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Wired Networks Thread, Out with the old & in with the new... in Technical; After many meetings with SLT the time has come for my school to maybe upgrade or change our current network. ...
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    Mark182's Avatar
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    Out with the old & in with the new...

    After many meetings with SLT the time has come for my school to maybe upgrade or change our current network. We are a secondary school with around 1000 students and 250 staff and we are part service managed with our ICT. I took over around two years ago and have wanted to change many things and now the time has come, I’ll start by telling you a little about our network.

    We have:-
    • 2 DC’s
    • A server that runs SCCM and printers
    • 4TB SAN
    • Our MIS is SIMS
    • VLE is Moodle
    • Promethean boards in most of the classrooms
    • E-mails is via webmail with the odd user running outlook locally
    • Cisco managed wireless
    • Around 150 laptops (All running vista)
    • Around 300 desktops (including admin, teachers & students) (All running vista)
    • School comms for texting/E-mailing parents
    • Sun global for remote desktop for staff


    I may have missed many things off but that’s a brief overview. Now here comes the fun part, I have been asked to put together a powerpoint for SLT with my ideas how we could improve our ICT. I was not involved in setting up any of the above. The route I would like to go down is

    • Windows 7 site wide
    • Faze out all laptops and replace with desktops (laptops are costing too much to maintain)
    • A suite of Macs for the music department running protools, Ejay, sibelius and sony acid
    • An exchange server
    • Thinking about xenapp for our apps then staff would be able to access at home (at the moment staff can only see MS office and Sims when remoting in)

    I am just after abit of brainstorming to be honest with any recommendations with cost in mind as we don’t have an unlimited budget. Thanks in advance.

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    Have you been promised a pot of gold for this? Or is this like our SLT who want stuff for nothing?!

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Hi Mark, what speed is your LAN running at BTW?

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    Mark182's Avatar
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    With the right ideas they are willing to back me!

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Personally I'd say ditch the macs idea, it's not worth it for the cost over benefit

    Sounds like you're in a good position to move on pushing windows 7 out considering you already have vista and SCCM in place. No mention of virtualisation for your servers? Get some VMware in there! - assume you're getting/thinking of new servers?

    I'd recommend home access plus instead of paying for something like xenapp to use sims + apps from home, though i can only go on recommending this through experience of HAP and not on any experience of xenapp so i'm unsure if xenapp would allow further benefits that are worth paying for.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a good base to build on, do you have a solid backbone, core and managed edge switches?

    An OS refresh, building in support for BYOD with a good quality firewall \ UTM and VMWare servers would be a nice step forwards and should give you the flexibility to keep moving forwards.

    Btw is Exchange for students? If so avoid the aggro and offload to Live@Edu \ Google Apps. If for staff I'd say keep it locally.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    Don't go down the VMWare route it's VERY expensive, the best bet for virtualization is Xen - it's free and just as good if not better than VMWare! This will bring your budget down.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjitservices View Post
    Don't go down the VMWare route it's VERY expensive, the best bet for virtualization is Xen - it's free and just as good if not better than VMWare! This will bring your budget down.
    Can you get support for Xen?

    Vmware isnt that bad for a small network like his. The essentials plus package should do the job.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    Yeah support is readily available for Xen, on the internet anyway. Loads of Documentation out there for it, Xen runs on lower spec servers and uses alot less resources than VMWare.
    Last edited by cpjitservices; 7th November 2011 at 01:26 PM.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    When I say support I mean can you pickup the phone and ring the manducturer becuase something has gone belly up?

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    not that I know of, but to be honest theres alot less to go wrong with it than VMWare, It's so simple and basic to setup & use, I don't know of any phone support but there maybe someone out there that supports it, we are a small company and the costs of VMWare have changed recently as they have re-structured there pricing and the cost is absolutely through the roof.

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    How about Hyper-V in terms of virtualization? I'm not at a large school by any means but it certainly does the job for us!

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    Yep Hyper-V will do the job if your using Server 2008 R2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark182 View Post
    An exchange server
    My first choice would be an onsite, non-Exchange email server with a webmail interface. Gmail, etc, are good options, though, and if you really are convinced you want an Exchange server then you can now get externally hosted and managed Exchange servers.

    Thinking about xenapp for our apps then staff would be able to access at home (at the moment staff can only see MS office and Sims when remoting in)
    Staff currently just remote in to a Terminal Services / Remote Desktop Services machine? You could look to upgrading your remote login server to use RemoteFX, with a dedicated graphics card for graphics acceleration if graphics processing speed is what you're having issues with.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    My first choice would be an onsite, non-Exchange email server with a webmail interface. Gmail, etc, are good options, though, and if you really are convinced you want an Exchange server then you can now get externally hosted and managed Exchange servers.



    Staff currently just remote in to a Terminal Services / Remote Desktop Services machine? You could look to upgrading your remote login server to use RemoteFX, with a dedicated graphics card for graphics acceleration if graphics processing speed is what you're having issues with.
    Don't forget live@edu - free hosted exchange

  16. Thanks to FN-GM from:

    dhicks (7th November 2011)

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