Gigabit Ethernet

Today our trusty and heroic ICT technician installed gigabit Ethernet switches across the school, whilst our patient and long-suffering teachers put up with occasional blips in network connectivity. And the result? Faster than fast: remote desktop becomes a dream, gigabytes of files copy in minutes, generally the network plays nicely. The only issue is that our ageing .local server doesn’t have a gigabit Ethernet card. Ho hum!

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LGfL 2.0 attempt 1.0.1

Tomorrow we plan to revert back to our old Synetrix broadband. Now that’s what I call a broadband fail! The only advantage for the Admin network was faster broadband, but the downside was no access to Curriculum shared files and no VPN access from our second site. Not a great trade off if you ask me.

Instead we’re going to wait until the next holidays (April) and attempt it then, merging our Admin and Curriculum networks into one and extending our IP range to accommodate more devices as well. It’s a big job – let’s hope that it works better than the last time.

LGfL 2.0 install tomorrow

Tomorrow I’m helping our genius technician do the switchover of our network to LGfL 2.0. I sure know how to spend a half term!

LGfL 2.0 is a London-wide project where they’re switching over broadband from BT cables to Virgin Media instead. This is an epic undertaking, but from our end it just means that they install lots of new routers and firewall boxes and then let us do the physical switch-over when we’re ready. (In a slightly ironic twist, Virgin Media don’t actually have any fibre-optic cables in our area so we had to use BT’s anyway.) We did a little test a few weeks ago and the speeds are about 4x faster – yay!

The main difference with the setup at school is that there no longer is a proxy server for web filtering but instead Virgin Media’s DNS server blocks or lets sites through. We’ve got our own internal DNS server so hopefully we’ll just have to change the settings on that rather than for every machine. I’m also hoping that a Apple Remote Desktop UNIX command to all the Macs should be enough to turn off the proxy server settings. But we shall see!