[K12OSN] New Building's LTSP Server -- NEW WRINKLE

Terrell Prude' Jr. microman at cmosnetworks.com
Tue Jul 5 12:48:34 UTC 2011

Depends on which apps you're running. A few years back before all the 
EDU Web sites started infecting themselves with Adobe Flash, I'd have 
said HECK YEAH! For the standard office-type stuff (OpenOffice.org, 
programming classes, "normal" Web surfing, etc.), any of those machines 
would be great. Also, for stuff like TuxType/Math, ChildsPlay, and 
similar games, you're golden with such servers.

OTOH, if you're talking about doing streaming multimedia, and 
*especially* Adobe Flash, you might need something a bit beefier, 
CPU-wise. The ProLiant DL580 G3 is a Pentium-4 architecture, which of 
course is not as fast as the "Core 2" architecture, clock for clock. The 
same applies for the SuperMicro P4DP8-G2 motherboards. Both of these 
motherboards have Gigabit Ethernet, which is very important.

It's worth it to try a server and see. What you could do is try a pilot 
test with, say, 5 thin clients, then bump up to 10, and see how things 
go. With Gigabit Ethernet, if you're doing a class full of TuxType or 
TuxMath sessions, understand that you'll get about 14 client sessions 
before you saturate the Gig-E link. Be sure to do multiple types of 
tests with whatever the kids are expected to be doing. If they don't 
have enough oomph, then they'd likely make great file/print/Web/etc. 

Depending on your thin clients, K12LTSP 5.0EL might be a very good 
choice at this point, since it's battle tested and proven over several 
years and has relatively low server CPU requirements.


Joseph Bishay wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I hope you are all doing well and had an enjoyable long weekend.
> A few weeks back I received some excellent advice with regards to
> setting up a new LTSP network in our new elementary school building.
> I had already sourced out the parts and was just about to order them
> when a donation arrived at my door!  I received 5 servers with the
> following specifications:
> 1) One Proliant DL580 G3 4U rackmount server (2 Dual-Xeon (4 threads
> total) running at 3 Ghz.
> 2) FOUR Super p4DP8-G2 2U rackmount servers (Each has 2 Dual-core Xeon
> (4 threads total) running at 2.40 Ghz, 512 KB cache, 4 GB RAM (max is
> 64 GB) with Adaptec 2010s RAID controller and hot-swappable drives.
> So I wanted to mention these machines to see if I can utilize them for
> our LTSP network if possible, or should I stick with my original plan
> which was using another machine that we have:
> Intel i5 with 12 GB RAM, PCI-E SSD boot drive, Raid 1 SATA drives for /home
> Granted the newly donated machines are all server-grade, with
> redundant power supplies, etc as compared to the i5 which is a custom
> desktop build.
> We need to power about 65 thin clients in the new building -- and for
> many in the building this will be the first foray into Linux (which
> they are nervous about) so I want the setup to wow them.
> Thanks very much!
> Joseph
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