Go Back   Computer Forums > General Computing > Server Administration
Click Here to Login
Join Computer forums Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-28-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
In Runtime
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 321
Exclamation Two questions about a large server

Hey everyone,
I'm a PC man, but the organisation at which I work is primarily Mac. To shake things up a bit the higher authorities decided to use Windows for our first batch of laptops which will be used for students.

Two issues which I need to work out is windows updates and automapping home folders.

Windows Update:

I've installed WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) on our only windows server. What I'm hoping is that I can just edit a local policy or registry entry on the image we'll be using for the laptops which will download / install updates from the Windows server. What's the easiest way of doing this?

Automatically Mapping Home Folders
Each student has a home folder on Mac servers. Students with their first name starting with A - K are on lets say 'server1', L-Z are on 'server2'. We have the SMB protocol setup fine and can manually connect to their home folders fine by logging in as themselves. For instance, Bob Smith would access their home folder from this URL:

\\server1\bsmith
(authenticating to bsmith)

To minimise wireless network load, each laptop will login to a local account. We'll be using a piece of software called DeepFreeze which restores the laptop to its original state after restart, no matter what the user does to it.

How might we be able to automatically map the students home folder based on some sort of pre-login window?

Thanks for your help
Rhys Andrews
__________________

RhysAndrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
Fully Optimized
 
jmacavali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,867
Default Re: Two questions about a large server

Is the server you are reffering to going to be the Windows server? If so you can use group policy to force Windows Updates to look to the WSUS server. I also think you can configure windows updates locally to look to a particular server for updates...not 100% sure though.

I don't know how you would map the network drive without using a logon script.

Since they are all logging in locally it will be more difficult to set both of these things up. If they were authenticating to a domain running on the Windows server, both would be a snap.


Also, you are not going to find very many, if any other than me, people on this forum who are interested in anything Server related. I've noticed this since I've been here.
__________________

__________________
****************************************
Don't take life too seriously -- no one gets out alive. Plus, who wants to arrive to the hereafter in pristine condition wearing a suit and tie?
I want to slide in sideways, worn out, used up, hair a mess, clothes tattered, & screaming, "Whooo! What a ride!"
****************************************
jmacavali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
In Runtime
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 321
Default Re: Two questions about a large server

@jmacavali
Thanks mate - yeah, I suspected as such.

I do have a Windows server, but it does not have the open directory; it DOES have a domain with active directory but it is only used for a small number of more administrative staff.

Well, thanks for your help.
RhysAndrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 05:54 AM   #4
Site Team
 
root's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8,001
Default Re: Two questions about a large server

as said you can do the WSUS through group policy, though this rather depends on the people being on the domain to set group policy for the laptops.

are your laptops going to be running XP, vista or windows 7.

if they are running windows 7 you can use the branch cache mode rather than WSUS,
I'll explain this technology a bit.

Basically it's a 8 step proceedure.

1, PC one goes to download a file, it requests the file (update1) from a file server. rather than sending the file the server sends a file ID.

2, PC one recieves the file ID and send out a broadcast message, (Has anyone got file ID 0001?). -since this is the first time the file is requested all PCs will say no.

3, PC one requests file ID 001 from the server, and is then sent the corresponding file.

4, PC two now wants the same file (update1) and so goes off the the file server and says can I have file: update1, the file server responds, update 1 is file ID 001

5, pc two now broadcasts to the network, (has anyone got file ID 001)

6, pc one responds (Yes, I have file ID 001).

7, PC two says, "cool, can I have it then"

8, pc one sends the file to PC two.

In this way your internet link is spared and the update, (which could be any size) is just dealt with internally by the clients which negotiate with themselves.

this works with SMB, HTTP and BITS (bits is what windows update uses).

of course, if you have a lot of clients then you probably won't want a ton of broadcast traffic clogging up your network, so there is also a branch cache hosted server available where the files and updates etc that are downloaded to clients are also copied to a main cache server on the local network, and then the clients just ask this server rather than asking each other.

it also works with partially downloaded things as well when bits of files are downloaded to one client other clients can request the file and other machines will send the bits as and when it downloads them, (kind of like a bit torrent sort of client for files).

One thing though, this is only available in windows 7, and if you go for the hosted cache server it has to be windows 2008 R2.

The reason that I say this is that I believe that branch cache mode does not have to be enabled with the use of PCs that are members of a domain, they can be standalone workstations or laptops whic is what you have.


as for the second part,
Use VB scripts.

unfortunately I don't have the time to write the script for you, so I'll just write an explanation of the logic needed. and give a few pointers.

Then students will just need to click a file, (or you can have this file automatically run by putting it in the startup folder, or adding a link to it in the hklm\software\microsoft\windows\run key in the registry...).

anyway, the script needs to.

detect if the drive already exists: (cause there is no point in mapping it if it already exists).

if the drive does exist then the script should just exit (wscript.quit)

http://www.computerperformance.co.uk...omeDirLoop.htm

if the drive does not exist you'll need to...

detect the username
Code:
strComputer = "."
Set wshNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
strUser = wshNetwork.Username

msgbox strUser
you then need to slice the string up to get the initial letter of the string to decide what file server to use.

then you'll be left with a statement like

if initial letter is between a and k then
map drive \\server1\Username
else
map drive \\server2\username
end if





finally,
if I were you I'd try to persuade the powers that be that you need to use AD for these laptops, it'll make them much easier to administer. all the setting that you've asked about can be set using group policy.

you can set the home drives to be mapped using the user manager in AD.

you can set up wsus properly using GPO.

you can enforce password policies

you can redirect my documents and the desktop etc to the users home drive so that the users can save onto their desktop and have the files reappear the next time they log on (to a different laptop).

with AD you can use GPO to push software out to the PCs using MSI files etc...

basically if I were you I'd push as hard as you can to actually get the laptops properly onto a domain, (even if you end up having to create a child domain for students, getting the laptops onto the domain would make your life a whole load easier.
__________________
I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian…
Im sick of people saying 'dont waste paper'. If trees wanted to live, they'd all carry guns.
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; The inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
root is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 07:17 AM   #5
Fully Optimized
 
jmacavali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,867
Default Re: Two questions about a large server

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
basically if I were you I'd push as hard as you can to actually get the laptops properly onto a domain, (even if you end up having to create a child domain for students, getting the laptops onto the domain would make your life a whole load easier.

Exactly!
__________________
****************************************
Don't take life too seriously -- no one gets out alive. Plus, who wants to arrive to the hereafter in pristine condition wearing a suit and tie?
I want to slide in sideways, worn out, used up, hair a mess, clothes tattered, & screaming, "Whooo! What a ride!"
****************************************
jmacavali is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0