multi-year multi-million infrastructure overhaul

FLECOM

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Update time. Yet another completely different school. This school was unique because the MDF was on the second floor. We also had to commandeer another new room to rebuild our MDF. The original one was completely exposed in the library and didn’t even have walls. It was just racks sitting in a back corner.



Old MDF. I was at least able to find the old keys for the network cabinets and lock them so little hands didn’t find their way into our switching gear, but it was a terrible spot for an MDF when they remodeled the school back in 1997. Now that we had the resources, it was time to move it.
ah I still have nightmares about those blonder tongue modulators... when I worked for the school system down here I spent many hours with a meter adjusting those
 

feffrey

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I can't image what it is like being able to say this is our room deal with it lol.
What transpired to actually get the budget and "power" to do all this?
 

cyr0n_k0r

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I can't image what it is like being able to say this is our room deal with it lol.
What transpired to actually get the budget and "power" to do all this?
GREAT question! :D

Most of these upgrades (about 80%) are a result of a federal program for schools and libraries called E-Rate. It is funded through a "tax" on phone bills called the "Universal Service Fund". You will see it on your cell phone bill down by the county and state taxes.

Every phone in America has this tax. The money is collected and put into a large pot that the FCC controls. There is a private organization that manages the E-Rate program called USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company).
Schools and libraries submit an e-rate application to USAC and after years of red tape and back and forth you are either approved or denied. If your application is approved, then you are given money based on your school or districts free and reduced lunch count percentage.
Our district is in a very high poverty area so we are a 90% free and reduced district. Which means that 90% or more of our kids cant afford to pay for their lunch when they come to school. (We have an outside food vendor that feeds all our children that the district pays a percentage of, which is a conversation for another day)
Since we are a 90% district this means that USAC will pay 90% of the cost of our upgrades, and the district pays 10%.
This particular project was a $2million e-rate application so the district ended up paying only $200,000.

Now I know many of you might not agree with how this money is used, but if you see the poor state of infrastructure in my before pictures you will understand that this district had not done any upgrades of any kind for almost 10 years before I started here. Normally you don't do massive forklift upgrades like this because they are too expensive. You try and do 1 or 2 schools every couple of years. Since everything was falling apart we needed to do the entire district under 1 application year.

The remaining 20% of the upgrades were paid for by our district passing a bond initiative that covered items that e-rate doesn't pay for. E-rate is only for backend infrastructure, so anything user facing the bond paid for (phone handsets, new computers, MDF construction renovations, etc)

I should make it VERY clear that e-rate is not a "buy whatever you want" type of program. Your application is reviewed EXTENSIVELY for cost effectiveness, unnecessary over-sizing of equipment, etc. From application to approval a 12-18th month review is about average. Many districts that qualify for e-rate money don't even apply because the red tape and administrative overhead to go through the whole process is not worth it to them. Especially if they are a 50% free and reduced percentage or lower.
 

dave99

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The government is only buy whatever you want when it comes to giving tanks away to 5 man police forces..;) /soapbox

More pics!
 

ToX

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Nice thread and solid work. The district I work in is 90-95% free and reduced lunch. I inherited a bit of a mess but slowly and surely working to get it all better.
 

Ivan_Only

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GREAT question! :D

Most of these upgrades (about 80%) are a result of a federal program for schools and libraries called E-Rate. It is funded through a "tax" on phone bills called the "Universal Service Fund". You will see it on your cell phone bill down by the county and state taxes.

Every phone in America has this tax. The money is collected and put into a large pot that the FCC controls. There is a private organization that manages the E-Rate program called USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company).
Schools and libraries submit an e-rate application to USAC and after years of red tape and back and forth you are either approved or denied. If your application is approved, then you are given money based on your school or districts free and reduced lunch count percentage.
Our district is in a very high poverty area so we are a 90% free and reduced district. Which means that 90% or more of our kids cant afford to pay for their lunch when they come to school. (We have an outside food vendor that feeds all our children that the district pays a percentage of, which is a conversation for another day)
Since we are a 90% district this means that USAC will pay 90% of the cost of our upgrades, and the district pays 10%.
This particular project was a $2million e-rate application so the district ended up paying only $200,000.

Now I know many of you might not agree with how this money is used, but if you see the poor state of infrastructure in my before pictures you will understand that this district had not done any upgrades of any kind for almost 10 years before I started here. Normally you don't do massive forklift upgrades like this because they are too expensive. You try and do 1 or 2 schools every couple of years. Since everything was falling apart we needed to do the entire district under 1 application year.

The remaining 20% of the upgrades were paid for by our district passing a bond initiative that covered items that e-rate doesn't pay for. E-rate is only for backend infrastructure, so anything user facing the bond paid for (phone handsets, new computers, MDF construction renovations, etc)

I should make it VERY clear that e-rate is not a "buy whatever you want" type of program. Your application is reviewed EXTENSIVELY for cost effectiveness, unnecessary over-sizing of equipment, etc. From application to approval a 12-18th month review is about average. Many districts that qualify for e-rate money don't even apply because the red tape and administrative overhead to go through the whole process is not worth it to them. Especially if they are a 50% free and reduced percentage or lower.
That is an awesome explanation! I for one applaud this type of effort. Anything that can get our nations kids more support for learning is A+ in my book!
 

magoo

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That's a very nice explanation about the program you all used.

It looks like you did a great job in planning and implementation.

Your students are going to be very happy with these upgrades. Congrats and great job.:D
 

cyr0n_k0r

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One last update before the big finale.
This is our last school before I show you the renovations at our district office.



Old MDF. This room had a very low ceiling so we had to get creative with the ladder tray. HVAC unit was moved and replaced.




The right side of the room. You can see our old purple NEC phone switches, as well as all the 66 blocks it took to run the phones and intercom.




After all renovations were complete. The pictures don’t do this room justice. Next to that pillar in the middle of the room were 2 racks of VCR’s that we removed and opened the room up quite a bit. The column had to stay because it’s load bearing. You can also see that we were able to remove a significant amount of the 66 blocks that were abandoned by going to VoIP phones.

(I also need to mention that all those servers in the right side of the rack are NOT mine. I had to provide rackspace to a private school that is leasing a portion of that campus so it's all their stuff. I would not be running tower servers turned on their sides.)




Maps hung in every room to show where you are, what the school layout is, and where all our network drops are and what they are numbered.



Next update will be the grand finale.
 

Cerulean

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Next update will be the grand finale.
This is emotional bro! ;_; THE THREAD CANT END JUST YET (knowing the end is one more posting away)

Steve or MajorDomo should feature this thread on front page of HardOCP
 

levak

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I admire you:) I would LOVE to work beside someone like you and learn. Hell, I would do it for free, just to get the knowledge:)

Matej
 

cyr0n_k0r

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I'm digging the pretty baron 4500 chassis ;)
They were originally going to be much more full. But we have done a hard push for mobile (as you'll see in my next post)
Plus, oddly enough Cisco gave us stupid deals to just buy the chassis fully populated. It was more cost effective to get it fully populated than half populated. So it passed USAC review :)
 

FrEaKy

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This is a very incredible rebuild. I love it.
 

dbwillis

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if you can, Id love to hear about the WDS customizations you did
 

cyr0n_k0r

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Grand Finale. What you will see below is the culmination of years of work. I consider the district office MDF as my pride and joy in this overall upgrade project. I spent a lot of time in here wire managing, moving, cleaning, upgrading, and getting things just right.
Let’s begin.



This is the IDF in our transportation building. This building was built before the district office which is across the parking lot. Because of this, the street entry for copper and fiber are in here. What you are seeing is 15 years of T-1’s being added, abandoned, and never removed. In took 3 months just to figure out what each circuit did, if it was still being used, and what it connected to. After everything was said and done I was able to demo all but two T-1 cards. I also made the carrier come out and replace the shelf holding the T-1 cards (which was a fight in itself).




What you see now is a new T-1 shelf that holds only the 2 cards that we need. A single 66 blocks that takes the T-1 lines and a few remaining POTS over to our district office. Everything else has been removed. Our fiber splice from the street can also be seen at the bottom. You can’t tell from these specific pictures but the Security and Fire panels were moved to the rear wall to make room for a new 2 post rack that is peaking out on the left side.
A 1 ton mini split unit that we had as a spare after replacing all of them in the school MDF’s was added to this room since we installed a server into this IDF to act as our aux copy for backups. We got away from tapes for secondary and now use a spare HP MSA disk array that wasn’t being used anymore once we got our new EqualLogic SAN.




A shot during the transition of this IDF. (No, that isn't me)



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




For anyone that forgot, this is what I was working with when I started these upgrades. The APC racks were the first step in getting this room cleaned up.




As part of the E-Rate upgrades we also added over 200 new Lightweight Cisco access points. This allowed us to have a standard AP model throughout the district and finally completed our 100% wireless built out goal. It couldn’t have come soon enough as over the past 36 months we have made a HUGE push for mobile in our district.




First shipment of laptops for teachers and students. We are a 1:1 district which means that every child from 2nd – 8th grade gets their own laptop to use at school. (We only go to 8th grade, so no high schools)




Second shipment




Third shipment




Fourth shipment. Keep in mind this wasn’t all at once. This was done over multiple summers. But every summer was similar to these pictures. In the past 36 months because of the support of our community, federal and state grants, our bond initiative, and a M&O (maintenance and operations) override, we have been lucky to purchase about 3,000 laptops for our students. The bond paid for an additional 200 for our teachers.




It took an army of help to unbox, inventory, and image these laptops. Here you see a couple of pallets sorted by school and grant fund. We are required to keep track of which grant money pays for which machines so it adds a layer of complexity in tracking since only certain students can receive certain laptops paid with certain grant money. Whatever gaps we have our bond and overrides filled in since they have less restrictive rules.




Some of our amazing workers during one of the summers. We see some of our bus drivers helping with unboxing, etc.




Some of our IT staff as well as bus drivers helping to unbox and inventory.




Unboxed, inventoried, and sorted by school ready for imaging.




Imaging. We had 4 of these stations each with about 20 laptops per station.




The new switches sitting in my office waiting to be upgraded and configured.




Upgrading the switches. I’ve since moved to a serial over Bluetooth so I can work on the switches from 30+ feet away and not have to be cramped in the IDF’s.




District Office Phase 2 begins. While the rest of my team was busy with the laptops I was working on all the backend infrastructure upgrades.




Pulling out old copper lines to clear up the conduits for new fiber between the transportation building and the district office.




The vault.




MDF phase 2 continued. Racks in place, ladder tray finalized.




Above the grid after all the cable had been sorted and dressed on the ladder tray.




Hundreds of GB of memory for our new Hyper-V cluster. We were already running Hyper-V but all our host servers were standalone. I rebuilt everything over the summer to be a 3 node cluster centralized at the district office in the new racks.




Cutover weekend. Laying everything out to cut over to the new infrastructure at the district office.




Our vendor jumping the gun and trying to rack the new 4500 (full) without me. (They were unsuccessful)




After I emptied the 4500 and showed them how to rack it the easier way.




Just because :)




Electrical panel has the flex replaced with permanent outlets. These two receptacles that have plugs in them are NEMA CS6364. The third outlet is an L6-30R.




Rear shot of our new Hyper-V cluster and UCS servers running our virtualized Call Manager and Unity PUB and SUB’s. At the bottom is one of the two 8Kva UPS’s.




How I labeled everything. Since the cables go between racks I labeled them once with the rack number and cable number, and again with the role that cable plays. This way, if we ever re-wire and change the roles of the cables we don’t have to tone them again, we just re-label the role while leaving the cable number label alone.




Patch cable bundles coming into the main server rack.




Rear cable management complete.




The front of the server rack after being complete. From bottom to top. One of the 8Kva UPS’s. EqualLogic SAN. 3 Node Hyper-V cluster. Space. IP KVM. Physical DC. Spare server. Cisco UCS servers running VMware and virtualizing our Call Managers and Unity voicemail servers.




Network rack finished. The top 2 blades are workstations, phones, printers, etc. They aren’t labeled because they go to the patch panels. The bottom 3 blades are for the servers. We have space for a redundant Sup7E that I’m waiting for funds to clear up so we can get a refurbished one and have redundant supervisors.




Behind the racks. All our panels are now in the same spot.




Electrical panel finished. Plenty of room for growth.




Inside our access control panel.




Inside the fire panel. We had a special FM200 system installed just for this room since the fire suppression for the district office building was not the best.




The FM200 tank on the north side of the MDF.




Our IP video encoders. These take our DirecTV feed and encode them so we can stream television throughout the district via IP. Our teachers watch district broadcasts through their computers on the projectors in the classrooms. No more modulators, and VCR’s.
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Everyone has been patient so here is my favorite shot.
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Before:



After:




Thus concludes our districts multi-year, multi-milltion dollar infrastructure overhaul.
I hope you enjoyed. :D :D
 
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wra18th

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That looked like a labor of love. So inspiring. I too, label everything the way you do. It keeps my brain in order.
 

Cerulean

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http://imgur.com/ZoXfkXj
What did they do that they were unsuccessful about that you were in http://imgur.com/i3qS4kR ?

http://i.imgur.com/qwcB3Uq.jpg
What are those HP KVM over RJ45 devices (model number in particular)?

Why so many 4-port NICs and Ethernet connections to each server? :?

http://i.imgur.com/l59G5oC.jpg
What led you to deploy mixed-brand servers (HP and Dell servers) instead of a single brand?

http://imgur.com/v8uotBR
I can't see the blade servers ?? X_X

http://imgur.com/cweMsV7
What's special about "a special FM200 system"? :?

http://imgur.com/XoPYneL
How does this system work? Could you elaborate on what these "dristrict broadcasts" are? Could you describe a scenario where one would need to use these? How is the DirecTV service setup or subscribed? Is it like a business/government-type subscription, and what does the service subscription entail (what can you do with it)?

I look forward to your responses OP -- I want to learn! I really appreciate your making of this thread for the public to see, I think it is really educational and should get a place on HardOCP, Slashdot, and reddit frontpages and should have an HTML web-page dedicated to itself so that it could be shared by instructors at colleges and universities without depending on [H] being functional. ;o

EDIT: I've sent Steve and MajorDomo a PM recommending this thread as a thread that is worthy and deserves attention. :) If anyone else is in agreement, please let Steve and MajorDomo know!
 
Last edited:

Dogs

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http://imgur.com/cweMsV7
What's special about "a special FM200 system"? :?
I would assume he means special as in the system he has installed is purpose made for suppressing fires in rooms with valuable electronics and (more importantly) critical data. FM200 is actually a relatively neat means of fire suppression, though.

FM200 systems are waterless fire suppression systems.
http://www2.dupont.com/FE/en_US/products/FM200.html#.UzJDq_ldXAQ
Most places I've worked at protect their data centers and other 'expensive' resources with something like FM200, because setting off a sprinkler system in our data centers could easily result in upwards of hundreds of millions (maybe on a bad day, billions if you include lost sales and capital gains due to business interruption) of dollars worth of damages.

In my non-expert understanding (I did go to school for chemistry, but I've only briefly worked in computational chemistry as a profession. I'm certainly not a chemist), FM200 is essentially a propane molecule where the hydrogens on the first order carbons, as well as one of the hydrogens on the second order carbon, have been replaced with fluorine. Flourine bonds much, much more strongly with the carbon than hydrogen, so the reaction mechanisms which make an ordinary propane molecule highly flammable DO NOT apply to FM200, making it fairly inert. When a fire occurs in a room which is protected by an FM200 system, the system quickly releases enough non-flammable FM200 to displace enough oxygen to put out the fire, but not enough oxygen that an occupant of the room wouldn't have enough time to escape the room. The rapid depressurization of the FM200 gas probably also allows it to remove enough heat from the fire to put it out, as well....if you're familiar with compressed air cans, think about what happens when you spray a lot of air from the can.
 
Last edited:

feffrey

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I would assume he means special as in the system he has installed is purpose made for suppressing fires in rooms with valuable electronics and (more importantly) critical data. FM200 is actually a relatively neat means of fire suppression, though.

FM200 systems are waterless fire suppression systems.
http://www2.dupont.com/FE/en_US/products/FM200.html#.UzJDq_ldXAQ
Most places I've worked at protect their data centers and other 'expensive' resources with something like FM200, because setting off a sprinkler system in our data centers could easily result in upwards of hundreds of millions (maybe on a bad day, billions if you include lost sales and capital gains due to business interruption) of dollars worth of damages.

In my non-expert understanding (I did go to school for chemistry, but I've only briefly worked in computational chemistry as a profession. I'm certainly not a chemist), FM200 is essentially a propane molecule where the hydrogens on the first order carbons, as well as one of the hydrogens on the second order carbon, have been replaced with fluorine. Flourine bonds much, much more strongly with the carbon than hydrogen, so the reaction mechanisms which make an ordinary propane molecule highly flammable DO NOT apply to FM200, making it fairly inert. When a fire occurs in a room which is protected by an FM200 system, the system quickly releases enough non-flammable FM200 to displace enough oxygen to put out the fire, but not enough oxygen that an occupant of the room wouldn't have enough time to escape the room.
We use a Sapphire system system at work. Really neat stuff, it is a liquid that is not "wet". There is a video where someone dunks a book in it and it comes out dry.
 

Dogs

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We use a Sapphire system system at work. Really neat stuff, it is a liquid that is not "wet". There is a video where someone dunks a book in it and it comes out dry.
There are a lot of crazy 'engineered fluids' out there. Dupont makes the FM and FE lines of chemicals. 3M has a 'Novec' line of chemicals it manufactures for purposes like fire suppression, etc. There's all sorts of neat things which can be done with these 'high tech, engineered' chemicals, including this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_X_hgtlJpA
 

cyr0n_k0r

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http://imgur.com/ZoXfkXj
What did they do that they were unsuccessful about that you were in http://imgur.com/i3qS4kR ?
It took 3 of them (as you can see in the picture) and they couldn't line the rack holes up because it was too heavy and awkward for them. I emptied the chassis and showed them how easy it is to line up everything when the chassis only weighs 10 pounds instead of 40.

http://i.imgur.com/qwcB3Uq.jpg
What are those HP KVM over RJ45 devices (model number in particular)?
HP 336047-B21
http://h30094.www3.hp.com/product.aspx?cache=1158162904&culture=en-US&sku=2447170
Connecting to a 0x2x16 IP KVM switch : part AF617A
which connects to a TGT7600 KVM console : part AZ870A


Why so many 4-port NICs and Ethernet connections to each server? :?
To pass USAC cost effective review I had to do 1Gb instead of 10GbE. Thus each Hyper-V node has 3 quad port Intel NIC's.
4 in LAG for VM traffic
2 in LAG for Live Migration
2 for VM iSCSI traffic
2 for Host server iSCSI traffic
1 for management
1 for cluster heartbeat.

http://i.imgur.com/l59G5oC.jpg
What led you to deploy mixed-brand servers (HP and Dell servers) instead of a single brand?
Remember, not all of those are 1 year. The HP's we bought about 1000 of and they discontinued the series we were buying. They weren't that great anyway so we went with Lenovo's the next go around. Teachers get Dell laptops. Keep in mind that even though its 3 brands it's also only 3 models. We buy the same model until we can't buy it anymore, then we buy more of them refurbished until you just can't get them anymore. Then we look for a new standard model.


http://imgur.com/cweMsV7
What's special about "a special FM200 system"? :?
It's special in that the district office building was built prior to a specific fire code requiring buildings under 5,000 sq feet to have fire sprinklers. Which means the entire district office has no fire system (except fire extinguishers placed around). So this FM200 system is special because its the only REAL fire suppression system in that entire building. It's also my first FM200 system that I got to design and project manage the installation of, and we all remember our firsts :)

http://imgur.com/XoPYneL
How does this system work? Could you elaborate on what these "dristrict broadcasts" are? Could you describe a scenario where one would need to use these? How is the DirecTV service setup or subscribed? Is it like a business/government-type subscription, and what does the service subscription entail (what can you do with it)?
The system receives signal from 1 of 8 DirecTV receivers which then goes into those IP encoders in the back via HDMI. The encoders change it over to IP and spit it out via multicast streams. Teachers can then access our internal Montage (vendor for the video system) server to access live TV broadcasts. They can also record television similar to how your channel guide works in your house. We can also upload district videos which can be multicast throughout the district.
Yes, it is called "DirecTV goes to school" and basically we get about 30 educational channels for free. Science, NASA, History, etc.

I look forward to your responses OP -- I want to learn! I really appreciate your making of this thread for the public to see, I think it is really educational and should get a place on HardOCP, Slashdot, and reddit frontpages and should have an HTML web-page dedicated to itself so that it could be shared by instructors at colleges and universities without depending on [H] being functional. ;o

EDIT: I've sent Steve and MajorDomo a PM recommending this thread as a thread that is worthy and deserves attention. :) If anyone else is in agreement, please let Steve and MajorDomo know!
thanks :D
I'm happy to answer any questions.
 

Cerulean

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The system receives signal from 1 of 8 DirecTV receivers which then goes into those IP encoders in the back via HDMI. The encoders change it over to IP and spit it out via multicast streams. Teachers can then access our internal Montage (vendor for the video system) server to access live TV broadcasts. They can also record television similar to how your channel guide works in your house. We can also upload district videos which can be multicast throughout the district.
Yes, it is called "DirecTV goes to school" and basically we get about 30 educational channels for free. Science, NASA, History, etc.
So its kind of like a PCI TV tuner/capture card at a centralized location. When users access the Montage server ... is it through a web-browser using HTML5, Java, Flash, or Quicktime? or like a Montage client app that gets installed? I'm curious about how the front-end looks to the teachers and other users on the computers they use.
 

cyr0n_k0r

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So its kind of like a PCI TV tuner/capture card at a centralized location. When users access the Montage server ... is it through a web-browser using HTML5, Java, Flash, or Quicktime? or like a Montage client app that gets installed? I'm curious about how the front-end looks to the teachers and other users on the computers they use.
The encoders are "encoding" the video streams in real time. So when you watch the IP multicast stream you're about .3 seconds behind live.
It's a web interface that uses a special montage player that is installed. However the player works through the browser so the users don't know the difference. I pushed the player out via SCCM months before we implemented it and it's now in our standard image so its automatically installed.
The live TV watching is cool, but this system really shines with all the built in educational video content that came with it. It's thousands of hours of video aligned to our state standards and the teachers LOVE it.
 

Cerulean

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Another question:

Windows licenses

Was Software Assurance involved in this?

Your situation is on a larger scale than mine. I work for a company in the 500-1000 employee count tier (world-wide count) with about 300 computer users in the same U.S. State; several dozen users have laptops, we have a dozen desktop computers, and probably over 150 all-in-one zero clients deployed. We don't have any imaging of any form in place for any laptop or workstation due to lack of justification for the amount of time required for imaging and on an equally important note the lack of Software Assurance or licensing scheme. We've got Toshiba, HP, and Dell laptops and workstations with like 12-16 different unique models in deployment. Some Toshiba's my past supervisors bought in handful quantities came with Windows 7 Home Premium; some with Windows 8; etcetera. Laptops that came with Windows 7 Home Premium we bought a Professional Upgrade for. It's a sincere mess. Do you have any thoughts? Suggestions? Advice?

Not only that, but the company has never done a proper and full inventory of all equipment /even after/ the old Information Staff retired, quit, or was let go and replaced completely with fresh blood (not all at once though -- just one person at a time here and there over the course of one year). There is no asset tracking either.

How did you guys stage your laptops and machines? What must-do applications (ex. CompuTrace or LoJack / asset tracking)? How did you deal with licensing? Did you use license embedded in BIOS / did it work? Did the laptops come loaded with Windows 8 or 7? Is there a COA sticker on the laptops you guys used, or did you have to do something special/different?

For a different company I work for, I got a couple T420 laptops from Lenovo preloaded with Windows 7 Professional with an embedded license key for both that and Windows 8 -- but Lenovo is being a prick and refuses to help get Windows 7 Professional activated with Microsoft after I did a fresh reinstall from scratch (Windows 8 automatically activates successfully on the other hand -- never asked for a key).
 

JPF_

Limp Gawd
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Messages
494
Amazing write up, I did not honestly read a lot of it however I just have one question(s) lol


1) Are you the CIO of the district?
2) If not, what is your official title?
3) What cert's do you hold?
4) How long have you been in IT?


Very jealous, and hope one day I get to do what you do on the daily.
Good luck and hope that a lot less complaints from teachers/staff occur due to these amazing upgrades/dates.
 

cyr0n_k0r

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Another question:

Windows licenses

Was Software Assurance involved in this?
We use a program Microsoft has called EES. It gives us full access to most of the Microsoft desktop products for our entire district while only paying licensing for the number of full time employees (FTE) that we have.
So if we have 3,000 computers for all teachers and students, but only 400 full time employees, we only pay licensing for 400. It's an incredible bargain. It includes Windows, Office, exchange mailbox CAL's, AD CAL's, and a bunch of other stuff that we don't use. It also provides software assurance so we can upgrade to whatever version we want.

Your situation is on a larger scale than mine. I work for a company in the 500-1000 employee count tier............ It's a sincere mess. Do you have any thoughts? Suggestions? Advice?
Get WDS. It's free. It's built into Windows. If you have Windows servers you already have WDS. Get MDT, it's free. Everything I do for imaging is within WDS and MDT with a little bit of WAIK thrown in.

How did you guys stage your laptops and machines? What must-do applications (ex. CompuTrace or LoJack / asset tracking)? How did you deal with licensing? Did you use license embedded in BIOS / did it work? Did the laptops come loaded with Windows 8 or 7? Is there a COA sticker on the laptops you guys used, or did you have to do something special/different?
CompuTrace is a waste of money. We bought it for 500 laptops when we first started our 1:1 program and after the 3 year contract was up we only had 7 maliciously stolen. However we also purchase ADP warranty since we were giving the laptops to students full time and they could also take home. This extra warranty on the machines paid for itself 10x over. GET ADP WARRANTY ON YOUR LAPTOPS FOR KIDS.

Amazing write up, I did not honestly read a lot of it however I just have one question(s) lol

1) Are you the CIO of the district?
2) If not, what is your official title?
3) What cert's do you hold?
4) How long have you been in IT?

Very jealous, and hope one day I get to do what you do on the daily.
Good luck and hope that a lot less complaints from teachers/staff occur due to these amazing upgrades/dates.
1) No.
2) Network Engineer / Supervisor
3) CCNP, CCDA, CCNA:Voice, CCNA, MCSE, MCITP:EA, Project+, Security+
4) I've been in IT with schools for about 7 years now. IT overall about 10.

There have been ZERO complaints from teachers and staff about our infrastructure since these upgrades. Knock on wood, but nothing goes down anymore. We did have one of our school's phones fail over into SRST mode because our WAN link was flapping but that was because our local carrier for our MetroE circuit were being dumb. It was cool though because I got to use all the labels on my Metro series switches to call their NOC and because I had all the circuit information right in front of me they resolved the problem in about 15 minutes.
 

dave99

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
2,129
Looks very challenging, but probably a very rewarding project to see every new and clean..
 

Karandras69

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
1,860
Wow, wow wow...Really REALLY nice, clean and organized work! That school board needed someone like you to clean that mess up.

As previous posters said, it would have been a pleasure working with you and learning from you on a project of that scale. Not to mention the fun and frustrations to go along with it.
 
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