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Windows Thread, IT equipment - rolling program in Technical; Hi, I am interested to know what others school have in place regarding the replacement of old and out of ...
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    ron
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    IT equipment - rolling program

    Hi, I am interested to know what others school have in place regarding the replacement of old and out of warrenty equipment.

    Information and advice on the timescale of the replacement cycle, amount of money available, equipment purchased and quantity. Mainly focusing on PC's.

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    hehe, just had a teacher moaning saying "can we get a better computer in the staff room, ive been trying to log on for 15minutes". Said computer is 8 years old iirc

    Just said to him he can ask the HT, which he did. HT just answered "yeah my PC in my office is slow too" and walked off. Come may next year we will have a grand total of 70 PCs in warrenty, and the other 300 are well past their best before date. (Currently averaging 1 per month dieing from old age, not good when theres no money for replacement parts)

    Dont you love "dont spend anything for 3 years before it comes in" BSF

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Our 'planned' rolling program is 3 years for desktops and servers. However, due to the budget cuts we've had recently along with the quality of the machines we bought, I will most likely be altering that to 4 years for both.

    This amounts to replacing a suite of machines at a time. (So 35 computers). We've also brought in thin clients, so the actual clients in use there will, hopefully, do their jobs for 5 or more years - I'm hoping for 10 years.

    This is agreed on a yearly basis really - I sit down with our bursar and outline what I want to do, and she adds it up and says what is feasible and what is a dream.

    Staff laptops are also replaced on a 3 yearly basis. (So, we buy about a dozen a year).

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    We don't replace staff laptops, we have around 25 staff with laptops back in the day of the laptops for teachers scheme. We have over 300 computers and around 100 are out of warrenty now. If we are on a budget of 50 computers per year thats a 6 year cycle! I thought it would be interesting if we could all share information on our process of computer replacement. Ideally if you have 5 main IT suites with 30 computers each you would like them all to be of the same model so it makes updates/re-imaging easier but when your limited to 50 computers a year it's quite hard.

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    Why has that limit of 50 machines a year been set? And by who? Surely that limit should be set by functional requirements, not by some random numbering?

    We have about 270 computers in use now. About 60 of them thin clients, about 50 of them laptops, the rest fat clients. None are more than 3 years old.

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    The budget for computers is taken into account by management and then an average cost per computer and the number they came up with is 50!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ron View Post
    you would like them all to be of the same model so it makes updates/re-imaging easier but when your limited to 50 computers a year it's quite hard.
    Thats one of the reasons i moved away from Guost and went for RIS with Driverpacks.net and software deployed by GPO.
    Allows you to have 1 "image" and deploy it to any PC, with software following soon behind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    Thats one of the reasons i moved away from Guost and went for RIS with Driverpacks.net and software deployed by GPO.
    Allows you to have 1 "image" and deploy it to any PC, with software following soon behind.
    Are you saying that the image can be taken from a machine of any spec and deployed to a complety different spec machine? What about drivers? Are there no compatability issues or do you add drivers after. We currently use WDS. I don't like the idea of adding software via GPO, had problems with it in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ron View Post
    Hi, I am interested to know what others school have in place regarding the replacement of old and out of warrenty equipment.

    Information and advice on the timescale of the replacement cycle, amount of money available, equipment purchased and quantity. Mainly focusing on PC's.
    Generally I try and run it like this.

    Laptops and desktops are brought with 3yr warranties on, and are used as main-stream machines for this period. At the end of their 3 year period, they will be moved into areas of the school where lower specced machines can be used, normally areas of the school which require fewer machines as well, and some will be kept as replacements to swap out when machines fail. Most machines manage an additional 2 years in this situation, with the numbers dwindling towards the end of year 5. We are currently in this situation with our Dell D510 laptops and GX60 Desktops which are due for replacement this year, although there's a high chance the desktops may be pressed into service for one more year.

    At the end of year 5, the machines will be looked at for disposal or possibly thin client use in the future, or if they still work adequately a further year of use may be considered.

    Generally I try and replace 20% of my machines every year to make sure we don't end up in the situation where we can't sustain our own ICT. This means I have to buy at least 100 new machines a year to achieve this, and as we are expanding this number is going up. This year I really need to purchase at least 120 new machines thoughout the year.

    Servers are earmarked for replacement at 3yrs with the existing servers retained and moved to lesser roles, and anything over 5-6yrs in the server room would be looked at for disposal. Switch gear and infrastructure is on an 'as required' basis and isn't really budgeted for in the same way, there's just a chunk of money set aside, but nothing specific in the plan.

    To do this I have a budget of approximately 100k a year, but this includes absolutely everything from paying the LEA for the broadband, paying capita for SIMS, on-going subscriptions like virus checker renewals, VLE etc. all come out of that budget. Around half my budget gets spent on new hardware, another 10% or so is spent on spare parts to keep out of warranty and vandalised equipment working, a further approx 10% is consumables, and the rest is software, subscriptions, licensing, paying for contractors for cabling etc.

    Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ron View Post
    Are you saying that the image can be taken from a machine of any spec and deployed to a complety different spec machine? What about drivers? Are there no compatability issues or do you add drivers after. We currently use WDS. I don't like the idea of adding software via GPO, had problems with it in the past.
    Its not an image like in Ghost or WDS. Its the windows install files, config, drivers packaged up, and a bootloader which copies the files to the PC, reboots and runs the standard windows setup. Its abit of a PITA to get working exactly how you want but once done it will last you until your next batch of PCs certainly, and if they dont use the next gen hardware it will probably do them too.

    Software deployed by GPO is certainly harder to do but it has many benifits, such as being able to deploy software at any time you wish rather than having to wait for the next holidays.

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    Our cycle used to be 3 years for desktop and 5 years for servers; had to stall the PCs to 4 and even 5 years on our admin ones because of budget but hopefully the old ones will be going soon for some nice shiny ITX Core2Duos

    Server wise is an odd one for us at the moment as they were specced to run for 5 years and performance wise they're OK, but lack of warranty (Evesham went bust) lack of driver support (for 2008) and the benefits of virtualisation may mean we replace after 4 years instead.

    If you buy good hardware spec and build quality wise then it really helps - these boxes we're replacing are no-name build types and have cost a lot more in support than the initial difference in price would be to a branded system!

    Luckily any new hardware comes with a 5 year next day warranty from Stone so hopefully won't have to worry there (fingers crossed!)
    Last edited by gshaw; 19th November 2009 at 03:14 PM.

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    3-5 years on servers, depending on how critical. 5 years on main desktops, when break on low use areas.
    Teacher laptops when break and not economical to repair, unless its a 'power user' and then they get replaced every 3 years.
    The desktops manage 4 years no problem, do tend to start breaking in year 5 though, but just don't have budget to run a 4 year cycle.

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    We are currently operating a 5 year cycle for desktops and 3 years for staff laptops. We now buy pcs with a 5 year warranty (thanks Stone) and then have them recycled at the end of their life.

    This will probably change and we will press the oldest into use as thin clients (edubuntu).

    Staff laptops may have to be squeezed out to 4 or 5 years as more staff are using them regurlarly unless the SLT wish to give me a larger budget.......*hint*

    Servers are also on a 5 year replacement plan, cannot afford another blade enclosure/SAN for another 4 years anyway.

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    Servers = every 3 years
    We have 6 so that's 2 every year

    Desktops = every 4 years
    We have about 160 replaced every summer

    Laptops = never
    As of this year staff laptops will not be replaced. There is a computer in every teaching base.

    Our servers are spec'ed ok. Quad cpus plenty of RAM and a couple of TB storage for 2K give or take depending on the time of year.

    Our desktop PCs are upper lower / lower middle spec if that makes any sense. AMD64 cpu and a couple gig of ram.

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    ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcs808 View Post
    Servers = every 3 years
    We have 6 so that's 2 every year

    Desktops = every 4 years
    We have about 160 replaced every summer

    Laptops = never
    As of this year staff laptops will not be replaced. There is a computer in every teaching base.

    Our servers are spec'ed ok. Quad cpus plenty of RAM and a couple of TB storage for 2K give or take depending on the time of year.

    Our desktop PCs are upper lower / lower middle spec if that makes any sense. AMD64 cpu and a couple gig of ram.
    Wow! 160 replacement PC's each summer, how many computers do you have in total! 50 is our max looking at £500 per PC. We don't replace laptops anymore as every classroom has a computer.



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