Better together…
Adding Chromebooks to a heterogeneous network has its many challenges but the risk of failure is outweighed by the reward of success. Many private and education networks have Servers, Clients and Mobile Devices. Managing those assets produces many complex problems. If your organization is currently a Google Apps enterprise (Apps for Education/Work) then you know the many benefits of Google’s infrastructure. If you’re deciding on a direction for your organization then proceed after careful consideration.

In the past your organization may have had labs on VLANs that only required limited outbound access. Going with a tablet or Chromebook will increase the outbound requirement. One of the best articles I have read on the topic of preparing for Chromebooks was written on a Dell partner blog. http://blogs.aerohive.com/blog/bradley-chambers/how-to-prepare-for-a-chromebook-deployment

Your WAN connections may not be the problem but in any case be sure you can increase your throughput should you require more. Many times in a network we'll discover various bottlenecks  especially when dealing with a legacy infrastructure. If you can design a solution to eliminate the flaws as part of a refresh great. If you’re working off a limited budget complete your analysis then replace what you can with this year’s budget and voucher funds.

Weather you choose the fruit or a Dell Chromebook 11 ease of deployment has to be a priority. You may only have a week to get the devices in the hands of your users while having their issues resolve so they can start the year without interruption.  All Chrome devices with annual ($30) or perpetual ($130) Management licenses ship ready for Zero-touch deployment. Zero-touch simply means that at first login instead of using the default sign-in you will need to have your student press Control+Alt+E and login using an Apps account. If they fail to complete this step you’ll need to factory reset the device (Power wash) in order to enroll it properly. Once enrolled your device is in verified mode and even if factory reset will be associated with your Apps domain.

First steps…
1. Chrome – connect / configure Wi-Fi
2. Accept Eula / allow updates
3. Enroll – Authenticate with Control+Alt+E once prompted login using an Apps account

Google through its partner infrastructure offers White Glove service for an additional $15 per device. Using some proprietary automation they'll configure your Wi-Fi settings, along with a baseline device configuration and enroll all your devices. Each of the partners uses a Google Apps account associated with your domain to enroll the new devices (chromebook@your-domain.edu) and apply policy. Once enrolled admins can only associate an asset tag, location, and Apps user to the device record. This process will get you to an operational state but managing all your devices from a single pane of glass is preferred over various disparate solutions.

If you currently use KACE for Systems Management adding all of your devices to a K1000 only takes a few minutes through Chromebook Device Discovery. KACE allows you to do agentless discovery of thousands of Chrome Devices adding them to inventory. You’ll also gain the ability to completely customize your related asset details beyond the hand full built into Google Apps. Most importantly since KACE has integrations with your AD domain you’ll be ready to interact with your users through the KACE Service Desk.

Looking for details on how to wipe, enroll, and apply policy?

** Don't forget to register for the Google Goodies that expire in 60 days ** http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/goodies.html
Enterprise users are not eligible for some of the goodies but the Gogo in-flight WiFi is worth the attempt.

For additional tips and tricks feel free to continue this conversation below.