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Wireless Networks Thread, Merging 3 schools networks in Technical; Hi everybody. To cut a long story short... We are one of three schools all relatively close to each other. ...
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    Merging 3 schools networks

    Hi everybody. To cut a long story short...

    We are one of three schools all relatively close to each other. Anyway these schools are now collaborating in what it being called a "federation". The powers at be have started enquiring whether it possible for us to merge the three networks to allow file sharing and a single email system.

    My plan is to gut all three networks and start fresh. Although close the schools aren't close enough to cable a solid link between them; therefore I'm planning on using three ISA servers 1 at each site to allow VPN communications via the Internet between the 3 domains. The email system will be hosted on Exchange servers (again 1 at each site).

    I've never attempted anything like this before and as you could imagine have a lot of questions...

    1) I'm hoping that this system will allow me to have three seperate domains joined by trust relationships.

    2) I'd like each exchange server to have 3 global address lists. 1 for each school rather than listing all users in a single list.

    3) whats the best Active directory method of linking domains. I.E one forest with three subdomains, 3 trees with trusts, or some other method?

    4) Would I need to create three sepaerate sites in AD Sites and Services?

    Thats all for now. This seems like a big request but at the moment it's still all in the theoretical stages. Nothing definate has been decided. I'd just like to be ready.

    Thanks again!

    Ryan

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Merging 3 schools networks

    Do all 3 currently have technical support staff or is it just you for all 3?

    Some form of VLE/MLE for sharing information etc... may be better than joining all 3 schools together.

    Ben

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    Re: Merging 3 schools networks

    There is technical staff. One school's is relatively new and the other schools are mainly computer technicians that only use AD to add users. All of the networks are in need of a new lease of life after years of neglect by staff and students!

    A VLE is also on the books, the plan is for us to write our own version for use with our Intranet system, email and curriculum shared drives.

    Thanks

    Ryan

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    Re: Merging 3 schools networks

    If the schools are close enough, you might be able to install wireless links between the sites giving potentially 100mb through put. I have just completed a contract in Reading where this has been done to link to sites.

    I would then setup new child domain trees for each remote site in the forest, the important thing is that you must get DNS right.

    I also think that you should be able to implement a single exchange server for all three schools, you can have mupltiple SMTP connectors and storage groups on the same sever.

    Sounds like an interesting and ambititious plan, feel free to contact me if you need someone to throw ideas around with.

    darren.mussenden@evolvedit.com

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    Re: Merging 3 schools networks

    I have a feeling that this is going to be where we are heading in our school eventually. We are 'soft federating' with a bunch of our feeder schools, which I am thinking is going to lead to eventual hard federation and sharing of resources such as your school is doing.

    May I ask how far 'not close enough together' is? Are you not being given specific funding for this as part of your federation bid? However... How fast is each schools net connection at the moment?

    If indeed there is no simple way to join the sites with physical links, I would say that making use of 3 ISA servers with VPN's is a possibility. You may wish to look at something a little more chunky though - maybe a cisco vpn.

    I'm not sure about the others as I haven't had dealings with those areas yet...

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    LAN extension service? MPLS solution it wan time?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I would keep one exchange server and use OWA. My network is a part of a multiple forest, from experience having a few exchange servers on one network is a pain. I would also stick to one domain. Don’t do it like the setup we have, you will regret it.

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    DSapseid's Avatar
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    This is a year old topic so he might well have found a solution. I think this another case of the similar threads! - makes it sound like a disease

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    To connect the sites together you may want to give your RBC a call. From what I remember it should be possible for them to setup a route between the schools.

    Unless you don't have an RBC connection on each site.

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