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Educational Software Thread, Espresso & proxy cache server in Technical; ...
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    mattx's Avatar
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    Espresso & proxy cache server

    We are thinking of using the Espresso teaching resources etc for our school but they want to sell as a proxy cache server for 900

    Now, i am sure this can be done a great deal cheaper if say we use squid etc on our own box.
    Are you or do you know of a school which has done something similar ? And if so do they use Espresso.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    >> Bump <<

    Come on - someone must have built a proxy cache server. Am I going to have buy a book on this ?

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    IPCop works very well as a proxy, cache, filter, etc etc and even on limited hardware. However, I'm not sure if Espresso requires their own server - we have one of their boxes but I haven't got around to investigating how it does anything - just know it works and that is all I care about at the moment! Sorry!

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    Well, do you actually need a proxy server?

    I assume you are looking at the option of a local espresso server?

    The proxy server is not needed for espresso....its not a requirement for espresso, just an option they are offering. They offered it so us as well and much like the espresso box itself seems underpowered and overpriced.

    We use espresso fine without a proxy server here.

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    We use espresso fine without a proxy server here.
    Thanks for that - I am now wondering if its worth asking them for a trial first to see how it would be without the cache server. We only have 5 meg max on our internet line, how fast is your link Klawd ?
    Also I am thinking that at any one time only 12 / 14 people would actually be using the service.
    I think I'll get my NM to talk to them a bit more when I have laid out some detailed technical questions.

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    We have several feeder primary schools with 'espresso boxes'. My understanding was that you either got the box with everything preconfigured and the extra bells and whistles. Or you simply bought the content and stuck on a web server. The second option being a lot cheaper.

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    I am not sure what your plan is. Our setup means we have the espresso box physically inside our school on the network. This serves the content. Currently we have not configured our network to allow remote, ie from home access to espresso. It can only be accessed on the LAN. Therefore, the proxy server does not come into the equation.

    Espresso told me the proxy server was an offer we could take up, if we needed a proxy server and did not have one already. We declined as we did not see a requirement for it.

    In our case the speed of our link to the internet is only relevant for the
    content updates it downloads every week.

    It sounds like you maybe be offering espresso access outside of your LAN for users? If this is the case then I dont see how having a proxy would help them, and inside school the content appears to be dynamically generated which is unlikely to be cached anyhow.

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    We have Espresso and the cache pilot. It was a done deal through the LEA and so we didn't get a choice. It works OK though. However, if building your own, allow for the fact that the software gets added to very regularly. The cache box apparently has room for five years' worth of content. (The LEA were originally pushing the cache box on us as a place to cache our frequently used web pages, and software we wanted on the network - sort of a CD server; that seems to have a died a death since they found out that that would mean we would run out of space for Espresso quite quickly).

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    We have the Espresso software running at the Primary. As the majority (I said majority, not all before someone complains ) of schools here have an LEA provided proxy server, the Espresso software seems to be an 'add-on' module for it.

    Incidentaly whilst watching the LEA guy set the proxy up for Espresso, I did see the number of open source software being used to update it and such, so I dont know how hard it would be to run without the proxy.

    And as others have said, it gets updated regularly. The proxy is filling up rather rapidly in fact. I wonder what it does if it gets full......

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    It sounds like you maybe be offering espresso access outside of your LAN for users?
    Klawd - no. I never said that. I am asking about building our own proxy cache server instead of buying one.

    and inside school the content appears to be dynamically generated which is unlikely to be cached anyhow.
    Thats the point of the cache server !!

    Or you simply bought the content and stuck on a web server. The second option being a lot cheaper.
    I like the sound of that. I already have 2 windows boxes and a nix box running a web server so that would be a good option.....I'll ask them about that.

    Thanks for everyone's replies so far - given me more questions to raise etc.

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    Quote Originally Posted by mattx
    It sounds like you maybe be offering espresso access outside of your LAN for users?
    Klawd - no. I never said that. I am asking about building our own proxy cache server instead of buying one.

    etc.
    My mistake, thought you were looking at offering remote access.

    I am not sure why a proxy server would make any difference if the content is all stored on your LAN anyway? If anything it will prolly be slower as users will need to go through a proxy and then to the espresso server.

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    Re: Espresso & proxy cache server

    Klawd - check out:

    http://www.espresso.co.uk/services/o...he_primer.html

    I think after we have spoken to them and get the ok [ I would like to have a crack at building our own proxy cache server ]

  13. Thanks to mattx from:

    ICT_GUY (15th May 2008)

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    Did you build a caching server?

    I have the "free" server here. Its a bit of a joke. A celeron dektop with a gig of ram.

    I want to have a rack mounted server and since I can buy a quad core sever with 2 gigs of ram for 350 I think this is the way to go. I have heard bad things about the RM ones being not that reliable.

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Mattx what proxy/firewall do you use?
    ISA can easily do it I would think in a limited sense.

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    All the schools in our LEA got supplied with a Equiinet CachePilot, and the majority use it for Espresso content, though a few have Knowledgebox installed instead, and I know one school has both on the same box. Access speeds are fine, apart from video over wireless but thats a different issue.

    The only way anybody currently can access the full range of content at home is for free if they have a 4 meg Virgin Broadband account, or by subscribing to Virgin. I believe Virgin signed an exclusive 5 yr deal which Espresso can't get out of.

    I don't know of anybody who is allowing home access to the Espresso content on the schools network, and I'm not sure what Espresso's view on that would be.

    What I have not got to the bottom of yet is what happens to the Espresso content when a school unsubscribes to the yearly updates fee, are they still entitled to use the old content that is stored on their own box?

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