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Re: [K12OSN] Tuning LTSP Performance

James P. Kinney III wrote:
It is pretty easy to insert a switch between the upstream feed side in a
classroom and the classroom switch itself. But that only gets the
traffic in the classroom. If the setup is using a classroom server model
(teacher sits at the server console, thin clients for the kids), then
only traffic between the server and back-end storage server (and web
crap, etc) is available.

Agreed. The only time that I'd consider that a major concern is if staff members are accessing their Student Information System (SIS) from the LTSP thin clients. In that case, SSH encryption becomes a very good thing.

The fun part is: an kid smart enough to know how to get the right switch
that support port mirroring, and can pull this off, should be working
for the school immediately! This does 2 things: sends a message that
smart, clever people are actually good (Yay! Education!) and most
importantly the school now has a bit of oversight on the student with
excellent hacking skills. Getting them involved in a positive way helps
deter the "turn to the darkside" that getting in trouble will encourage.

There's a lot of truth to that. My district is blessed to have a magnet school, Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology, in it, and thus I get to see what they do in their Systems Lab.

At TJHSST, the students are the sysadmins for the school's Internet and "intranet" presence. Yep, the students. Sure, there's an adult advisor of the Systems Lab, where all that stuff's done, but about the only thing the kids *don't* run is the SIS (it uses separate authentication). They handle everything else.

These kids run a very tight ship, for exactly the reasons that James specified above. Anybody tries cracking that network, the student sysadmin team members consider that absolutely unacceptable ("hey, this is *our* network, and it's for *everyone* to use, not just you!"), and they go into Sherlock Holmes mode. The offender(s) are then swiftly and severely dealt with by the school administration--and that includes any misbehaving teachers, not just other kids. Remember, since this is a magnet school, 15% of whose kids go on to MIT, these kids are basically all geniuses.

BTW, their choice of distro is Debian GNU/Linux. That's largely because they can easily run it on their PMac and SPARC boxes, too (they've got several of those).


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