- May 7, 2007
Great thread, and thank you for sharing!
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 didnt 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 didnt 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.
GREAT question!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?
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.
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)I'm digging the pretty baron 4500 chassis
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.
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.
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.
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.Why so many 4-port NICs and Ethernet connections to each server? :?
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.
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
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.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)?
thanksI 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!
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 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.
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.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.
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.Another question:
Was Software Assurance involved in this?
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.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?
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.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?
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.