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A win at work


When I started my new job, part of my brief was to come up with a migration proposal for the school network. The old Novell Netware system was (and still is) failing to meet the needs of the school. My colleague was also asked to do the same thing when he started a week after me.

Being a Windows admin, my natural plan was to run Windows Server on the network. My colleague however is a Linux fan, and his vision was based around Linux. We’ve argued to a standstill over this, with both of us realising we are not going to change our minds. So we set out to craft our proposals. Most people would have suggested that we work together on it to craft a better vision together than alone, but due to our ideological differences, this wasn’t possible.

Since February, we’ve been chipping away, frequently stopping, restarting and even starting over. However, about a month ago things went into high gear as we neared our deadline. My colleague had a stunning change of view close to the deadline, where he changed to using Google Apps for parts of his proposal. We argued over this as well. I am impressed with the idea behind it, but not so much that I’d make my network dependant on it yet.

The due date came and we duly handed in the proposals. After that, it was up to management. So the infamous waiting period began, where we waited to hear the outcome. We didn’t enjoy the fact that it took quite a while. Apparently management were doing research of their own, but this turned out to be only half true.

This past Friday (11 September), the decision finally came. After having a long discussion with the owner of a support company that has been involved with the school for years, the choices were made. My Windows solution for Server and Exchange were accepted, while my colleagues Linux firewall, Squid cache and Dansguardian filtering was chosen above my ISA Server.

Apparently we not rolling out Vista and waiting for Windows 7, but since we may not get 7 under a special South African School’s license, I think Vista will creep in on the network. XP is aging rather badly, and only our wildly mixed hardware stops a quick roll out of Vista. Office 2007 is being rolled out though, which was a mutual decision and choice by everyone. There will be pain for people, but it will pass. One can’t ignore new software forever…

While I’m happy I won the core of the migration, I hope I get the chance to sneak in more Microsoft products at some stage. I have a feeling that content filtering is going to be a problem, and I’m hoping that I can bring in ISA to save the day.

Now the real fun and hard work begins in December, when the migration happens. That should prove highly interesting to say the least…

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Categories: Personal, Software
  1. ahuxham
    October 27, 2009 at 13:08

    As a Microsoft fan for everything network, school related, I tend to agree with the Linux/Squid/DG option for filtering.

    I’m a fan of both platforms, Microsoft does things well, as does Linux, and Linux really shines with Squid.

    I’ve migrated several schools from an ISA based solution to a more controlled Squid/DG solution.

    Best advice is see how Squid runs and how it serves your needs, Squid also supports aggressive caching, which in South Africa with bandwidth limitations really shines.

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