running edubuntu as a virtual server
daniel.hunt at gmail.com
Thu Mar 6 16:19:34 GMT 2008
Something funny going on with the reply-to's here I think.
At the moment, the school I'm involved with has a 10/100 network in place
that I inherited, and I've finally convinced the powers-that-be that a new
networking arrangement needs to be found if they want to allow the school's
networking capabilities to grow in a manageable fashion.
Unfortunately, that may well mean that I'll be drafting in a few friends to
help with recabling the school, and running ethernet cables up and down the
fake-ceilings. Hopefully we won't have to go that far though :)
I'm happy in my understanding that in order to go ahead with an LTSP
network, a gigabit backbone is a requirement, not an optional extra. Or at
least, in order to have any form of acceptable performance its a
There are currently ~50 machines on the network in the 2 computer labs in
the school, plus a few extra ones dotted around the school - totally approx
60-65 machines. Whatever solution I put in place has absolutely got to scale
above 100, and possibly even up to 120-130, to allow for future growth.
Its for these reasons that I've been looking at the _INCREDIBLY_ over
powered server. As far as scalability goes, I'm more than confident that a
machine of this spec will be able to serve the network well enough for the
next few years at the least. Virtualising for a network containing this many
machines just doesn't feel right to me.
About the Dell pricing - the price for the server I listed is approx 7000e,
which, while expensive, is certainly within the realms of possibilities when
you consider exactly what it is that will be happening to the school from a
technological perspective. I intend to replace absolutely every machine that
they have with thin clients (hopefully mounted on the backs of some suitable
TFT monitors) - it will drastically reduce the running costs of the existing
labs, completely eliminate licencing costs and allow for much cheaper
Well, thats the sales pitch I'm going for with them ;)
On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 4:10 PM, Madzsar, Andrew <amadzsar at bedford.k12.oh.us>
> As of now we have 10/100 in place throughout the building. Ideally this
> grant will allow us to put in a gigabit backbone, a new server, and my boss
> wants 45 clients.
> If I have it my way we will buy an Xserve and a raid solution which if
> virtualized can be used by the whole school rather than just the thin
> I just read your blog. There is a section on Dell's website where they
> sell servers without an operating system. I think you may have to go to the
> small business section. Also your server specs are out of this world. I
> mean I would love to get my hands on it, but it sounds very expensive. How
> many clients do you want to support? Now I don't have any experience with
> this, but I would imagine that multiple slower servers would be better than
> one really fast one. I don't know how well it works but according to the
> manuals you can set up multiple thin client server that synchronize files
> and also do load balancing with the clients connecting to them. Also this
> way you have redundancy and don't have to worry if something goes down.
> The two issues that I already see being a problem with my adventure are
> that there is already a dhcp server in place on a windows server for the
> whole district. I will need to figure out how to point the thin client boot
> requests to the linux server. My 'little network' won't actually be
> separate from the network that is in place because not all of the thin
> clients will be in the same room. Also I am not sure that a virtualized
> server (an affordable one) can handle that kind of a thin client load
> Though it looks like the server you have spec-ed out could...
> Let me know what you think.
> *From:* Daniel Hunt [mailto:daniel.hunt at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Thursday, March 06, 2008 10:53 AM
> *To:* Madzsar, Andrew
> *Subject:* Re: running edubuntu as a virtual server
> Funnily enough, I'm intended to do a similar thing, albeit with a real
> server, not a virtual one:
> I'd be quite interested to hear how you intend to go about setting up your
> little network :)
> On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Madzsar, Andrew <
> amadzsar at bedford.k12.oh.us> wrote:
> We just received a grant which will allow us to buy around 45 thin clients
> + a server. Has anyone ever run Edubuntu as a virtualized server? This
> school does not usually get new hardware, so if I can get a new xserve and
> (hopefully soon) run vmware or parallels virtual server products on it then
> we would be very happy.
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