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[K12OSN] OT: Build a server challange :-)



Given some concerns that have been presented about my possible server config, I figured
I would offer out a challenge.  You are the IT guy at a school with 100 thin clients. 
You have been given approximately $15,000 to build a server setup that can handle all of
those clients simultaneously.  Your goal is to build the best system you can for the
full amount of money.  The system needs to come with 3yrs of hardware support on-site
within 24hrs or better.  You have a single 1GB connection to each lab and network
hardware that can put these on dedicated VLANS.  The server setup needs to be centrally
located (not a server per lab).  You have 4 labs to start, in the future you may have 6
labs.  You may grow to having to support another 40 clients in the next couple years. 
In the near future you will add 60 more workstations that just need to mount /home from
the server and get authentication information from it.  Speed is your goal, this setup
needs to be fast....not quick....fast!  I have no brand loyalty, but I need to be sure
that if hardware fails in a year or two years, I can get replacement parts from the
Vendor.  I don't want to search eBay or pricewatch for replacement motherboards etc.  I
would really like to be able to have a central point for using fl_teachertool or similar
tool to control users/machines.  Also would be nice to have a central point for
application updates/installs.

What server configuration would you use?  Single server, multiple servers, LTSP load
balancing, LDAP, shared /home?

What network configuration would you use?  Teamed NIC's, dedicated VLANS, dedicated
physical lans? (Side note, I usually put the server on the LAN with a single IP, I don't
usually pass the internet traffic through the server such as the standard setup)

What hardware would you put in your server/s? Opteron, Xeon, Quad Core or Dual Core or
Single Core, Quad or Dual or Single processors, SATA or SCSI, controller types, quantity
of memory, how many NICS?

What OS would you run? RedHat AS, CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, VMware images of the
aforementioned?

What LTSP version would you run? 5, 4.2

What window manager would you run? Gnome, KDE, Xfce, etc?

Anyone up to the challenge!  If so, take this seriously, I may just purchase what you
suggest :-)

Jim Kronebusch
Cotter Tech Department
453-5188


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