The 'Managed PC' is a standard Windows machine which gets installed with standard software. The installation of the PC runs fully automated without any user interaction. When such a 'Managed PC' gets installed an employee of C&CZ needs approximately 5 minutes to start the installation and to enter some initial data. Thereafter the installation runs fully automated and will be finished after approximately 1 hour. At this moment the freshly installed PC needs to be added by C&CZ to 'Prism & Deploy' by hand. After a reboot the rest of the software is automatically installed. What that rest of the software exactly is, depends also on the group to which the PC belongs. For a list see below.
Because the needs differ for employees and departments within the Faculty of Science, there are different kind of 'Managed PCs':
Fully managed PC
These are Windows machines that are completely managed by C&CZ. The user doesn't have to worry about operating system or other software, updates and settings, these are managed by C&CZ. The user has User-rights, but no Power User or Administrator rights. It is (almost always, there are exceptions) impossible for the user to install software, update drivers or change system settings. The idea is that all user files and settings are saved on a network disk that is backupped regularly. The computer hard disk isn't used for savinf user data, but only for the operating system and the standard software.
If there are problems with a PC, one can easily move to a different "Managed PC".
For these machines C&CZ can give very good assurance for correctly functioning operating system and installed software.
C&CZ will try to fix any problem with the operating system or software. C&CZ helpdesk or sysadmins can also offer "Remote Assistance". When these problems can't be solved in an acceptable timeframe, the machine can be completely re-installed in about 1 to 2 hours.
Department contact managed PC
In a department that needs more flexibility, own software, "strange" hardware or different system settings, the IT-support person of the department can get an extra account with "Administrator" rights on the departmental "Managed PCs". This makes it possible for that person to install software and change system settings for the employees of his department.
For these machines C&CZ can give good assurance for correctly functioning operating system and installed software. C&CZ will make an agreement with the departmental IT-support person.
C&CZ will try to fix problems with the operating system or software, that the departmental contact can't fix. C&CZ helpdesk or sysadmins can also offer "Remote Assistance". When these problems can't be solved in an acceptable timeframe, the machine can be completely re-installed in about 1 to 2 hours. C&CZ can "package" departmental software on request of the departmental IT-support person, to make it easy to install this software on several departmental PCs.
This construction makes it possible to have important data on the non-backed-up hard disk. Therefore it is not immediately clear that the machine can be reinstalled in case of a problem that cannot be solved within a reasonable timeframe.
User managed PC
Again, this is a standard Windows machine which is also managed by C&CZ. The operating system, software, updates and settings are basically arranged centrally. The user normally does not have to worry about this either. However, because the user needs more flexibility, his own software, foreign hardware or other system settings, he gets an extra account on the PC with Administrator privileges so that he can install software and/or make changes to the system.
C&CZ recommends that you carry out your normal work on such a PC as a normal user with User privileges and only use the account with the Administrator privileges for software installation or adjusting system settings. We also recommend using network drives to store files and settings, so that files are backed up regularly.
However, the temptation is often to still use the local administrator account, then the risks for the PC and files are larger in that case.
For these machines C&CZ can not guarantee the functioning of the operating system and installed software. The user can perform all kinds of actions with the local administrator account, which influence the functioning of the PC.
C&CZ can try to solve problems with the operating system or software. The amount of time that C&CZ can spend on problems with this kind of PCs is of course limited. C&CZ is also usually able to provide remote assistance on such PCs via the helpdesk or system management.
It is precisely in contrast to the fully managed workplace above that data can be transferred to the internal hard disk on these types of machines. In that case, it is not self-evident that the machine can be easily reinstalled and the user/admin would prefer to solve the problems themselves in order to save the data.
In case these problems can not be solved within an acceptable time, the machine can be reinstalled in approx. 1 to 2 hours. After the standard installation, the user must complete the installation of his own software, separate hardware or system settings.
One can install a standard Windows machine from the network in an identical way. At the end of the installation, the Administrator password of the PC must be changed to a password that the local user knows. A small, initial set of applications is added. This installation may not install all drivers for the hardware on non-standard PCs, as well as software that the supplier has supplied / pre-installed with the PC. In this case it concerns a so-called unattended installation. One can not make choices about how to install Windows (e.g. partitioning - the hard disk is fully used as ' C: \ ' disk and formatted) or which parts of Windows (eg Outlook Express) may or may not be added. The local user has to install missing drivers and additional software.
If necessary, you can then pull the PC out of the AD-domain (please let us know if you do that, then we can adjust Active Directory). It is also possible to add the PC to the unmanaged OU so that the PC does not get policies from the domain.
The minimal requirements for a new installation of a "Managed PC" are now (end of 2013):
- Owned by Radboud University (because of software licenses)
- Not older than 5 or 6 years
- A network card or onboard network interface with PXE
- Processor 64-bit and at least dual core
- 4 GB memory
- 160 GB harddisk for single boot and 250 Gigabyte harddisk for dual boot
- No additional expansion cards for network, graphics, audio, etc.
The standard RU PC (HP Compaq Elite 8000 series and dc7800/dc7900) and standard RU laptop (HP Probook) that has the above properties, suffices.
Connecting peripheral hardware to a 'Managed PC' can run into problems. Especially if the new hardware requires installation of special software or drivers. As a 'unprivileged' user one does not have the rights to install such software. In this case a solution could be to change the PC into a 'Department managed PC' or a 'User managed PC' (this has impact on support available from C&CZ).
There is a list of Windows software that is or can be installed on C&CZ managed PCs.