[K12OSN] Blade Server for LTSP?

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Tue Mar 13 02:49:58 UTC 2007

> One point though...Is it really necessary to have LDAP and mail on a
> different blade? With even 5000 accounts (let alone 500) mail should
> not put very heavy load?

I doubt it.  In the past I have ran mail along with many other things.  The
only time I have seen a difference is when my file server also is hosting
email and large transfers are happening (sometimes can bring webmail to a
halt).  Also I use heavy screening for SPAM and Viruses, sometimes MailScanner
alone can put 30% load on the server.  Main reason I want to break things down
is I am sick of playing games when doing upgrades.  Say I have one server
running LDAP, file serving, mail, web, etc I have many more factors to weigh
when doing upgrades.  That is the only reason I am looking at breaking things
down more.  Most likely the final result will be to have my LDAP and email on
the same server.

But I like the idea of having a stand alone box that just handles user
authentication.  The blade for the LDAP server could simply be a single Xeon
processor box with mirrored SATA's and a GB of RAM.  And email on a similar
blade.  Then I could run a Dual Quad Core 2.66Mhz Xeon blade with 12GB of RAM
as a LTSP server.  I never realized how configurable such a server was until
now.  It would also be very cool to have a single 7U chassis running every
server in our organization.  I could even have a blade running a Windows
Terminal Server and another running some Windows Application server.

Could be neat.  But for $7400 I can buy a stand alone Dell 1900 with dual
Intel Quad Core 2.33Ghz 1333Mhz FSB processors, 16GB RAM, mirrored SAS 36GB
drives, connect my existing powervault 220s for /home, and 2 dual GB NIC's
teamed for load balancing.  Where as the chassis for the blade server is $7500
or so alone + the cost of each blade.

So at this point I am considering the above server to run as my all in one
LTSP server for 100 clients to start, keep my current Dual Xeon 3Ghz 4GB RAM
box as my mail/LDAP server and then just add more app servers down the road
for any apps that drag the thing down.

I also can't decide if I should just buy all new terminals right away, or just
run my iMacs as clients and replace as they die.

Decisions...decisions :-)

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