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RE: [K12OSN] Responses to the central office



Hi Todd,

I hate to say it, but from what I can see here this guy's just trying to
be difficult for whatever reason. Maybe he feels like it threatens
something he's doing, or he fears it will be more work for him, or that
he'd have to learn something new. With the board behind you, it
shouldn't be an issue, but as it's better to win the guy over than go
over his head, I've posted some arguments for you below: 

> 1. The server would not have been configured by Telecomm...

It would be trivial for him to go over the configuration with you before
plugging it in to the network. It should be agreeable to both of you to
say it will not be connected until it's set up to mutual satisfaction.
It would not usurp any Windows network browsing functions unless you
were running Samba in such a configuration. It would also not put out
DCHP on the school network interface unless you configured it that way.

> 2. Because the server would not be Windows-based...

See above regarding config review. If you're comfortable with it, you
could always share the root password with him. If it's because he has
little or no Unix experience, you could always take him through a tour
of the system and configs.

> 3. The server would be routing traffic from the clients to the
network...

You are only hooking one machine to the network rather than 30. That's
less traffic and less consumed bandwidth. I once used a simple Slackware
box to firewall our office network using only iptables at an ISP I used
to work for, and it caused zero problems. (By the way, it also did DHCP
for our office network and didn't interfere in the slightest with our
dial-up gear or other equipment on the network.)

> 4. Troubleshooting network problems caused by non-managed computers...

Petre's argument works here -- let him unplug it if he fears it's
causing collisions or other problems. If he's running managed switches,
it should also be trivial to track down problems or shut off
connectivity remotely.

Again, it seems to me he's got some other concerns he's not sharing or
is just plain stubborn as these are minor concerns at best. It could
also be simple fear of the unknown, or maybe he's bought into some Linux
FUD. Just an opinion based purely on this email. 

If you want to throw some credentials at him, I've been a technology
director for two different school districts and a systems administrator
for an ISP. I'm also Linux+ certified.

Good luck! And good on ya for trying to win him over rather than siccing
the administration or the school board on him.

Take care,
Mike Oliveri
Technology Coordinator
Roanoke-Benson CUSD #60 


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