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Re: [K12OSN] rolling your own

I think you mean $1500, not $15000. ;-)

William Fragakis wrote:
A me, too. I think the budget for our new servers which are supposed to
serve 60-100 are in the range you are talking about.

I built a dual core Pentium D 3.0 with 4 gb ram and 10K sata drives in a
raid 1 for about $15000 last year. Overclocked to 3.3, it serves around
35 clients easily.

Actually, here's its current top readout during the school day. Don't
worry about the uptime, we get frequent power outages because of storms.

top - 12:19:53 up 3 days,  2:32, 37 users,  load average: 0.06, 0.09,
Tasks: 1084 total,   1 running, 1083 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  0.3% us,  0.7% sy,  0.0% ni, 98.7% id,  0.0% wa,  0.0% hi,
0.3% si
Mem:   3367028k total,  3030888k used,   336140k free,    79888k buffers
Swap:  1933304k total,        0k used,  1933304k free,  1074252k cached

William Fragakis

On Fri, 2006-10-20 at 12:00 -0400, k12osn-request redhat com wrote:

Message: 18
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006 09:54:37 -0500
From: Petre Scheie <petre maltzen net>
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] rolling your own
To: "Support list for open source software in schools."
        <k12osn redhat com>
Message-ID: <4538E32D 9090509 maltzen net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

I would argue your proposed machine is overkill for only 25 clients.
I think for 25 clients one dual-core processor with 4GB, one gigabit NIC, and a RAID of 10K RPM SCSI disks would be plenty. Such a configuration could probably support 30-40 clients, depending on the apps being used. I just went out to Dell and configured a dual-core 2.8ghz Pentium, 4GB RAM, two 15KRPM 73GB disks in RAID1, and two gigabit NICs for less than $2000. And that includes a three year warranty. If you've got a $5000 budget, you could put the remaining funds toward servers & clients for other


Eric Brown wrote:
My existing k12ltsp server isn't quite doing the job it used to.
a quad P3 550 MHz, with 3gb ram purchased off ebay 2 years ago.
20 kids open firefox and OO, things slow down quite a bit, and
may hang on several kids.  I started searching for a new server on
E-Bay, where I found a quad 2ghz machine with 8gb ram for $5k.  My
principal was reluctant to spend that much money on something used
with no warranty.  He said he'd prefer to have me purchase parts and
use the assembly of the server as a teaching opportunity (something
I've done with workstations in the past).

My question for the group is, has anyone done this and encountered
problems with some aspect of the machine in an LTSP environment?

I'm looking at a Tyan board that will take 4 Opteron dual-core
processors, probably 8 gb RAM, 2 gb nics onboard.  I'm not too
about disk space.  I've only got 4 9gb drives in a raid5 right now,
and only 44% is in use for about 60 students.  I'm planning on
something like 4 74gb 10,000 rpm drives with 8mb cache.  Since the
board is an extended atx, nearly any case that will take it is
a server case with room for all the drives.

Preliminary costs look to be $5k-$6k, which is the ball park I've

Anything I'm missing?  Is this a bad thing to do?  Shouldn't this
20-25 clients very well for some time?  Is it too much (I'm often
accused of over-engineering anything I build)?  Any comments
Eric Brown

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