Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Windows 10 / Server 2016 & Microsoft SCCM for Schools

 are you looking to upgrade your schools IT network ?

Microsoft Windows 10
Microsoft Server 2016
Is it time to upgrade to Windows 10 for your school?

Yes absolutely. all NS Optimum school networks run a templated Microsoft schools network configuration. This template can be easily adjusted and is constantly adapted for changes within Microsoft software and schools ever changing requirements.

Since Windows 10 first arrived in the UK, NS Optimums technical team delved in to see what had changed, what issues they could foresee in a schools environment and set about making changes to our schools installation template to see if Windows 10 was a viable & reliable operating system for schools to use.
The main hurdles to overcome over and above the work we had already done with Windows 8 (!!) were some inherent printing issues and a way of removing and/or replacing tiles on the start screen so that irrelevant programs (such as xbox & news feeds) or inappropriate content were not shown on startup.

Our new schools template overcomes all of these issues and we started rolling out our first Windows 10 networks into UK schools in August 2016.

What network management is included?

NS Optimum has been supplying installing and supporting IT networks in schools since 1995. Over this time we have developed a set of configurations and management tools to suit every school from small primary to large secondary and multi-site academy or college environments. These, combined with Microsoft SCCM (System Centre Configuration Manager) or by using just some of the elements within SCCM, we create the perfect vanilla network management tool set for each school we work with depending on their preferences and technical capability. NS Optimum schools network management tools include:
  • NS User Manager - an easy to use system that links with active directory to import users and setout naming policies for network users.
  • Secure Desktop - a configuration to prevents users accessing desktop or network settings. This can be opened up on staff laptops if required.
  • Remote Network Access - a combination of licensing and configuration that allows authorised network users or groups of users to securely access the schools network from home or anywhere via an internet connection.
      • setup can offer access to full network software and files or just selected areas.
      • users can access this from any device (iPad, Windows, Android, Chrome)
  • Device Image Deployment - for primary schools we recommend a basic setup of WDS with MIS scripting tool for deploying Windows and other software to devices across the schools network. This makes the system much easier to manage for schools with less IT technical support. However secondary schools may wish to consider a full SCCM deployment.
  • Microsoft SCCM Services -  this is a full set of management tools designed by Microsoft to assist with all areas of network management. NS Optimum are seeing SCCM being rolled out into secondary schools and colleges mainly and often to schools moving away from RM CC4 networks to offer a full range of network management to dedicated onsite technician teams. SCCM services include:  
      • Policy Infrastructure
      • Service Window Manager
      • CCM Scheduler
      • State System
      • CCM CI SDK
      • DCM Agent
      • DCM Reporting
      • CI Agent
      • MTC
      • CI Store
      • CI Downloader
      • CI Task Manager
      • CI State Store
      • Content Infrastructure
      • Software Distribution
      • Reporting
  • File Quota - this is to put a cap on storage capacity of user accounts to stop unnecessary build up of data. Whilst some schools have a specific need for this, we are finding that with hard drive capacity increasing and at a very low cost, file quota is much less of a requirement now.
  • Print Quota & Print Release - these can be incorporated into your network so that users do not print excessive amounts. a lot of schools are now moving over to managed print solutions with print release (which NS Optimum also provide) as this makes it much easier for the school and users to take control of their printing whether just one sheet or a large batch. Schools are making huge financial savings with NS Optimum managed print.
  • Data & Network Backup + Disaster Recovery - included in our services are tools for taking network and data backup. The exact solution depends on the schools backup policies and requirements from cloud backup, DPM server based backup, local backup with removable tape or full off-site disaster recovery solutions.

With an NS Optimum schools network upgrade, you can take advantage of as much or as little as you like, everything is vanilla meaning it is not locked down or bespoke software so can be configured and upgraded by any competent technician.

An NS Optimum Windows 10 network is a flexible IT network that will grow and adapt with your school, academy or multi-academy trust.

Please call 01926 745608 to discuss your schools Windows 10 network upgrade or email and take advantage of our free advice, free onsite surveys and free quotations.

We look forward to hearing from you.