Grad Workstation Schedule

The arrival of graduate students each term, in varying numbers, combined with the release schedule for the desired operating systems, drive the yearly schedule used for the actitivies needed to provide workstations to graduate students.

There are some cyclic activities:

6 weeks before the beginning of each term
  Update current image (security patches). New apps, if they work.
One Month before the beginning of each term
  Imaging.
One to two weeks before the beginning of each term
  Deploy workstations.

In general, "Update" implies testing the result.

And whatever we do, we must always have a working image on working hardware.

An example of a year of the schedule:

Mid-September to February (4.5 months)
  New hardware: Evaluate/upgrade hardware selection.
Mid-November (2 months into the new hardware)
  New hardware: Motherboard freeze (not the rest). Have a test system purchased.
Mid-November
Update current image (security patches). New apps, if they work.
December -> March (3 months)
  1. New hardware: make current image work on the new hardware.
2. New hardware: make a new image for the new hardware.
OS update when there's a major release. Beware of a new OS that has been just released.
If we don't have a working image for the new hardware, we revert to the old hardware, if still available.
December (2 weeks)
  Imaging.
Mid-December (2 weeks)
  Deploy workstations (current hardware + image).
March -> April (1 month)
  New hardware: images freeze, then final tests.
Mid-March
  Any new hardware and image become "current".
Update (now) current image (security patches). New apps, if they work.
April (2 weeks)
  Imaging
Mid-April (2 weeks)
  Deploy workstations (current hardware + image).
April -> July (3 months)
  Post deployment image corrections. This may require multiple new images. A vendor might accept this for them to do the imaging for the July purchase.
July
  New hardware: order new workstations for the Fall and Winter.
Mid-July
  Update current image (security patches). New apps, if they work.
August (2 weeks)
  Imaging
Mid-August (2 weeks)
  Deploy workstations (current hardware + image).
Topic revision: r3 - 2015-09-21 - BillInce
 
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