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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Small server to run vm while normal server gets fixed. in Technical; Ok might be being a bit over doing it with my next day dell fix, off site backup, on site ...
  1. #16

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    Ok might be being a bit over doing it with my next day dell fix, off site backup, on site backup and vmware capture but most run automatically so no time on my part. The only thing I have to do manually is the vmware capture, but its worth being able to do software testing on a school server before doing it on the real thing.

    Just had a though if the server goes up in smoke its not covered by warranty, you would need to order a new one, and the last time I ordered from dell it took 3 weeks to turn up. Fix would be find a server faster or run vm while we wait.

  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    Just had a though if the server goes up in smoke its not covered by warranty, you would need to order a new one, and the last time I ordered from dell it took 3 weeks to turn up. Fix would be find a server faster or run vm while we wait.
    That's why all our servers are under warranty

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Over the past 5 years the few problems I have had with a server have been cured with a next day visit by tech (who have always brought a wealth of parts) or next day delivery of parts for me to replace. So far not gone beyond one days worth of downtime.
    The fact that you can risk one-days worth of down time like its no sweat is a little bit scary! lol. Why h ave the down time at all if you can prevent it? Shouldnt we be about being preventative rather than recovering? Not trying to pick a bone here Backups are very good to have (in fact, we run Avamar and back up to two out of city/out of county locations and we are running fully virtualized on 2 Dell R710 backups with failover to each box and an EMC iSCSI SAN.

    You have been very lucky though.

  4. #19

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcomer View Post
    The fact that you can risk one-days worth of down time like its no sweat is a little bit scary!
    It is?
    When you work for a cash primary you have to make value for money decisions. Is it worth spending the money to put in a solution to avoid 1 days downtime in 5 years? I certainly don't think so.

  5. #20
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    Got to agree there, mine are primary and money is scarce and tight so its a trade off and having a days down time although annoying is not critical. If we are talking secondary where more systems are 'mission critical' then I would agree other fall back systems would be in place.

  6. #21

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    I dunno, servers are cheap. I dont know what a cash primary is, but our schools are hurting for money here in the US also. Servers are justifiable expenses though.
    Here if our network is down they are potentially losing money due to not being able to report attedance and other reports that are required. Seems like it would take my effore to keep your "solutions" going than just addressing it properly the first time.

    Then again, like i said - not trying to ruffle any feathers.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by qcomer View Post
    I dunno, servers are cheap. I dont know what a cash primary is, but our schools are hurting for money here in the US also. Servers are justifiable expenses though.
    Sure but there are more justifiable expenses that we have to compete with such as books, PE equipment etc. For example one school has just had a disabled child start so need to find thousands of pounds to build a new toilet with special hoisting equipment - money for backup server? Not a chance!
    Quote Originally Posted by qcomer View Post
    Here if our network is down they are potentially losing money due to not being able to report attedance and other reports that are required.
    Firstly we don't lose money for that. Secondly we use the Local Authority to manage that anyway, who, interestingly, don't use backup servers but have nbd onsite warranty and valid backups
    Quote Originally Posted by qcomer View Post
    Seems like it would take my effore to keep your "solutions" going than just addressing it properly the first time.
    I can't really see what your problem is. What we are doing is fairly standard practice in the primary sector.

  8. #23

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    sparkeh:
    That's why all our servers are under warranty
    I need to dig out the paperwork but think you might find things like flood damage and fire don't cover the warranty.

    Above Posts:
    Most Primary schools are single server. Trying to get them to get a new server every 5 years when the warranty runs out is a fight. Cant see them having a second server, just in case.

    Its the heads decision how money is spent, its my job to advice. If they say its ok for the server to be out while its fixed then that's up to them.

  9. Thanks to edutech4schools from:

    sparkeh (19th January 2011)

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    sparkeh:

    I need to dig out the paperwork but think you might find things like flood damage and fire don't cover the warranty.
    Thats why they pay for schooll insurance, ok more down time whilst its sorted but as said small pot of money lot of things to be achived with it and ICT does not always come out near the top, especially if its for something that 'aint broke' yet, not logical maybe but thats reality and thats what we have to deal with.

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    We're reinstalling domain controllers in 50 primary schools, at the moment they are all standalone domains. We're joining them all onto a single County AD, the primary servers will all become RODCs then.

    I frequently run VMWare ESXi on an Optiplex 780 which I take about with me, it has a pair of SATA 1tb discs in it and 8gb of RAM. Its usefull for P2V'ing an existing server onto and the reinstalling the hardware without any major outages. One thing to look out for is VT support on the CPU on your VM host, I originally had an Optiplex 760 but the Dual Core CPU in it didn't have VT, so I couldn't run any 64bit VMs (so no 2008r2).

    We've been deploying Dell T310 servers to primaries recently, running vanilla 2008, Quad Core, 4gb RAM, 3 x 1tb SAS in RAID5 plus LTO drive. These come in at about 1800, been thinking about trying an Optiplex 780 with a RAID1 card and a pair of 1tbs instead for primaries, we'd be able to replace them quicky if anything failed and would cost 600. Anyone do anything similar?

  12. #26

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    Thats why they pay for schooll insurance, ok more down time whilst its sorted but as said small pot of money lot of things to be achived with it and ICT does not always come out near the top, especially if its for something that 'aint broke' yet, not logical maybe but thats reality and thats what we have to deal with.
    You need to read my original posts. I was after a small server(hp mini server= 200ish) or advice to run vmware image from a device that I can chuck in a school that is cheap.

    ok more down time whilst its sorted
    At the moment even if the server does go down I can bung my vm captured image onto a desktop and some staff can still work. So no downtime and no cost but I wanted something with a bit more power than a desktop hence my request for a cheap mini server.
    Last edited by edutech4schools; 19th January 2011 at 02:41 PM.

  13. #27

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    natm:
    Its usefull for P2V'ing an existing server onto and the reinstalling the hardware without any major outages
    Your using esxi to allow users to keep working while you do any hardware updates to the real server. What do you do about files that may have been changes/updated while the school is accessing the vm, or do tell the users not to save?

  14. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    What do you do about files that may have been changes/updated while the school is accessing the vm, or do tell the users not to save?
    Once the new server is ready, I use robocopy to copy any new or modified files from the VM to the rebuilt one. Works well!

  15. #29

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    HP ML110 servers are pretty cheap. They're around 250ex but will need a bit of RAM stuck in them.

  16. #30

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    The HP ML110 look very good for the price but how heavy are they.

    Just thought I might be able to get Rack-Mountable Server cheap from ebay as I should be able to carry that if needed.

    Anyone suggest a cheap rack server, probably more important to have memory than processing power. (6gb would be ok)

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