I apologise in advance if I use the wrong terminology or have stupid ideas about the way things work. I am a newbie but I am really interested in learning and I hope that you may be able to help me.

I work at a school where we have approximately 100 windows computers. As it stands, they are all individual computers that connect to a number of wireless switches which are all connected to some scary looking hardware in the basement. My job is to see to the upkeep of all these computers, but often I need to do the same thing to all the computers at once. A typical task is that the boss might want a new piece of software installed on all the computers. It would also be good to be able to see which user was using a computer at any given time.

I know that there has got to be a a better way of doing this, presumably involving a server of some kind, but I don't have any idea what to look for on the internet when trying to find out how to implement a system where I can have more control from a single central computer.

I wondered whether anyone could give me a brief rundown of what is and isn't possible and also maybe point me in the direction of any comprehensive guides there may be somewhere on the internet to get a network like this up and running.

  • Do you have a budget for this project ? – user9517 Nov 27 '14 at 10:31
  • I don't have a budget, but I think it would need to be as cheap as is possible. The functionality can be basic but enough to warrant the switchover. – Thorleifs Nov 27 '14 at 10:34

You are looking for configuration management.

A good step in the right direction would be to create a domain controller and add these computers to a domain. Then, you could use GPOs for the majority of configuration management tasks, often including installing software. That is a broad area and there is a learning curve associated with it.

For other tasks, there is plenty of enterprise configuration management software out there. Recommending ones in particular would be off-topic here though.

  • Thanks for the response. I am sure that there is a lot to learn and I I think it's amazing what you guys do but I do want to know where I could start learning about it all. Are there any recommended introductions to, for example, network administration for small businesses? Also, would it be OK to just list a couple common enterprise configuration management softwares? No need to recommend any particular one and risk starting a debate – Thorleifs Nov 27 '14 at 10:44
  • You might want to check out serverfault.com/help/on-topic. – Falcon Momot Nov 27 '14 at 10:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.