Advice on getting a computer lab server
jlhartman at gmail.com
Thu Jan 10 23:37:12 GMT 2008
Gavin, thanks for all the advice, it is immensly helpful. I actually started
rolling out an edubuntu lab earlier this year and it became painfully clear
early on that the server I have (3.0 GHz P4 Dell with 4GB Dual Channel DDR
RAM) was not going to be adequate to handle all the thin clients. I have
since dedicated my efforts towards setting up MiniLANs in each teacher's
classroom with the P4 servers handling just 3 to 6 thin clients. This seems
to be working alright, although things are still pretty slow. At least I
don't have to worry about viruses any more though. To answer your question
about software, my current curriculum for grades K-8 includes:
OpenOffice Impress, Writer, Calc, Scribus, Inkscape, GIMP, kturtle,
Kompozer, Tuxtyping, Tuxpaint, and various Web 2.0 apps like Google Docs,
Bubbl.us and Blogger.
I was hoping to use Kino and Blender with the middle schoolers at some point
in the future, but it isn't a big deal to postpone those plans if need be.
Here's a few final questions if you don't mind.
In my current lab if I try to run more than about 7 thin clients they freeze
up just playing flash games or running tuxtyping. Like I said, I have 4GB of
Dual Channel DDR RAM so is the bottleneck with my 10/100 switch or my P4
CPU? Until now I've thought it was the CPU because when I look at the system
monitor the CPU maxes out pretty quick. (maybe I should bring my c2d in from
home and try it out to see how it holds up)
If I want to use the above programs and keep my current curriculum will a
single server with 2 dual core xeons and 8 GB RAM be fast or just adequate?
I want the lab to be fast. (obviously I'm just asking your opinion here)
Finally, what kind of switch should I get? Should I go all gigabit or is it
enough to just be gigabit to the server and 10/100 to the clients? I do a
lot of flash based reading games and stuff with the lower grades like
starfall.com and so I absolutely must have these activities perform well.
Thanks again Gavin, you've been extremely helpful. -joe
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