The Managed Operating Environment (MOE) environment software is mediated by the central management/deployment server, this means that most software requests, modifications, and/or fixes, can be delivered remotely. In the majority of cases the end-user will not even notice that it is happening.
In contrast, previous operating environments were only able to manage a small proportion of our software titles this way, necessitating lots of physical visits by ITMS Client Services personnel.
As the MOE can be customised and tailored so readily, for both individuals and groups, there is no longer any need to build a cumbersome, all-inclusive Standard Operating Environment (SOE). Instead, a small, fast, stable base is deployed consisting of Windows 7, Office 2010, and web browsers. Additional, specific software applications may be added (remotely and speedily).
The MOE is far simpler and smaller than previously prepared software environments and as a result its speed of deployment is increased (both initial deployment and re-deployment).
A CDU staff computer can be 're-MOE'ed' in approximately one hour, and is immediately usable, providing network/internet access and MS Office productivity.
Previously identified extra software (for that particular machine) will then automatically and silently install once the initial MOE installation is complete.
In most cases, the end-user will not even notice this happening. The specific extra software will just appear on the workstation when installation is complete.
Due to the way it is built and deployed, the MOE can be remotely monitored and analysed using a variety of tools. This includes;
- the detection and analysis of any deployment failures;
- assessment of patch and upgrade compliance;
- licensed software inventory;
- software product usage metering;
- and many more aspects of Windows workstation maintenance.
With the software deployment technology involved, we can also 'value-add' to the MOE. If we identify free, useful, popular software titles, these can be added to a special type of deployment.
This deployment method does not install anything, it simply makes the software available in the start menu under 'Install CDU Software'. The end-user can then browse the list of available software, and choose to install any that they wish. Examples of such software might be 'Google Earth', 'Google Sketchup', and 'Freemind' (a popular mind-mapping tool).
MOE technology allows us to deploy and redeploy computer lab/teaching environments very quickly.
For example: a general use computer lab that is required for a specialised workshop for just one single day of the teaching week.
On the evening prior to the workshop we are able to deploy the workshop-specific MOE, which would be ready to use within about 90 minutes.
After the close of the specialised workshop session, we can then redeploy the original, general-use Lab MOE. Returning the lab to it's original configuration within about 90 minutes, making it ready for the next day's general teaching.
The underlying build method of the MOE means that Windows simply runs faster than previous SOE builds.
This is mostly due to the adoption of Microsoft's Best Practice Framework for software build and deployment.
The underlying operating system is cleaner, faster, and more stable than any previous CDU build of Windows.
As all MOE software is mediated by a central server, we have much improved our ability to respond to ad-hoc or emergent needs such as
- version upgrades;
- ergonomic modifications;
- and cosmetic/branding considerations.
Examples of this include
- topical, informative, and timely wallpaper;
- persistent informational icons or files on Desktops;
- advisory messages at logon; and
- the deployment of CDU branded document templates of several varieties.
Due to the method used to build and deploy the MOE, the resulting deployments to all the CDU Staff workstations will be completely consistent with each other, in terms of the base operating system and configuration.
This enormously aids the diagnosis and remediation of technical problems.