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Wireless Networks Thread, How long to rebuild a network, servers & workstations in Technical; Hi all, After some peoples opinions on how long it'll take to rebuild a network from scratch. This will include ...
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    How long to rebuild a network, servers & workstations

    Hi all,

    After some peoples opinions on how long it'll take to rebuild a network from scratch. This will include fresh GP's as current ones are bloated and slow to apply. There is 6 physical servers, 7 virtual servers, 250 desktops, 65ish staff laptops and about 100 pupil laptops. Operating systems are a mix of XP, Vista and Windows 7. Will also need to add all staff and pupils. Copy their data back onto servers. Basic testing to make sure they can't get onto what they're not meant to!! Also setting up machines for the admin network with sims.net and the server side of sims.

    The rebuild is to also move us from our internal 172.16 range to the 10. cleo range.

    And just for further information there's only one of me!! This has got to include lugging 100 desktops from IT rooms to other rooms, remove old hardware from the other rooms and place new machines in IT rooms which are first floor!!

    Do you think this could realistically be done in 3 weeks? Or can people put their views over please.

    Regards,

    Ste

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    Short answer is yes I think it can be done if you are left to just get on with it without any other interruptions but it would be a massive job.

    Do you need to reimage the PCs and laptops or just re add them to the domain? Would it be possible to get some help in from your normal supplier?

    Rich

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    featured_spectre's Avatar
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    Creating your basic image to start with - 1 day PER image as you have mix of XP, Vista and 7 (Operating system, office, other apps) - so 3 days there.
    Creating your server farm - 2 days per server (including virtual), so that's 26 days there.
    Creating and testing your GPO's. 1 day per set of GPO's. (I am guessing you have one set for students and staff, plus ones set for each OS) so that's 5 days.
    Creating your SIMS area and transfer of all data, and then testing it all - 3 days (plus 1 day for the SIMS data transfer). - so thats 4 days.

    In all 38 days (or 2 working months). That is allowing for mistakes aswell, so if you finish before hand you will look like a god!

    But that is one hell of a job for 1 man to do!! You had better hope you don't get disturbed or you could easily add another working month on top!
    Last edited by featured_spectre; 11th May 2010 at 03:54 PM.

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    Probably doable in three weeks but I really wouldn't want to myself. It sounds to me as if you are trying to do too much and once and that almost always leads to a world of pain. This sort of work is best done during the summer hols, but even then I'd be very reluctant to do it all at once.

    Personally, I'd prioritise the work and break it down into smaller more managable chunks and do it piece meal over a few holidays. half-term, summer, half-term at a min. Would probably want to stretch the work into next easter to be safe. Allow plenty of time for a) planning, b) testing and c) even more planning.

    Do the servers and machines really need rebuilding? Or do you just need to update DNS/DHCP with the new IP details and replace the static IPs? Can you build a new OU structure and GPO's in AD, test with a few machines and then move the PC's to the new OU structure once you are happy, then delete the old OU's.

    Typically I'd say a 2 days for each server and a day for each fixed ICT suite. A week for all the laptops, excluding teachers, and probably near 2 weeks for the teachers laptops (I don't know why but there always seems to be more unforseen issues with these).

    Check out Wisesoft for some free tools that'll make AD user account population a real breeze if you really do want to delete all the existing accounts and start again. Should be no more than a 5 minute job to populate AD with users .

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    We moved from RM to Vanilla a while ago (previous school) and that took 8 days. That included building servers, creating accounts, copying work etc, setting up GPO's, rebuilding workstations etc etc.

    There were 2 of us however. Also, a lot of the server stuff was done before we actually moved (as we had new servers to put the Vanilla system on) - like setting up the GPO's and creating the accounts. So the move was probably just copying files, testing, and rebuilding machines.

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    I assume this is to be done over the summer hols? If so, you can cut down the time you need, by doing some of the things mentioned above now. For example, get all your images done now ready to be applied to the new clients for the summer, then all you need to do is run the updates.

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    I would say that is far too much work for 1 person in 3 weeks. When I estimate projects I like to add on add on 10 or 20% to the time.

    Let’s say a day per server, that’s setting up, moving, installed, checking the lot. You have 6days just on the servers. More likely that’s 3 days to setup servers, Move onto workstations then 3 days checking workstations work.

    Break it up, 3 weeks is 15 work days at I assume around 7 to 8 hours a day. 9 daysleft at 7 hours a day gives you 63hours. That leaves 63 hours to do 415 computers divide 63hours over 415 and that does not leave many minuets per computer. Plus unless you are very fit you are going to slow down after moving that much equipment.

    Perhaps you want to spend more or less time on servers. But break it up. Estimate how long setting up 1 computer takes then times that amount of time by 415 computers. Estimate how long 1 server takes and times by 7. Add on 20% to the total time to cover unexpected problems or things that did not go smoothly.
    Last edited by Pottsey; 11th May 2010 at 04:10 PM.

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    I'd allocate the summer hols for that, but you can start in slow time by getting all of your virtual servers and disk images ready beforehand as that is quite a simple task and once you have installed your physical servers should speed things along no end.
    I think 2 days per server is a bit OTT, unless they are Exchange, SIMs etc, for that I would allocate half a day as if it is AD many of the things you are doing would be duplicated once DCs were promoted etc. A basic server with the basic AD, DNS, DHCP etc installed would take me about half a day barring any hiccups. The user migration would be a pain though. Not complex, just dull, dull, dull matching them back up with GPOs, user areas etc.
    What you can do is to virtualise your new AD schema and servers then once your physical servers get reinstalled simply promote them, swap over FSMO roles and you're away. You could start that tomorrow in fact, as if you didn't have enough to do
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 11th May 2010 at 04:20 PM.

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    I say 2 days for a server install as if you are a novice (I do not know the guys skill level) it can take a while, and it adds in case of any mistakes.

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    I'd say, no way.
    Even if you rush like crazy, no way 1 person can get all that done in 15 working days.

    Do as much prep-work as you can, plan it as well as you can, but you've gotta allow 5 maybe 6 weeks, at least, for only you to be working on that.

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    36Degrees's Avatar
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    Just remember, even if nothing can go wrong something probably will! It only takes one unforeseen problem to completely mess up your scheduling.

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    You say you have 6 Physical servers and 7 Virtual ones, could you not use the virtual servers to create the complete network, then when you have taken your time creating all the GPO, user accounts, permissions, scripts etc, and your sure they work. All you would have to do then is migrate the data over, re-add the workstations and and reinstall the OS on the Physical servers. Which should be easily done in 3 weeks with a few days testing to spare.
    I am of course assuming you plan to do all this over the summer Holidays, sounds similar to what i am going to do here (our network is around the same size).
    Over half term we are having a new host server, SAN and vmware equpiment installed. I am then going to spend the whole time between then and the summer hols trying out different virtual scenarios (VM's, gpo's, scripts, permissions, profiles etc). Then over the summer holidays will migrate all the data, users and workstations over and decommision our old network.
    I think if you try and build the network from scratch in 3 weeks you may well do it, but not sure you will have the time to test it thoroughly.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    I say 2 days for a server install as if you are a novice (I do not know the guys skill level) it can take a while, and it adds in case of any mistakes.
    Totally agreed. I've built many a VM hosted server within an hour or two and everything been fine. I've easilly built physical servers, loading OS from scratch and Windows updates and all, within a morning. But for something like this you have to take into account the shit and fan factor. I've had more than my fair share of server builds/moves/migrations that have balls'd up at the wrong point.

    That's the big reason why, even with 6 weeks hols, I wouldn't change everything in one sitting without a very, very good reason. I've learnt the hard way - prioritise, split into small jobs, and do over few holidays.

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    We had a fire a few years ago at one of our schools and we had their Exchange and File Servers backup and running the day after at another school, we also merged school for a few weeks and had kids from one school in at 7am - 1pm and the other school kids in 1pm - 7pm, support for both schools was a nightmare!

    D

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    AIT
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    we are doing this at a school in 2 weeks time so will let you know.

    p.s. i should state are you including planning time. As i would certainly say its possible within 3 weeks if you have done all pre planning.



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