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

One good benchmark would be to fire up a bunch of simultaneous TuxType and/or TuxMath sessions until things start slowing down.  This'll test your real-world network throughput.

Another would require the help of the kids, but it would be easy.  Since Firefox can be a DRAM hog, have the kids sit at a bunch of thin clients, and the top three who can surf to the most Web sites gets extra-credit, a chocolate bar, or whatever.  While the kids are doing this, check out not just CPU, but also your DRAM and swap space usage.  The more kids doing it, the better.

Three very important questions:

1.)  Do you have a switch that supports multi-linked ("ganged") interfaces?
2.)  Are the kids expected to use these Flash-infected "edu" Web sites, e. g. Tumblebooks?
3.)  Will this computer lab be doing streaming video?


Joseph Bishay wrote:
Good day,

Thanks for the fixed link.

I certainly will load up the RAM as much as I can in the machines as I
test them.  With respect to the network cards, I am lucky as these
donated machines came with dual NICs on the motherboard plus a PCI-E
Intel Dual-NIC card so 4 gigabit NICs total on each.

I will spend some time doing some tests to determine how many clients
these machines can handle, etc.  I wonder is there a benchmark tool I
can use to give me a way to compare the different machines'
capability?  I didn't want to run around logging into the different
thin clients and running all the different applications (hmm..maybe I
should start a new thread about benchmarking?).


On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 9:43 AM, Terrell Prude' Jr.
<microman cmosnetworks com> wrote:
+1 to Jim's advice.  Unfortunately, the link to the
LTSP_Pilot_for_Atlanta_Public_Schools doesn't seem to work too well in my
mail client (Thunderbird  Here's the full URL.  It may get
wrapped, because it's long.


Note that in this project, in addition to lots of DRAM, Jim used a 4 or 6
(not sure which) GB network pipe to the thin clients.  He also had four full
cores at 2.6GHz, and they were Opterons, which are not exactly slow in the
first place.


Jim Kinney wrote:

More hardware is (almost) ALWAYS a good thing!!

When I did the APS 7 school project, a single Proliant DL385 G1 was used for
100 clients. two dual core Opteron and 8 GB RAM per application server plus
a separate RAID5 SAS drive system for /home. See here for some specs:

The only issues we really hit was flash eating up all resources (as flash is
so good at doing) when 3-4 classrooms would all hit the same web pages with
a zillion flash blinkies all over. Streaming flash video was a nightmare.
This was before local apps were developed.

You don't specify RAM for the newly donated machines so I can't offer advice
on specific designs. But you appear to have a powerful enough stack of
servers in the donated batch to be quite successful. I do suggest to disable
hyperthreading in the bios on those Xeons as cache thrashing becomes an
issue under any load.

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 12:28 AM, Joseph Bishay <joseph bishay gmail com>
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

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!


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James P. Kinney III

As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to
consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they
please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.
- 2011 Noam Chomsky


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