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Wireless Networks Thread, Server Spec For School With No Server in Technical; Hi I have just started work at a small SEN secondary school (60 pupils), which amazingly has no server. All ...
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    themanfromict's Avatar
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    Red face Server Spec For School With No Server

    Hi

    I have just started work at a small SEN secondary school (60 pupils), which amazingly has no server. All the computers currently connect to a shared drive on my pc. I've mentioned how crazy this is, as my computer (only running vista Home) crashes if 5+ users try to access the network shares, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.

    The bursar thinks that as SIMS is hosted remotely rebooting my pc is the solution. This seems to have come from the last IT guy, who hated servers and figured NAS would do. I now have 3 dead NAS in my IT cupboard. Plus he left me 2 x 160gb USB drives to backup 400gb+ of data (which he only did weekly)...

    The school currently has 40 computers/laptops, 20 of which are connected to touch screens for the pupils. The touch screens only connect to the network for Internet access and are basically standalone. Most of the computers are just running office and educational games. Of the rest of the 7 admin computers really need server access.

    I basically know nothing about server specifications. All I know is I need something for data storage and backups. I've considered install server 2008 on my pc, as I've been told I have a limited budget, but figured even if I have to wait until next year it's better to get my request in now.

    What should I be looking for?

    Neil

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    Have a look for the HP and Dell "baby" server they do offers on regulaly. Going rate seems to be 150 ex vat. Add a couple of HDs and a bit more RAM and you've got yourself a server for < 300.

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanfromict View Post
    Hi

    I have just started work at a small SEN secondary school (60 pupils), which amazingly has no server. All the computers currently connect to a shared drive on my pc. I've mentioned how crazy this is, as my computer (only running vista Home) crashes if 5+ users try to access the network shares, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.

    The bursar thinks that as SIMS is hosted remotely rebooting my pc is the solution. This seems to have come from the last IT guy, who hated servers and figured NAS would do. I now have 3 dead NAS in my IT cupboard. Plus he left me 2 x 160gb USB drives to backup 400gb+ of data (which he only did weekly)...

    The school currently has 40 computers/laptops, 20 of which are connected to touch screens for the pupils. The touch screens only connect to the network for Internet access and are basically standalone. Most of the computers are just running office and educational games. Of the rest of the 7 admin computers really need server access.

    I basically know nothing about server specifications. All I know is I need something for data storage and backups. I've considered install server 2008 on my pc, as I've been told I have a limited budget, but figured even if I have to wait until next year it's better to get my request in now.

    What should I be looking for?

    Neil
    Be sure to pm me your details if you would like some server quotes Neil, it would be great to supply another local school and as we supply servers from ALL vendors including DELL and HP I'm sure we can find something to meet your requirements fella

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    I'm not sure what planet the last IT guy was on - if the technician's computer was configured to share it's hard drive with other computers then -- news flash -- it's a server.

    Anyway, SIMS being hosted externally is good and one less thing for you to worry about.

    As for a server the first thing to ask is what are the client machines using? If they are XP Pro then you are fine, but if they are running home versions of Windows then you will have to upgrade them in order to join the domain. This is obviously an additional cost you need to consider.

    If you have the budget for it then I've just bought a quad core HP Proliant for 199 + vat which would make a nice little server for a small school that you could add additional hard drives to.

    If you are really stuck budget-wise, then have a scout about for any old hardware that is still working. If you can cobble together a working PC with plenty of hard disk space and a decent network adapter then you could install Linux and use it as a file server. At least it will free up your PC so you don't have to keep rebooting.

    I don't envy your situation as it seems you are meeting some resistance to improve the network. What do they do for printing? Do they all have local printers?

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Sending you a PM. I have also taken on an EBD school, with a strange set up!

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    Get the HP ML110 G5 add some more disks in mirrored RAID mode and a bit more ram you could get a great little server for less that 300. We use them for alot of small schools they are great little servers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpio View Post
    Get the HP ML110 G5 add some more disks in mirrored RAID mode and a bit more ram you could get a great little server for less that 300. We use them for alot of small schools they are great little servers.

    I second that.. I've installed a few of these HP ML110 G5's and they are cracking servers, at a great price. We've never had any problems with them

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    themanfromict's Avatar
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    Thanks Scorpio. Just found the HP ML110 on serversdirect.co.uk for 160. Looks pretty good, mainly due to being able to install any type of SATA HDD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by themanfromict View Post
    Thanks Scorpio. Just found the HP ML110 on serversdirect.co.uk for 160. Looks pretty good, mainly due to being able to install any type of SATA HDD.
    we have the ML110 G5 in stock also and sure we can be competitive with the pricing on the bundle you require, be sure to give me a pm for a quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by themanfromict View Post
    Hi
    I basically know nothing about server specifications. All I know is I need something for data storage and backups. I've considered install server 2008 on my pc, as I've been told I have a limited budget, but figured even if I have to wait until next year it's better to get my request in now.

    What should I be looking for?
    As a short term solution, have you considered installing a Linux distro on your workstation and sharing out the same folders using Samba? We were in a very similar situation to yours (SEN school, had a server but ancient NT4 beast with no diskspace) and CentOS worked beautifully as a stop gap solution. Still running the server for simple fileshares like games and CD images etc.

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    IanT's Avatar
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    There are plenty of cheap servers going on ebay atm

    Im selling a HP ProLiant ML330 G3 (Xeon 2.8Ghz, 3Gb of RAM, SCSI Disks, DVD Drive, Gig lan card)

    good enough to be a DC, DHCP, DNS etc

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    Don't forget if you're going to create a real server-client network, you really need a server OS on your server hardware.

    Server 2003 / SBS 2003 or Server 2008 or you could even go the way of a linux os, such as ubuntu 9.04 LTS (or wait for the 9.10 LTS)

    Just "cobbling together" isn't really on in this day and age - The data you're storing on the server IS important.

    Chunks

  13. Thanks to Chunky from:

    speckytecky (1st October 2009)

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