[K12OSN] server needs

Terrell Prude', Jr. microman at cmosnetworks.com
Mon May 10 01:31:36 UTC 2004

Hello Lee,

If you take a look through the archives, you'll find several threads on 
exactly this subject.  Well worth reading.  In my experience, the 
biggest issue will be DRAM, folllowed immediately by network bandwidth.  
If you're going to grow to 40-50, then, in my opinion, you should start 
out with 4GB and just be done with it.  My rule of thumb is 100MB per 
client, but that assumes KDE or GNOME.  For IceWM, I'd say closer to 

Also, you'll want to do nothing less than Gigabit Ethernet on your 
server.  The clients should be 100Mbps, Full Duplex, on a switched 
network.  If you don't have this kind of infrastructure, it won't matter 
if you have K12LTSP running on a mainframe; it'll still be dawg-slow.

I use twin Athlon 1700+'s for CPUs, 4GB DRAM, and Gig-E over fiber, 
along with an 80GB IDE disk.  This is for 25 clients.  So far, so good.  
But, were I to build a server again today, I'd go straight for a 
dual-Opteron system that can take at least 8MB, and the more, the 
better.  The reason for this is that GNOME and KDE, like everything else 
with lots of eye candy, are getting to take more and more DRAM, and my 
users run their choice of GNOME or KDE.  Were I giving them XFce (one of 
my favorite desktops, BTW), this would change drastically.

So, the answer is, "it depends."


Lee Myrick wrote:

> We're are in the planning stages of setting up our K12ltsp project. 
> We're probably going to end up building our thin clients from scratch, 
> but my concern right now is the server (we'll either be building this 
> ourselves or buying used). I want to get this purchase right the first 
> time. We're a small public charter middle/high school with a 
> performing arts focus--only 92 students this year, doubling next year, 
> and topping out at 250 by year three with no growth in population 
> after that.
> We're moving into our permanent location this summer. The building has 
> a quite open floor plan and the clients will be scattered throughout 
> the building in open banks of 5 or so. We're going to start with 15 to 
> 20 clients for now, but want to be able to grow to 40-50 by the time 
> we reach max population in year three. We'll be running Open Office 
> and a web browser on the clients, but not much else.
> So--I want to able to run all the clients off the same server (I 
> think). My  main question is, what are the minimum specs I want for a 
> server that will take us through year three in our plan and beyond? 
> There are a lot of choices out there, both in used servers and new 
> components. Any advice from anyone running a similar load on their 
> ltsp server would be appreciated.

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