Given our prior experience with large scale open-source implementations, we propose a cautious plan in phases. This is designed to bring out all the details – technical, human and financial so that the stakeholders are fully aware of the implications at each stage.
In the course of these phases you will be taken through a journey of discovery, which starts with introducing you to the revolutionary concepts espoused by Open-Source and ends with empowering your team to implement and mange an open network based on standards.
Phase I – Consultancy for design of the network - The first phase of the project involves consultancy to study the existing and design an Open-source replacement. We use this phase to get a clear picture of the schools existing network and applications and map them to the proposed scenario. We meet with the educators and management staff and discuss about the implementation of the new system. We also install and test the existing applications to identify compatibility with the proposed network and identify the different services and components to be implemented. Once the components are identified, our technicians Install and test these extensively at our office to assertion suitability. We also test all the existing hardware to identify any compatibility issues and develop a specification for the hardware components. Based on the results of our discussion, study and research a detailed consultancy report is prepared for the management to evaluate the options and make a final decision about the migration. The report will also include a tentative business plan and budgetary cost for implementing and maintaining the proposed network.
Phase II – Basic training and proof of concept - Once the design of the network has been finalized based on the recommendations in the consultancy report in phase I, the implementation team will need to go through a structured training on the basics of open-source in general and Linux in particular. This will enhance the existing skills within your organization and enable it to evaluate the suitability of the proposed network. This evaluation may involve the deployment and testing of a scaled down proof of concept infrastructure. The intended end users may be involved in this process to get feedback from the actual users to reduce any acceptability problems during and after the implementation.
Phase III – Network Implementation - This is the actual phase of network implementation, as per the design identified in the previous phases.
- During the course of the initial phase and implementation, your IT team would gain capabilities to take care of some of the repeated tasks.
- Your IT team is available to provide full time support and involvement.
- Additional physical help would be available from your side.
- The involvement from Linux technician from our side would be made available only as required to keep the costs under control.
Phase IV – Support, training and empowerment - Once the implementation is completed successfully, the school team will have to be trained and empowered to take over the network and mange it on their own. The network will be truly functional only when it can be manged and adapted by the school team independently. Technician's from NGIT (dedicated or on call) will be available during this phase to provide the required support and on the job training for the team from the school's side. It is hoped that at the end of the first year, the It team at the school would have gained the required knowledge to maintain and take the network forward as required. Alternatively, the school may retain the services of NGIT to help them maintain the network till such time the school develops in house expertise.