Projects Update

Published by Matt Setchell on

So it is getting closer to Easter, an unusual time for me to have big projects on the go, but with our new financial year as an academy running alongside the academic year, Easter, and not the summer holidays is the key time for things to be done.

This will be a bit weird, and somewhat demanding – but at least we can say the summer term is for testing, summer holidays for rectifying and Autumn term for go live for any major projects.

Project 1: 387 Windows 8.1 Tablets & Complete infrastructure upgrade

This project involves deploying 16 tablets in most classrooms, and then some additional bookable trolleys around the school. I have worked closely with MillGate to get this one right.

It has been quite a big job with many different elements, for instance, an upgrade of our internet to 100mb for the extra use.

Over Easter we are upgrading, and Vlanning our switches, to give us a 10GB backbone, and more redundancy. The aim is the aerohive wifi should also start dishing out its own IPs to help us not run out of IPs

We have gone for Netgear, purchased via Softcat and installed by M&J Data Networks. Some £10k of switching gear is ready to roll out…

The tablets themselves, after a few early hiccups at VeryPC and the end of TAP, are on their way to us early April, with the first one currently at work as I wonder how on earth to image it.

I am currently thinking the only real way to image something that wont PXE boot is to create a custom image on 20 Memory sticks, which will join them to domain via their USB to NIC adapters and then deploy software via GP. That is tomorrows job however…

Our wall mounted cabinets are on the way, which means I need to go around classrooms and find out who will need additional power for charging units.

As nobody owns rooms in our school, over Easter I plan to take a picture of all the locations and then let staff check and feedback.

Project 2: New Rooms

Additional machines are planned for the Staff room, for our learning support area (in a new staff work area) and a small 16 PC ICT room is being remoddled with 8 new PCs and a storage area for trolleys…

This work is a simple as imaging and then installing the new PCs now I have sorted electrics and network installs

Project 3: Main Network Cab #2 Refit

The old server room, is now a backup server room, with, funnily, all our backups in it. It is air-conditioned and it has a cab in it for DR – but the switching in it is awful. So a floor to ceiling cabinet is being installed over Easter, with the new switches. It will be much easier to problem solve here.

Project 4: SSD upgrades 

We use SSDs in pretty much every machine, infact, this last batch of machines to upgrade will be the last ones being migrated, so that’s 40 machines to rebuild.

Project 5: Laptop refurbishment

The exisiting rubbish laptop trolleys will be cleaned up and deployed to 3 key areas: SEN, Science and D&T – all places where they will be nursed till their retirement, and rooms that have plugs in for laptops with dying batteries.

So 5 big projects at just one of the 5 schools, the other schools all need UPS shutdown tests, one needs RAM upgrades in its failover cluster, Impero 5 needs to be rolled out at 3 sites and all the usual holiday jobs. In less then 2 weeks, as, being a single parent of 2 I need to spend time with my kids, and the techies have these annoying habits of taking holiday…

Not a long post this time, but hopefully for those looking for inspiration on what others are doing, this might be interesting!