[K12OSN] New Building's LTSP Server

Joseph Bishay joseph.bishay at gmail.com
Mon Apr 18 11:06:54 UTC 2011


I hope everyone had a good weekend.

So I'm waist-deep in the design of our new building.  Quite the
exercise being in charge of designing nearly everything that runs on
electricity in the building!

I wanted some recommendations for our new LTSP network please.  Details:

1) Total of 65 computers spread out across 3 floors -- library,
computer lab, and study lounge are areas of high concentration.
2) All cabling is cat 6
3) All switches and network cards are gigabit and unmanaged.
4) Terminals are 2-3 year old Pentium 4 computers or inexpensive
modern computers (IE suitable for local apps or thin client)
5) Distribution is Edubuntu
6) The setup is for an elementary school students, teachers, and admin
staff / business meetings.  No specific software except OpenOffice and
7) Budget for all servers needed is $2000 (IE: either one server for
LTSP or if I needed an application server plus home fileserver total
still $2000)

I've had an old Proliant DL360 G3 (
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/servers/proliantdl360/ ) humming
along for a year and supporting our old building of 15 computers no
problem.  Has dual Xeon 2.8 Ghz chips and 2 GB of ram and usually is
underutilized.  The bottle-neck is clearly the RAM as every now and
then it hits swap.  In our new setup it certainly won't be
underutilized so I'll certainly need something much more powerful.

Should I look for a cutting edge desktop computer (running an Intel-i
level chip such as this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883108475 ) or
am I better off getting an actual (older) purpose-built server (Such
as another proliant)?

Final aspect are the hard drives.  Personally I'm a huge fan of SCSI
drives -- both this server and the prior custom-built servers had
rock-solid reliable hard drives that ran non-stop for something like 8
years without a hitch.  Of course they were super-expensive with the
RAID controller, etc.  Would you recommend a SATA raid controller and
SATA drives for such a setup nowadays or stick with SCSI?

Did I miss anything else? :)

Thanks for all your insight!

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