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Windows Thread, The costs of a RM network? in Technical; I read so many conflicting reports about RM and their networks, expensive hard ware etc etc. I have never worked ...
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    tosca925's Avatar
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    The costs of a RM network?

    I read so many conflicting reports about RM and their networks, expensive hard ware etc etc. I have never worked in a school or been to a school that runs RM so i need to clear the smoke.

    Why so many moans?

    More importantly whats sort of costs are invloved witha RM network compred to a Vanilla network?

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    Disease's Avatar
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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    *Bump*

    I could do with the question answered as well.

    Total Cost comparisons of an RM Vs Vanilla.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Well of course I was going to reply to this thread you all know my association with RM and the fact I work for an RM School.

    I will put this down to simple sentence "You choose the solution that fits you" so I will tell you why we choose RM and how that effects costs. (I won't go into exact costs as they will not relate to you)

    For me to set and support and Vanilla network will cost money and time....

    First there is only me supporting the school so a vanilla network setup takes at least 6 weeks (once you taken into account testing and making sure it is stable). Right so that is approx 2 grand in my wages (half that goes on tax but heck costing the school it is 2 grand).

    Next added software get from RM license such as Net support which we save quite bit per work station going with rm tutor then if we went with net support.

    Some kind of support contract is must so what ever route we choose going to have to get that)

    So on workstation side comes out about the same once you have brought virtual cd 7, a version of netsupport etc not major difference in cost.

    So main cost issues is server software and set-up which is cancelled out by giving me 6 weeks to do other work.

    So in long for us going rm route is more cost effective and saves me time both in creation and in long run.

    But as said for some for example Tony with his mini army...I mean support team the RM route probably isn't going to cost effective.

    Problem is RM would agree they made major mistakes in in late 90's to 2000 and there reputation went down hill. One of the reasons they work with likes of EduGeek.net so that people can see what they company is like know and not what it was..

    Russ

    Russell

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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca925
    I read so many conflicting reports about RM and their networks, expensive hard ware etc etc. I have never worked in a school or been to a school that runs RM so i need to clear the smoke.

    Why so many moans?

    More importantly whats sort of costs are invloved witha RM network compred to a Vanilla network?
    Lets try and keep this thread from becoming a flame war people! :-)

    The best analogy for RM is is that it's like marmite you love it or hate it.

    I had many moons ago inherited an RM Connect 2.4 network which IMO was pants for too many reasons to go into fully. The worst parts were the costs involved at that time if you didnt buy RM hardware it meant a real faf trying to get yor hardware to work so you would end up buying RM kit which wasnt cheap.The one possitive of this was that it didnt mater if you had 50 different types of RM PC's on your network you didnt require seperate images. Also at that time to get many of software titles to work you would need to buy RM branded versions of MS office ect which were again expensive. Their Support was Dire too

    I also took a look at connect 3 which was a great improvment over 2.4 but RM were adament that they didnt want you to touch AD and only use their management interface. There were huge issues in migration too.

    Some will argue that you can get anyone in and they can run an RM network with minimal training and that it will ensure continuity should the NM leave. I personaly think this is much less of an issue now as Vanilla techs are alot easier to come by.

    I personaly use Ranger which has incidently been bought by RM. Much cheaper than RM and a good comprimise between vanilla and RM.

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    tosca925's Avatar
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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    But can some one give me example of costs please. what are they based upon?

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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Problem is RM would agree they made major mistakes in in late 90's to 2000 and there reputation went down hill.
    I think it's fair to say they are still making mistakes, Easymail -7500 schools without communication, KS3 testing software (still not working on our Citrix no update from them, The outrageously poor level of content filtering (we had to implement our own to protect kids).


    I would like to know the cost of it all though, we were once (before I joined) an RM school and boss told me it was cost effective and resulted in a much better service once we migrated.

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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca925
    I read so many conflicting reports about RM and their networks, expensive hard ware etc etc. I have never worked in a school or been to a school that runs RM so i need to clear the smoke.

    Why so many moans?

    More importantly whats sort of costs are invloved witha RM network compred to a Vanilla network?
    RM solve a particular problem, and do so in a particular way.

    In order to derive good value from a RM solution (or, to be fair, any other similar type of thing from another vendor) you need to be sure you've got the actual problem they attempt to solve and not one that sounds similar, and you also need to be sure you want to solve this problem the way RM solve it.

    I've not got a high opinion of the RM Connect solution as applied here, but upon reflection, I wrote something in an internal report a while ago that explains the situation as I see it and I'm going to reproduce the appropriate extract here:

    I’ve been very critical of RM in the past, but having recently reflected on how we’re using the product, I’m not sure this has been entirely fair. A better way of looking at things might be that RM produce a ‘one size fits all’ product and we are simply at the edge of their product envelope.

    The majority of happy RM Customers I speak to appear to be using a full ‘end to end’ solution from RM, e.g. they purchase RM workstations and RM servers, and only use RM CC3 and other ‘RM Supported’ tools on their network. Many of these people hardly ever use tools such as terminal services or ADU&C to administer their network, and can achieve all that they want through the admin tools RM provide.

    The majority of unhappy RM customers I speak to appear to work like us, where they’ve taken the CC3 product and customised it in some way, from the supposedly trivial (using 3rd party workstations) to the complex (using lots of non-RM servers on the network). This is not a given, e.g. some people with ‘end to end’ solutions have had problems and are unhappy, and some people with ‘custom’ solutions are entirely satisfied, but there is a definite correlation between level of customisation and potential for problems.

    These problems are not the ‘fault’ of RM, any more than an inability to fit a square peg into a round hole is the fault of either the peg or the hole. However, we should accept that buying a solution from RM that only meets part of our needs and requires customisation before it is ready for use, will have great potential for problems. We are certainly going to have an increased support burden because the assumptions and rules that RM Support would normally use to address a problem on a site may not apply to us.

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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    At the time I was looking at CC3 a full new network. 4 Servers 350 Pc's capable of running XP, Licences and RM's tech time to install the network. I think it was about 300k ish

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    Disease's Avatar
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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    First there is only me supporting the school so a vanilla network setup takes at least 6 weeks (once you taken into account testing and making sure it is stable). Right so that is approx 2 grand in my wages (half that goes on tax but heck costing the school it is 2 grand).
    Regardless of if there is just you supporting the network the school would still have to pay both you AND RM, so surely thats a downside. Even if you go on to do something else the school still have to pay you the 2k. It's not as if ythey school don't have to pay you the 2k but pay it to RM so there is no saving there.

    what about this for example:

    I want to put a new server on my network.

    Costs

    Vanilla - Cost of server for a cheapy one say £900. Time take is irrelevant as I am being paid by the school on a wage anyway so the cost is fixed. No additional cost for any outside company to do it.

    Cost of Hardware: £ 900
    Cost of Setup: £ see total
    Cost of Install: £ see total
    Cost of Support: £ Say 2k like russ.
    Cost of Outside Contractor Like RM: £0

    Total £2900.00

    RM
    Cost of Hardware : £ ?
    Cost of Setup: £ ?
    Cost of Install: £ ?
    Cost of Support: £?
    Cost of paying my wage on top : 2000.00

    Total: £ ?

    Thats what we are looking for

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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disease
    Vanilla - Cost of server for a cheapy one say £900. Time take is irrelevant as I am being paid by the school on a wage anyway so the cost is fixed. No additional cost for any outside company to do it.
    Actually time isn't irrelevent. If you want to do this properly then you have to accept that having a subcontractor on site setting the server up by themselves frees you up to do other things.

    Hence the time your employer has already paid for is an opportunity that can be 'spent' on setting up this server from scratch or it can be 'spent' doing the myriad of other things you're being paid to do.

    We've called in consultants to do stuff I'm perfectly capable of doing but don't have the time to get into before now.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Yes but how much does it cost? You add one machine, what are the license costs for it? Maintenace costs for servers and support?

    We had a quote from RM some years ago, it was hilarious how much they wanted every year!

    You can do a Vanilla install in around 2 weeks, but you need a few tools (ghost or ris) and for it to be a holiday.

    I did a conversion from Netware to 2003 server in around 10 days (license keys were late!). Clients also went from 98 to XP, it wasn't finished in 10 days but the essentials worked.

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Right I'll just give you the costs then RM CC3 full CAL is around £60 - £70 this including the windows CAL and licenses you to use RM CC3 on the workstation if you have older RM 2.4 license you can buy the upgrade which is around about £45 the last time I checked you will need to buy a Windows CAL with this though. Support from RM directly is about 8k, their hardware is still expensive but it doesn't usually fail and the hardware support is fantastic. If you need to buy virtual CD and Net Support which for Russ is a must as he's the only one doing the leg work then you could use Daemon Tools instead it's what I use here quite simple to use and free for a vanilla network Russ is correct 6 weeks of your time to setup and stablise but once it's up and running a new Service pack CD from RM doesn't break it as it did with Service 4 I believe, 5 was okay though. If you haven't updated to the newest service pack and you have a problem they'll get you to install that firstso that could fix it or cause more issues. Frankly every school I've been to I've been employed to remove RM so my opinions of it will be distinctly different from Russ's however if you haven't got other tech staff and 6 weeks of your life isn't free RM is a good option as is Ranger and CSE most of these do similar jobs although they do go about it in different ways. There's also LNM which I have to admit worked well when I tested it the schools network has been running on it since the summer so it does work well. RMs software makes life easie though so it all depends on your TCO of the network system for Russ and quite a few people it works out cheaper for the school to put in an RM network and use one tech than a vanilla and need two or three but you could get a vanilla netowkr running easily with only one tech and never have to firefight so it's horses for courses in regards to RM/RM like or vanilla.

    Basically £60 per workstation on top of the initial 2k for the CC3 system I cant remember the installation costs though, Russ?

    Any hardware runs on it now and you have constant hardware update packs to keep it that way so things have changed since the bad days of 2.4.

    Wes

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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    This is what I simply do not understand and probably never will until I am in this situation.

    If you are using a managed solution, what else is there to do all day everyday? Network Managed by X, desktops managed by X, Servers Managed by X. There is myself here and 2 guys under me, we are busy all the time. What do people who have a fully managed solution do all day?

    I do not mean this to come across as a flame or as an accusation I am truely interested.

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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto
    Quote Originally Posted by Disease
    Vanilla - Cost of server for a cheapy one say £900. Time take is irrelevant as I am being paid by the school on a wage anyway so the cost is fixed. No additional cost for any outside company to do it.
    Actually time isn't irrelevent. If you want to do this properly then you have to accept that having a subcontractor on site setting the server up by themselves frees you up to do other things.

    Hence the time your employer has already paid for is an opportunity that can be 'spent' on setting up this server from scratch or it can be 'spent' doing the myriad of other things you're being paid to do.

    We've called in consultants to do stuff I'm perfectly capable of doing but don't have the time to get into before now.
    This isn't always teh case, my school has previously paid £400/day for someone to come in and install a Citrix windows server and minimal configuration - total waste of resources if there are techs on site capable of doing it.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: The costs of a RM network?

    We have a 4 year old CC3 network, with 3 RM servers (1 SIMS) and 6 non-RM servers (several linux).

    When the network was installed in 2002, the 2 DC servers were about £4k each. RM CC3 software was just under £3k. Then there was warranties, software, initial support and licenses for Windows, Office, Client Connect. We also got 35 workstations at the same time which came to £20k. There was a few miscellaneous items as well but the total came to just short of £50k.

    In 2003 we bought 30 more RM workstations for £15k with licenses.

    In 2004 we bought a new high-spec SIMS server from RM which was £4.5k with licenses.

    All other workstations (offices, 2 more ICT Suites and per-classroom) were bought elsewhere over a period of time for a much lower price than RM, but Connect licenses were bought for £3,700 for 50.

    Disease: it is not a managed solution per-se. It is a network management tool - a self-maintaining network is still a myth - even with RM

    I know some people will think some of the costs are a bit expensive, which you'd be right. But it works for us, and has done virtually flawlessly (no thanks to Fushitsu harddisks ) and continues to do so.



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