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[K12OSN] RE: Major schools deployments



We're a K12 school in Norway (Harestad skole) with 680 pupils and a 100 employees, or
rather it's a K10 school :-) (children aged 6-16 years). We've got a rather large
deployment, which I will try to describe here.

Staffing and money
Our IT school administrator with 80% job and me, with an undefined role because I a
assistant head master. Our yearly budget is about $41K or £28K or €29K on hardware.

HARDWARE
410 clients, most of them thin clients (aprox. 370 of them - all pre-used machines from
companies in Norway)
11 Fedora 11 LTSP-servers (LTSP5) with 8GB mem, AMD Phenom Triple-Core and Gb-network.
3 file servers (centos) with 2x RAID0 setups on each server (software raid)
1 firewall (pfsense)
2 vmware servers running
 - web server (apache)
 - wiki documentation server (mediawiki)
 - SNMP server (cacti)
 - printer server (fedora 11)
 - testing zimbra mail server
 - thin clients for testing each TS-server
 - secure server for sensitive personal information (centos)
We build everything ourselves.

We have 2 labs with 30 thin clients, 2 labs with 20 thin clients and 4-5 thin clients in
each classrom. Every teacher has a thin client on his/her workdesk.

We've also testing thick client installation/updating of Fedora 11 using PXE/kickstart.

We're activly trying to avoid windows and non-free software (so we're trying to use
something else than the free (as-in-beer) vmware, but vmware is sooooo good and fast).

Network hardware - HP Procurve with 1Gb as a backbone, so we use 2910, 2824, 2626, 2648
and 1800 (and some 1400). We've got a lot of them...

NETWORK SERVICES
Authentication with NIS from one of the file servers.
dhcpd from one of the file severs.
/home shared with NFS (using TCP)
LTSP5 with NBD-images
Backup every night with rsync and node-linking
"Homeoffice" for the pupils and the employees with FreeNX
Mail-services on one of the file servers with exim and OpenWebMail (no POP3 or IMAP!)
A lot of self-made scripts to make a better world :-)

We also have a neigbouring school (Grødem skole) that have a very similar setup and size.

We're trying to document most of what we do on www.gnuskole.no (in norwegian).
Translated with google:
http://translate.google.com/translate?prev=hp&hl=no&js=y&u=www.gnuskole.no&sl=no&tl=en&history_state0=

OUR MAIN CHALLENGE
Our major bottleneck seems to be the fileservers. Both of the main fileservers can't
handle the traffic on the disc when a lot of pupils (or employees) uses e.g. firefox and
the TS keeps waiting for the NFS-traffic to catch up. We're trying to optimize the
nfs-servers with numbers of nfsd and using async, but I think we'll have to consider
buying hardware-raid based NAS-boxes from e.g. Cisco.


Odin


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