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Hardware Thread, new primary school server in Technical; Again, having an identical machine is nice if you ordered two servers at once, but what if you didn't. You're ...
  1. #16
    kerrymoralee9280
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    Re: new primary school server

    Again, having an identical machine is nice if you ordered two servers at once, but what if you didn't. You're right with what you are saying though. You could take a curric PC out of use, leave it as XP even and restore data to it.

    You can still share data out in a similar way and it will temporarily get things swinging again. I think it even restores the data with permissions on folders so you don't have to muck on.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: new primary school server

    Quote Originally Posted by kerrymoralee9280
    The problem with school's, especially primaries is the budget. And unless you have a support SMT and team of governors theres not a lot you can do.
    That's a given but yes, definitely true..

    Does a primary school really need 4 HDD's in it's server? Maybe so, but is it as justified to spend that kind of money as much as it would be for a normal organisation? If you're asking me, I think a very cheap ProLiant DL server would do the job.
    Well, the thing to bear in mind here is that we're talking about SATA drives, not SCSI (although some of the existing servers I've worked on have SCSI)... and the prices now for a 320Gb or even a 500Gb drive are so low that putting in redundancy in a RAID 5 or if you want, a RAID 1 is minimal.

    No school wants to lose their data, and teachers rarely take the news that their data has been lost (even if it's a couple of days worth).. but yeah there's a lot to be said for having something easily replaceable.. Likewise a lot to be said for being able to use a 2003 server to redeploy machine images, new software, etc.. without having to set foot in the school either.. Opportunity costs abound so there's some tough questions to answer.

    Thinking about it, what we seem to be putting forward is that redundancy of the system is the important bit and data backup follows on. Most of my systems a completely reliant on both the data and the system being up and running hence the RAID suggestions but as always that single point of failure will always exist. How we plan and budget for, then deal with those nightmares is always going to be a trade off.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: new primary school server

    Quote Originally Posted by kerrymoralee9280
    Again, having an identical machine is nice if you ordered two servers at once, but what if you didn't. You're right with what you are saying though. You could take a curric PC out of use, leave it as XP even and restore data to it.
    Makes sense...

    For what it's worth, one approach I went for was to use an extra desktop spec machine and pop Win2k3 on it, made it a domain controller and the plan is to try out DFS (not a sofa :P) to mirror the data drives. It's a slow cousin but the fact that it's located in a different building, provides some minor load relief to the main server and will stay up if the main server dies, gets stolen, burned, etc... is a useful backstop.

    There's more than one way to skin a cat

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    alonebfg's Avatar
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    Re: new primary school server

    Going back to cost We just bought a primargy with 4 hdd on a raid 5 hardware arry with 3 years support for £1200 it works like a dream ok its sata2 arry but it serves about 70 pc and handles dhcp roaming profiles and is the pdc. Could have saved about £200 on the raid 5 but it give me some reduntancy. and as i use all 4 drives more space have also go a hot sapre in case the worse happens

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    Re: new primary school server

    Again, having an identical machine is nice if you ordered two servers at once, but what if you didn't.
    What I did was to take an existing desktop from the suite and make that the server - makes for plenty of replacements

    regards

    Simon

  6. #21
    kerrymoralee9280
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    Re: new primary school server

    Touche

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    Re: new primary school server

    To me its a no brainer for 1500-2000 Pounds you can easily get a Dell box with raid and 3 years warrenty. Which will last at least 5 years. I know primarys are poor but unless they are extremely small they should be able to budget for that.

    Better value than the cache boxes they all bought IMO

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    Re: new primary school server

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_T
    To me its a no brainer for 1500-2000 Pounds you can easily get a Dell box with raid and 3 years warrenty. Which will last at least 5 years. I know primarys are poor (until it comes to giving a teacher a pay rise) but unless they are extremely small they should be able to budget for that.

    Better value than the cache boxes they all bought IMO
    One of my schools is extremely small and we have a similar server setup.
    Servers are important and I would really try hard to get it through to SMT and upwards that future education possibilities are limited otherwise.

    There's future VLE's to think about, tracking of pupils work, staff planning and performance documents.
    Also try and get across that using a 'proper' server environment is useful for childrens progression to secondary.
    Ask them not to give that extra management point to Teacher A this term and do something that benefits everyone.

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    Re: new primary school server

    I just bought a Dell Poweredge 840 for my largest primary. Its a new Zeon, 2Gb RAM, 3x160GB SATA HD's in RAID5 and will serve probably about 250 users replacing an old Tiny P3 with 512 and about 40Gb HD over 2 drives.

    One of the smallest primaries I do have just received a PE840 on the councils refresh program but I don't know the spec yet.

    I know the situation in primary schools, but using desktop machines as servers is asking for trouble. I think i've have another primaries "server" in bits 4 times now sacrificing another desktop to rebuild it. They too are on the refresh, so have no money to buy a new server so can only wait until their turn on the scheme (autumn/winter) I will also say, its about 2 years old, and an Elonex.

    Its definately worth paying the extra for a proper server, the Dell 420's which are good for very small schools are still very nice.

    Craig

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