Question I need to re-setup the Computer Lab for the school that I currently work in

Apr 15, 2019
3
0
10
0
Hello.

Please help me. I'am a newbie here and the following is to give you a picture of what i have and what i need.

# I need to re-setup the Computer Lab for the school that I currently work in. Following are the user requirements:

  1. A total of 100 students will sit in a single session.
  2. They will use Windows based applications such as MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Scratch, Python, Photoshop, Flash Professional, MySQL, XAMPP (for PHP, HTML) and are learning Linux (Ubuntu/LUbuntu).
  3. They will have their own user ID's and can log in anytime (during school hours).
  4. They can store their files in a centrally accessible location which will be monitored (Shared D:\ or E:\)
  5. They can insert their own pendrives, Headphones/mic etc. (will be supervised)
  6. They can use the internet (supervised).
# Following is the current configuration of the lab:

  1. HP Proliant ML 10 Gen9 tower with the foll. config (Xeon E3-1225 v5, 3.3GHz; HPE 2x8GB DDR4 2133 ECC; 1TB WD HDD; INTEL I219-LM Ethernet; 300W PSU; proprietary Motherboard)
  2. 27 NComputing L300 thin clients.
  3. Windows Server 2012 R2 with "NComputing VSpace Pro" (proprietary software for running the thin clients) installed.
  4. 01 D-Link DES-1024C 24-Port 10/100Mbps Unmanaged Ethernet Switch + 01 D-Link DGS-1016A 16-Port Gigabit Unmanaged Switch.
# Problems with the current config:

  1. Server shows >=67% CPU utilization and >=87% RAM utilization when MS Word is used in all 27 clients (but all clients are slow as hell).
  2. Cannot run Photoshop or Flash Pro in more than 7 clients. (entire server slows down)
  3. I personally dislike Server 2012 R2 and need to upgrade to 2016.
  4. I prefer the NComputing thin clients (zero clients, low latency, available USB and 3.5mm jacks for students) but dislike the NComputing VSpace Pro software that is needed to run those clients.
  5. Proprietary hardware restricts upgradability.
  6. Need to upgrade from 27 student capacity to 100 student capacity.
  7. Cannot run Google Chrome in all 27 computers. (Server + clients hangs and needs reboot)
# Help needed in:

  1. I need to setup a server that can accomodate 100 students using shared desktop thin clients / VM's. So what kind / how powerful of a server do I need?
  2. Instead of sharing desktops using thin clients, can I deploy VM's so that each student can have their own computer. Also, since some of them are using Linux, would it be better if they had full-fledged linux VMs instead of using linux shell in windows?
  3. Let's say that I choose to use desktop sharing, can any one recommend me good and low priced thin clients that uses Windows RDP instead of proprietary software for running the thin clients, also the minimum spec for a server that can run the 100 thin clients.
  4. If I need to run say 40 Ubuntu VM's, what will be the recommended spec for the server that is capable to do so? Also, what kind of client setup do I need? Will the thin clients suffice?
  5. Can i get any server config that can run the aforesaid VM's in under Rs. 200000/- ($2880 USD) which is the PO limit given to me by the school.
  6. Also, are the D-Link switches sufficient or do I need to upgrade them.
  7. Please consider this, as i live in India (and that too, in Jorhat, Assam), does Dell or HP or any company supply a prebuilt server (along the lines of the specs that you are recommending) or do I need to import parts? (As I need to consider transport charges).
With Regards

Alakesh
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Thanks.
  • Multiple servers is doable. Setting up Linux in 40 and server 2016 in the rest 60.
  • 4GB for Vm's for 40 = 160 GB. Will 128 GB do if multiple server setup is considered.
I guess I misinterpreted the 100 thin clients to be 100 simultaneous.
You might be able to get by with 2GB for your Linux VMs.
For two hosts I would probably shoot for 96GB or similar. 64GB/host would probably be too small, IMO. The thing that always runs out in VMs is physical memory on the host.
But, if you can start with 64GB be sure you have expansion capabilities to double the RAM per server you can see how the performance is.
60 VMs probably wants 30 physical cores. If looking at two servers you want 16 cores (not threads) per server.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
100 simultaneous students, probably should not rely on a single server. You should have two or three so that if one dies you are not totally dead. $2800 is not enough budget for that.
You should budget 4GB / VM in RAM so your 100 VMs is 400GB. Another reason to consider multiple physical servers.
 
Apr 15, 2019
3
0
10
0
100 simultaneous students, probably should not rely on a single server. You should have two or three so that if one dies you are not totally dead. $2800 is not enough budget for that.
You should budget 4GB / VM in RAM so your 100 VMs is 400GB. Another reason to consider multiple physical servers.
Thanks.
  • Multiple servers is doable. Setting up Linux in 40 and server 2016 in the rest 60.
  • 4GB for Vm's for 40 = 160 GB. Will 128 GB do if multiple server setup is considered.
 
Apr 15, 2019
3
0
10
0
I guess I misinterpreted the 100 thin clients to be 100 simultaneous.
You might be able to get by with 2GB for your Linux VMs.
For two hosts I would probably shoot for 96GB or similar. 64GB/host would probably be too small, IMO. The thing that always runs out in VMs is physical memory on the host.
But, if you can start with 64GB be sure you have expansion capabilities to double the RAM per server you can see how the performance is.
60 VMs probably wants 30 physical cores. If looking at two servers you want 16 cores (not threads) per server.
Thank you for the immediate reply.

Yes. You understood correctly. 100 students will use the clients simultaneously.

2GB per Linux VM. Got it.

I am limited by my region. I could either get HP or dell server's with preinstalled 8-16 GB RAM or make a server myself with a with 16-32 Gb RAM. Still 8-16 physical (non HT'd) core processors are a lot but I am budgeted to $3000 USD.

What if I just ran 20 VM's, each VM running multipoint server type setups for 03 thinclients each and 40 VM's for linux (each VM running Ubuntu 18.04 seperately), will it require same power as recommended earlier?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS