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Re: [K12OSN] Small School, Small Budget



* Hans Ekbrand <hans sociologi cjb net> [021113 08:15]:
> On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 09:31:25PM -0600, Caleb Wagnon wrote:
> 
> [...]
> 
> > faster than win95 hands down. For server hardware I might add that
> > memory should also be a big focus. The rule of thumb has been to
> > allocate at least 50 megs of ram per client. For 22 machines you will
> > need more than that one gig and remember that you must also allocate
> > plenty for the server itself.
> 
> Why is that? Those 50 megs of RAM per client are for the server
> (itself), or have I misunderstood something here?

Please, folks, remember that the 50 MB of RAM per client is an
extremely crude rule-of-thumb.  If you have 2 clients, and think that
128 MB ought to be enough, you'll be very disappointed.

If you start with, say, 256 MB for "the server" (which here means the
regular server operations that don't have much directly to do with the
thin clients, plus the base RAM requirements for EACH program that
will be running simultaneously) and then start adding 50 MB per
workstation, it MAY be adequate.  Best advice:  stick as much RAM into
the server as possible, and use the 256 MB + 50 MB per workstation as
a very crude minimum.

If your clients are using memory-hungry window managers, a lot of
different programs at the same time, or large graphics, or (you get
the idea) you'll need a lot more than if you have a class all using
just one program, and a "thin" one at that.

Right now I have a very minimal setup (new servers are enroute) with a
800 MHz Duron and about 768 MB of RAM with about 14 thin clients.  If
they are using OpenOffice 1.01 and all doing about the same thing, it
is sluggish but workable.  I started with Draw a week or so ago, and I
find it starts getting unusable.  Why?  The students REALLY like the
3-D and FontWorks, and throw in a few bitmaps for good measure.  Then
if one or two try using Mozilla at the same time ... too much.

Notice that 768 MB of RAM is approximately within the guidelines here,
but it's only adequate if the client demands are very small.  And it
IS fairly easy to tell whether the limitation is RAM or either HD
access or CPU speed.  For a task that takes 5 seconds with two
workstations online, if it take 10 seconds it's either CPU or HD
access.  If it takes 3 minutes, it's RAM  ;-)


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