Upgrades on a budget.

argo76

n00b
Joined
May 5, 2007
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2
I work for a small school that needs some serious upgrades to there computers and to there network and of course not enough money. There are 4 things I need to do this summer on about a $1000 budget. I am very committed to giving the school the best for there money.

1. Move the 30 computers that are split into 3 workgroups into one domain. Can I do this with out paying $700 for a copy of Server 2003? I don’t much about Linux but I can learn would Samba be an option?
2. Install content filtering – I was thinking ipcop and Dan’s Guardian that seems to be the most popular choice.
3. Set-up library catalog system – This is only if I can stretch the money this far. It will cost $300 for the program and about $100 for the wand.
4. Set-up a file server that can be used for back up and other general file sharing and a way to back that up for redundancy. I was thinking of getting a 250GB NAS. Any suggestions on a brand would be great. I am looking in the $200 price range.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
Jason Armstrong
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,873
I would spend the $1000 and hire a sales person to sell them on spending more than $1k on an IT budget.

Samba can be used as a primary domain controller. Why bother with a NAS when you can just use the samba box? If they want cheap give them cheap and when they complain about the performance or when issues arise that can't be resolved you can blame it on their horrible decision to waste money on delivering $5k worth of handouts on being celibate rather than spending the money on their infrastructure.
 

Spartacus

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Apr 29, 2005
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1. Move the 30 computers that are split into 3 workgroups into one domain. Can I do this with out paying $700 for a copy of Server 2003? I don’t much about Linux but I can learn would Samba be an option?

You could get it done with 2000 Server just fine and very inexpensively. Both the OS and the CALS are going very cheap on Ebay.

It may be worth putting in a call to Microsoft to let them know you are on a budget and are considering Linux. They may be very helpful with providing inexpensive software for the school.
 

Bean Dip

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 28, 2004
Messages
211
You need to find a reseller that specializes in educational agreements. Schools can get Microsoft licensing at major discounts vs what other institutions pay.
 

argo76

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May 5, 2007
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2
I appreciate your sentiments Eickst as much as I would like to tell these people there crazy. I have a vested interest to make them happy. Namely the small amount of money I am getting and the nice paragraph of experience on my resume.

I did find Server 2003 standard for $118. It comes with 5 cals. All the computers already have XP Professional on them. I don’t need to buy all new licenses for them do I? It’s been a couple years since I installed Sever 2003, but I seem to remember an option that would not require me to get new licenses.

I would rather use a NAS and avoid using samba, first it’s a totally new territory for me and second out of respect for the next guy who probably won’t know Linux either. I would like to keep it simple and reliable.

Any criticism/advise is welcome. There seems to be alot of people here that know more than I do. Thanks for the comments so far. I’ll post what I do through out the summer for more advice and maybe it will help some other people too.
 

Method

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Messages
314
So you get a copy of 2k3 but do you box to run it on? If not then a big chunk of your change is going to go there even if you do it on a budget.
 

MorfiusX

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Feb 13, 2004
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Unless you are getting educational pricing, that $118 is probably not legit. Your domain controller can be your file server. Just add a 250gb drive to the domain controller machine and use Windows file sharing if that's what you are comfortable with. If you insist on NAS, check out FreeNAS. For the XP licensing question: no you won't need anything other than a CAL for the them. As far as content filtering: Check out Endian. It already the content filtering built in.
 

zacdl

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
2,012
1. Move the 30 computers that are split into 3 workgroups into one domain. Can I do this with out paying $700 for a copy of Server 2003? I don’t much about Linux but I can learn would Samba be an option?
Just depends what you are sharing. Files? Sure- Samba will work for sharing files on a *nix server.
It can share printers as well. You won't even have to change workgroup settings.
If you are looking at directory services, I'm afraid the best balance of ease and cost will be to ultimately get Server. 2000 is cheaper ;)

2. Install content filtering – I was thinking ipcop and Dan’s Guardian that seems to be the most popular choice.
How is it set up? Does the internet go through a server somewhere, or just go straight to a switch, then out to your computers?
Are you looking at running it through a server? Or do you want a client-based setup?

3. Set-up library catalog system – This is only if I can stretch the money this far. It will cost $300 for the program and about $100 for the wand.
What are you asking here???

4. Set-up a file server that can be used for back up and other general file sharing and a way to back that up for redundancy. I was thinking of getting a 250GB NAS. Any suggestions on a brand would be great. I am looking in the $200 price range.
A *nix server (as in #1) would do this. Have everyone save stuff to that server, and implement RAID.
 

(V)andopr77

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
213
I agree 100% with what Morfius said. I have used freenas and I run an Endian Firewall. They are both great products and can run on just about anything. Endian does require a decent amount of RAM once you use content filtering and proxying.

What you are wanting to do can definitely be done with $1000. You just have to get creative and use alternate resources other than Microsoft. Most of which are free and very effective. You don't have to get caught up in all the Microsoft, CISCO, ... etc. hype if you don't need it.
 

JayAre

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
245
I appreciate your sentiments Eickst as much as I would like to tell these people there crazy. I have a vested interest to make them happy. Namely the small amount of money I am getting and the nice paragraph of experience on my resume.

I did find Server 2003 standard for $118. It comes with 5 cals. All the computers already have XP Professional on them. I don’t need to buy all new licenses for them do I? It’s been a couple years since I installed Sever 2003, but I seem to remember an option that would not require me to get new licenses.

I would rather use a NAS and avoid using samba, first it’s a totally new territory for me and second out of respect for the next guy who probably won’t know Linux either. I would like to keep it simple and reliable.

Any criticism/advise is welcome. There seems to be alot of people here that know more than I do. Thanks for the comments so far. I’ll post what I do through out the summer for more advice and maybe it will help some other people too.

I'm not sure what your "vested" interest is, but you're doing them no favor by going the cheap route. It's not like schools are broke, they're just cheap. They always want something for nothing. As are most Gov't agencies...

The root problem is, if you give them this "freeish/cheapish" solution, they will always expect it. Companies and school districts typically grow and with that growth, the network grows. When you want to move to better equipment, you get the response "well you got it done so cheap last time...."

I hate to be doom and gloom, but please pick your poison.....ipcop, smoothwall, monowall, freenas, etc.
 
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