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Wireless Networks Thread, anyone thinking of ditching the LA for internet in Technical; discuss ..... pros / cons options for internet connection suppliers options for filtering / mail services...
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    oxide54's Avatar
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    anyone thinking of ditching the LA for internet

    discuss .....

    pros / cons
    options for internet connection
    suppliers
    options for filtering / mail services

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We are looking at this as part of our Academy process.

    Pros
    You actually get the speed you have specced into your school. Eg. Many RBC connections are relatively contended - so you're sharing bandwidth to the net.
    Flexibility - you're not tied to do what your LA/RBC decide is best for your connection.

    Cons
    Most commercial providers are not connected to the NEN
    Potentially costs more
    Responsibility for filtering falls on you.

    Suppliers - Opal, Network Flow, BT, Zen, Virgin. There are loads of them.

    Filtering - Smoothwall, Forefront TMG's built in filtering service. Again, loads of them. Personally, I am keen on a Smoothwall box.
    Mail - Loads of options. Live@Edu, Google Apps for Education, running your own mail servers. We're looking at Google Apps for Education now, after lots of research.

    I think, overall, if your school is going to become an academy, commercial providers appear to have the edge.

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    fathead (13th March 2011)

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    oxide54's Avatar
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    i saw demo for bloxx the other day, anyone played with that?

    they had an interesting approach to youtube , where you whitelist videos.

    heard good things about smoothwall,

    forefront?>>???? nightmare to implement/manage full filtering oob i would think, we use it for emergency filtering in front of the LA filtering


    there several reasons we want to do our own thing.

    filtering - more control ( although i agree, on the responsibility part, main reason I haven't really considered it up to now)
    cost - if the cost increases significantly is it viable.
    our admin and curriculum subnets are linked via their "router" its a layer 3 switch and we have no admin access to it,
    -> 1 . I'd rather administer myself.
    --> 2. Its very slow at times for some stuff like PXE booting and WDS
    --> 3. Its difficult to troubleshoot slow WDS when you can't admin the "router"

    sorry to be a div ? whats NEN

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    There are no universal rules for any of this. For instance on the LA network here you get the specified speeds, you can change the bandwidth (+/- a cost of course!) and subject to where you are, the commercial connections costs can be much more expensive.

    Having made and managed everything re. private sector Internet connections beginning in the early 90s I'd be perfectly happy with d-i-y, but I'd be equally happy not doing that because I know first hand about some of the grief you can get.

    ::wonders:: How many folk will bend the pros/cons towards d-i-y because they want to play with something new for them?
    ::concludes:: Probably a serious percentage, given how many techs are hooked on this week's shiny new s/w, gadgets etc.

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    SimpleSi (12th March 2011)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxide54 View Post
    i saw demo for bloxx the other day, anyone played with that?

    they had an interesting approach to youtube , where you whitelist videos.

    heard good things about smoothwall,

    forefront?>>???? nightmare to implement/manage full filtering oob i would think, we use it for emergency filtering in front of the LA filtering


    there several reasons we want to do our own thing.

    filtering - more control ( although i agree, on the responsibility part, main reason I haven't really considered it up to now)
    cost - if the cost increases significantly is it viable.
    our admin and curriculum subnets are linked via their "router" its a layer 3 switch and we have no admin access to it,
    -> 1 . I'd rather administer myself.
    --> 2. Its very slow at times for some stuff like PXE booting and WDS
    --> 3. Its difficult to troubleshoot slow WDS when you can't admin the "router"

    sorry to be a div ? whats NEN
    NEN is The National Education Network.

    The National Education Network

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    We shall hopefully have a company who is very, very good at school internet connectivity talking about this very subject at our conf in June. I won't name names yet until they're in the bag though

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    We shall hopefully have a company who is very, very good at school internet connectivity talking about this very subject at our conf in June. I won't name names yet until they're in the bag though
    Hmm, wondering who this is. Can you not name them 1) regardless of whether they're at the EduConf 2) For those people who are trying to get their act together now?

    Failing that anyone else know who this could be?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Don't forget the following ...

    Firewall / security (don't just rely on the router)
    Public IPs
    Public DNS
    Access to subscribed services (sometimes linked in with or authenticated via the RBC / LA such as Brittanica Online, EducationCity, etc)
    Email Filtering (inbound, outbound and between users)
    Access to VC if needed (JVCS or low-end VC for multiple users, but Skype multi-vid could be an option)
    SIP Trunking for VoIP

    Will you need to re-arrange your internal IP range? Are any VLANs used done via internal network hardware or does it go through your Router (often LA owned)?

    Are you accredited to access certain secure local or central Govt services through your existing connection and what do you need to do if you move?

    This is before you get into the support side of things ... how much support will you require? SLAs?

    These are just some of the things starting to come up in the local user group looking at things in our LA.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    We have briefly looked into moving away from our LEA for our broadband, but by the time we factored in all the added benefits we get like web filtering thrown in for free, e-mail SPAM filtering thrown in for free, router and firewall, support for it all as well, and the fact we can easily create network links between other schools we are associated with in order to share systems and resources should we want to, we decided (for now at least) we are better where we are. The Kent Public Service Network, which is what our broadband is part of, is generally very reliable, very fast and very flexible and I have few complaints.
    Last edited by maniac; 11th March 2011 at 11:24 PM.

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    I found RM have very good prices. 8k for fiber 4k for copper and 2k for ADSL+ and they come with firewall + proxy stuff. Filtering is about 150 py

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    oxide54 (13th March 2011)

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    Generally we've seen people able to make cost savings - even sometimes in areas which are traditionally hard to provide internet to. Also flexibility is key - often people i have met are getting shorter contracts, giving more options going forward. You do have to be dilligent - the main thing to ensure is do you have time to make all the procurements and do al the setup - so it is worth talking to suppliers, especially ISPs about lead-time very early on.

    We Smoothwall folk have helped organise netman meetings to get people in the same area together to discuss these options (we can supply sandwiches, some organisation and a focal point for discussions!) - if anyone's interested in doing this where they are, PM/mail/phone.

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    oxide54 (12th March 2011)

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    Well worth talking to Robin Williams at LUNS Lancaster University Network Services

    They used to have the CLEO contract and are excellent people to deal with and highly skilled. Whenever we had issues once we got passed the CLEO people and talked directly to LUNS it was always resolved.

    I've just had a very good quote from them to supply us with an unfiltered 100Mb fibre service with some public IP space and it was excellent.
    Last edited by jcollings; 12th March 2011 at 10:19 AM.

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    oxide54 (12th March 2011), poltawski (15th March 2011)

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    oxide54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    ::wonders:: How many folk will bend the pros/cons towards d-i-y because they want to play with something new for them?
    ::concludes:: Probably a serious percentage, given how many techs are hooked on this week's shiny new s/w, gadgets etc.
    not quite, i'd rather not have to wait for a CCR to be approved by the LA then filter through 2 subcontractors, weeks...... when i worked in industry we used to ring the ISP and they would do it while you were on the phone.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Firewall/router, IP Addresses, Public DNS - all very easy to manage. I've not come across an ISP that doesn't offer a router, and if you do the filtering right, your filtering solution is often a firewall solution also. Public IPs aren't an issue either, as I've not come across a leased line provider who doesn't offer them.

    Email filtering would be part of your email solution, so not necessarily linked to your internet connection.

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    Well worth talking to Robin Williams at LUNS – Lancaster University Network Services

    They used to have the CLEO contract and are excellent people to deal with and highly skilled. Whenever we had issues once we got passed the CLEO people and talked directly to LUNS it was always resolved.

    I've just had a very good quote from them to supply us with an unfiltered 100Mb fibre service with some public IP space and it was excellent.
    Have met a couple of their chaps, and was generally impressed by their technical accumen at least Nice building they're in too. And decent coffee.

  21. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    poltawski (15th March 2011)

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