how to have Windows do it. I don't like the idea of having to install and manage something else on top of my network. We used to have Winsuite and I got rid of that fairly swiftly.
There will probably never be a "best". It's up to each of us to make a decisison what's right for both us and our organisation.........