Year end ordering

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It’s year end for the school, and with that comes the onslaught of ordering.  I like this time of year because I get a chance to play with a few new things.  It also gives me the opportunity to set things up the way I’d like them setup.  Like I’ve said before, there is nothing wrong with the way the previous guy configured things…I just have a different idea of how I want it to work.  I want to move towards a more “enterprisy” environment.  I want to be able to manage all the machines from one central point, and I want to do it as cheaply as possible.

So far we have received approval to build out 2 business computer labs.  I’m going to use iMacs for these labs running both lion and win7.  They are going to be setup to dual boot.  I think this gives us maximum flexibility.  For one of these labs they are looking at teaching multimedia applications and some web design.  We’re looking at dual monitor setups and all that.  I think it will be pretty decent by the time we are done.  The only real concern I have is getting enough data pipe to these machines.  I don’t think the network drops in that room was ever really designed to push as much traffic as these machines will potentially push/pull.  What I’m going to do is build out the room the way I want, then I’ll look at going back and attacking the networking situation later.  The way the building is segmented there is no real main switch closet.  There are a couple of locations that have auxiliary switches.  In the next few years I would like to run fiber…but I’m not sure how much that is going to cost.

Something else I want to do is replace all the ancient macs we have here.  There are 90 or more emacs, which at this point are long past their usefulness.  I wonder how much we’d save on power alone if these were replaced…  My thoughts are instead of replacing X amount each year, we finance it…replace them all at once and pay it off over a few years.  This is going to be quite a bit of work for me, but I think this would jump start us on to a regular replacement schedule.  Also, in five years maybe we would be looking at some kind of 1 to 1 initiative where we can downsize the desktop machines.  Right now I don’t know how that would work…but we’ll see.

If all this replacement action gets approved, it will keep me fairly busy over the summer.  Physically setting them up and moving things around will take a little bit of time, but the big time sink will be putting images on the machines.  With deep freeze it has to copy the size of the frozen disk with each image…that’s what takes all the time.

We’re also ordering a few iPads.  Not a whole bunch, I will probably have around 20 to mess with and get ready for the school year.  The management of the ipads is something that is a bit tricky.  I’ve decided to quite expecting that people won’t use them for personal stuff.  As long as they are ready for school and they have them for that…I don’t care what they are used for.

Gonna be a busy summer.

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