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Re: [K12OSN] Responses to the central office



Outlining their concerns is good but I would have taken it a step further by 
giving solutions to each bullet item. Not only does it show that you 
understand their concerns but also researched the issues and have come up 
with possible solutions. They'll probably still say no. You might want to 
offer to train one of their techs on Linux.

Even without Internet access you can still do many things with it. Perhaps 
later on down the road you can convince them to allow you to hook-up on a 
"trial" basis. 

On Tuesday 24 October 2006 16:21, Todd O'Bryan wrote:
> Hey all,
>
> My department and the school are now on board with doing thin clients,
> but now our purchase has to be approved by the Telecomm department at
> the central office. When I called to talk to the director of networking,
> he said we could do whatever we wanted, as long as we didn't connect to
> the district network. Obviously, that makes the whole enterprise much
> less attractive.
>
> Below is a copy of an email I sent him outlining what I think are his
> concerns with the plan. If people who don't mind being quoted (and
> preferably have titles that central office folks would be impressed by)
> wouldn't mind taking a look and responding, I'd really appreciate it. If
> he responds with other issues, I'll let you know.
>
> Thanks,
> Todd
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Mr. Thompson,
>
> As I'm asking for advice from other people who use thin client labs in
> school districts around the country, I just want to make sure that I'm
> having them address the concerns that you have.
>
> Please take a look at the issues below and let me know if I've
> mischaracterized them or have forgotten any particular concerns.
>
> To be clear, we would be interested in creating a local network within
> the classroom which would connect to a single Linux server. The server
> would run all applications for the client machines. The clients would
> not be directly visible to or from the network as all network traffic
> would be handled by the server.
>
> As I understand it, your concerns are:
>
> 1. The server would not have been configured by Telecomm and you can not
> be sure that settings would not be changed in such a way that they would
> interfere with normal operation of the network. Problems could include
> address collisions with other machines on the network or the server
> attempting to usurp roles which other machines fill (attempting to serve
> DHCP to the network, trying to act as the school's Master Browser or
> something similar), both of which would cause havoc.
>
> 2. Because the server would not be Windows-based and is not part of the
> domain, you couldn't directly manage it and could not insure that it was
> properly configured.
>
> 3. The server would be routing traffic from the clients to the network
> and from the network back to the clients. Attaching a router to the
> network can always cause problems.
>
> 4. Troubleshooting network problems caused by non-managed computers on
> the network can be incredibly difficult. It is always time-consuming and
> often tricky because non-standard software can interact with your
> software in ways that make problems difficult to identify and resolve.
>
> If I've missed anything or haven't sufficiently identified the issues,
> please correct me. I'm hoping the people on the list I subscribe to can
> figure out ways to sufficiently address the issues so that you'd feel
> comfortable with a solution.
>
> To give you an idea of the economies we're talking about here, here's a
> breakdown of the cost to completely replace my lab:
>
> ~$3900  30 PXE-boot thin clients @ $129 each
> ~$2000  server built from parts, optimized as an app server:
>         4 GB ECC registered RAM, 2 dual-core Opteron processors,
>         2 SATA hard drives in a RAID array
>         (assuming you eventually approve, we'd buy a second server to
>         mirror the first as a backup in case of hardware failure)
>
> Because we'd be using Linux (all the software I use to teach programming
> is free and available in Linux versions), we wouldn't have to pay any
> licensing fees.
>
> In addition, because the thin clients do not run any of the
> applications, they don't become obsolete nearly as quickly as desktop
> machines. Buying a new server upgrades the entire lab and the thin
> clients can be used for 7 or 8 years instead of the 5 or 6 year lifetime
> we get with desktop machines.
>
> Compare this with the $15,000 price tag you mentioned for lowest-level
> desktops available with licenses and you can see why we're really
> hopeful that we can make this work.
>
> Thanks for your attention,
> Todd O'Bryan
>
>
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-- 
Ray Garza
Coordinator of Computer Services
Speer Memorial Library
(956) 580-8757
ray mission lib tx us


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