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Windows Thread, Embc user level filtering in Technical; Those of you who live in the East Midlands will know life is all a bit up in the air ...
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    peterv5's Avatar
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    Embc user level filtering

    Those of you who live in the East Midlands will know life is all a bit up in the air at the moment Synetrics have taken over from Fujitsu supplying EMBC connectivity except that the Netsweeper filtering has not yet migrated, and we are still logging in to the old login page in an attempt to get user level filtering. As a school, our default level is level 4. This stops children getting to google etc. But our staff want their user levels of 2 and 3. From just before the change to Synetrics, some of the machines in the school stopped getting the user level filtering applied. Today for example I found a laptop which would apply the filtering, so I could get google, and a desktop with the same proxy and DNS settings and which wouldn't apply the filtering and hence had Netsweeper block google out.

    Has this happened to any one else? How did you get round it?

    Peter

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    Makes you wonder what the point in migrating the rest of us this weekend is if they haven't fixed you lot yet.

    Lunacy.

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    Iíve given up trying to change the filtering since last week when a teacher asked me to unblock a website. After making the necessary changes I tried to access the website in question but it was still blocked. I just tell people now that the filtering is frozen till the migration is over.

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    Yeh me to. It's not really in our hands untill they have confirmed a successful migration.

    I've emailed all staff informing them of the changes and what they will need to visit in order to access their emails as of Monday and any outlook changes will also need to be applied.

    Other then that, its not really in our control and we will report and resolve problems after if there are any.

    Btw, all staff here use login.embc.org.uk and all staff are required to use it. However, students also have an email setup with @schoolname.co.uk. They have never yet used them because they havent been dished out to all the pupils.

    My suggestion was to keep all staff on the @schoolname.co.uk via the login.embc.org.uk and have all the students use the lpplus.northants.sch.uk. This means the students will keep a single email address throughout schooling and its easier to manage from our perspective.

    What are you guys doing? btw im a secondary school

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I've not heard of this error being reported from LAs that have already migrated. This puts in a significant risk within Northants and I will investigate tomorrow.

    This weekend in the final phase of transition and the following week should see all snagging completed.

    Known errors included migrating Distribution Lists from Mirapoint to the new Synetrix provided exchange system. This is due to nested DLs and the number of dead school.region.sch.uk addresses in these (which need to be matched up to existing acounts).

    I have not heard of any significant issues with NetSweeper other than some missing accounts and the delay on the user admin tools. This is one of the issues causing problems as we cannot manage the accounts properly yet and will have to rely on the servicedesk to fix issues.

    @techyphil: I am working on the email structure over the next few weeks to come up with some reasonable architecture to keep people happy, no matter if they are Mirapoint users, LP+ users, have an in-house box or another 3rd party provider. Once I have a clear guide from LP+ and Synetrix with what we can and cannot technically do with the setups post transition I will be asking a few of you to come for a chat.

    @kim: Because as with most things like this, the last lot through should have least problems as they should have learnt from their mistakes. I'm with Karen tomorrow and see if she can shed any light from conversations today.

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    On the e-mail front we still have a couple of users who can log-in but can't send e-mail, the majority of users don't have the e-mails which will have been stacking up during the transfer (I could see mail coming in in the e-mail filtering logs but it's not arrived in my mailbox) and nobody has had their distribution lists recovered.

    I'm fed up with telling users I don't know what's happening or what to expect. Does anyone know what sort of timescales Synetrics are currently working to?

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    I spoke to sombody at Synetrics this morning and was told that filtering is likely to be migrated this weekend, depending on how the Northants migration goes.

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    Anyone had problems with Google? At both of my schools users are getting intermittent spam warnings when searching with Google. I assume itís because we are all using the same embc proxy.

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    Yes, we've been getting the problem for the last 2-3 days. Not exactly sure what it is, but suspect it must be something to do with the moves and the different servers.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    A quick update on things. I've had a few chats today about the pending Northants transition that should shed some light.

    Presently we are all still on the existing Web Filter and Proxy, proxy.embc.org.uk ... after the work for this weekend the testing on the new filters/proxy will continue and shortly rolled out. LAs are likely to be asked to move sequentially for the purpose of testing load.

    Those experiencing problems with email filtering need to contact the Synetrix servicedesk.

    @Moggy: It might be worth going on to the new filter (presuming you are accessing the new one to check) and check that it is set to release emails to the relevant server. Also, as part of the release process for emails they make sure that things are working properly first ... if there is an issue with DLs then check that this isn't the reason why there are still issues with email being released.

    Finally, the folk at Synetrix are aware of this thread and happy to deal with things but it does need to go through the normal support channels.

    I will post an update at the end of Sunday for Northants members to let them know of any issues, and if I have anything for Notts and Rutland I will pass them on too.

    Northants school will receive an email to their Heads first thing on Monday morning to let them know of anything further.

    Without wanting to regionalise things in EG if anyone has specific queries please PM me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Northants school will receive an email to their Heads first thing on Monday morning to let them know of anything further.
    Well that will be fun if they can't access their email until they've gone to the new site first and clicked on the big button and logged in to make the migration!!

    I thought systems would be down today, as the term "frozen" was used at the meeting with Synetrix, but email worked fine all day, with only the odd user with recent password changes unable to send via outlook (smtp). All web based still worked fine.

    I thought i'd be clever and started testing the new proxy yesterday and found that it worked fine but a little slowly, however all keyword filtering failed i.e. everything got through. So we shut the internet off for a couple of hours and then changed back to the old proxy.

    I was going to post on here about it, but managed to get a quick response from the helpdesk who said i should use the old proxy for a while until things were sorted.

    Must say, emailing helpdesk is quicker than phoning and getting a call logged. It's a shame you can't get an auto response and ticket number back by email to help call tracking.

    Not sure how things will work from monday, we have local control of filtering and one great big policy applied to our whole ip range as the group thing never worked for us. Fingers crossed.

    Just hope there aren't many staff off, as they email their cover work in, but it'd would be a miracle if the cover list had less than 10 teachers off per period.... c'est la vie.

    @jobos we've been having the warnings from google for a few days now, and people keep asking if the internet is down because when they can't see the internet page they expect, rather than read the nice message, they phone me! i guess it'll resolve itself in a while.

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    You may be pleased to know (doubt it) that a good amount of mail we received today has actually gone over to Synetrix instead of to us (according to their EMF).

    I'm to be honest livid that we've had so little information and we all get the pleasure of this happening again when it moves into LP+.

    We've had the google issue too.

    We've also had internet problems, AND email problems with sending to aol.com but Synetrix seem to be stuck dealing with Fujitsu and blaming each other.

    Sooner we're over, the less finger pointing, the better.

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    Thumbs down

    I can't wait until Monday when 350 students all decide to use email and find it doesn't work and so come to me for a password reset.

    We've decided to save the requests up and send them in at the end of the day, or maybe twice a day. I am right in thinking we don't have direct admin control until April Fool's Day aren't I?

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    If the kids already have accounts they should be alright as alledgedly the usernames/passwords are carried over, fortunately in our case, its just the staff we need to deal with by changing their email username to the EMBC username in Outlook.

    Still... I don't like the idea of going in blind Monday morning.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    As I have said ... I will put an update on here on Sunday. There is little point in putting up the result of each and every conference call we have over the weekend (a minimum of 6 planned). If there *is* anything that is going to be an issue I will let people know as soon as possible.

    As we all are aware (and Northants is not the only authority with this issue) there is an issue getting technical information out to schools. I am not going to start blaming historical events or this company, that company, sections of the LA or County Council.

    Communications have been a problem. A significant effort is going into sorting it out, but it is not going to happen overnight. At least we will be having regular IT meetings, have a central area to work things out (that is for people who have been able to get their enable username and password from whoever attended the training!)

    @kim: I know you are hacked off ... I know you are eager to get info and are getting it from folks in other authorities too ... we are trying to get info out but have limited methods of delivery, not my choice or the choice of the ICT in Schools team! Remember that this is *not* an official channel and we don't have time to call every single school in person. Remember that no matter how much we send emails to head@ or bursar@ there is no guarantee it will be read by the right people. Those that received my email earlier in the week ... it goes against the County Council communication strategy and *I* can get away with it because it came from a school address.

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