Go Back   Computer Forums > General Computing > Server Administration
Click Here to Login
Join Computer forums Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-30-2012, 12:39 AM   #1
Beta Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Default Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

Recently, I've considered a job offer I was given. It is at an elementary school tutoring type of environment. My job would be to build an entire computer lab! I'd need to set up a server, and hook it up with all of the computers in the computer lab. Afterwards, I'd need to be able maintain the server for a long period of time. Details about the job and their budget will be incoming soon, but I really need some guidance here. I'm pretty bright, and love learning new things within technology. I've delt with and seen a server being built before, but the person was never able to get it up and running, because of vendor issues. Can someone guide me in the right direction as to not seem like an idiot in front of these people? I'm held in a pretty high regard for a teenager, and I want to keep it up. This is a really great opportunity for me to learn! I want to know the basics of what I'll be doing hardware and software wise. Links to websites, books, etc. would be very helpful! I learn extremely quick!
__________________

AwesomeUser777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2012, 06:16 AM   #2
Fully Optimized
 
~Darkseeker~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Posts: 2,494
Default Re: Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

Firstly, you're going to need to decide on a server and a server OS. How many computers roughly are we talking? A mid-range server (Xeon, 6-8GB RAM, 2-3TB Storage) would be adequate for maybe 10-15 machines running active directory. Anything 15 and over would probably want more memory. Memory is the killer with servers; they use a hell of a lot of it to run the relevant roles. You'll probably want a Windows server environment, probably 2008 R2, though there are many newer ones (Server 2011 I believe? might be a newer one than that, I'm not wholly up to date on servers since changing jobs). IF it's in a learning environment, you'll be using Active Directory (Users sign onto the server rather than the machines themselves) and will need to set up accounts for users using the server management console. There's plenty of good reading materials on administering basic active directory environments, google around and see what comes up.
__________________

__________________
EVGA SLI Micro Z68 // Intel i5-2500k @ 4.4GHz // 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866MHz // Overclocked ASUS GTX 660 Ti // Corsair Carbide SPEC-03 // Kingston Hyper-X 120GB // 2TB WD Green + 500GB WD Black
#JC4PM
~Darkseeker~ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 04:56 AM   #3
Daemon Poster
 
dale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 1,008
Default Re: Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

First thing that you need to have in place is good backup and restoration plans. At some point, people are most likely going to mess up the computers in ways that you did not expect them to, so this should be your priority.
__________________
distrACT -- an open community
● It helps to ask questions effectively
● Please join Server admins social group if you are into servers
dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 03:05 AM   #4
Beta Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Default Re: Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

Thank you Darkseeker! I've researched Active Directory, and it seems simple enough. The OS will most likely be Windows Server 2003 or 2008 R2.

@ Dale
Could you give me some advice on those backup/restoration plans? Also, could you give examples of things that could go wrong?

Hardware will most likely be my biggest issue. Does anyone have a good guide to getting used to the hardware of a server?
AwesomeUser777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 07:05 AM   #5
Daemon Poster
 
dale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 1,008
Default Re: Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

Very quickly, for starters...






Backup plan:
  1. How will you backup off-site? (off-site is a place not usually on the same network as the school network and not using the same physical storage as the usual storage space)
  2. How often will you backup?
  3. What files will you backup?

Restoration plan:
  1. Where will you restore from? and what/how will you restore?
  2. How will you make sure that the damage was eliminated?
  3. In case of data loss, how important is it? -- with school computer labs this is less critical, but you should still evaluate it
Feel free to ask about or add to the list.

As for damage, you are going to have people trying to format the HDD. Some people will probably release some joke virus that they found on the Internet. Some people will download stuff that you probably don't want in school.

And then there is the physical side of things... How do you expect them to handle computer equipments? Design a quick protocol of how people should behave in the computer lab. Who will enforce the protocol? (don't make this you) etc.

Just a very generalised overview, but I hope this helps.
__________________
distrACT -- an open community
● It helps to ask questions effectively
● Please join Server admins social group if you are into servers
dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
Fully Optimized
 
~Darkseeker~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Posts: 2,494
Default Re: Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

What kind of funding are you getting for this project? This will greatly vary the kind of hardware you'll be using. You probably want to persuade the superiors to fork out a bit extra for a Dell PowerEdge or something, for long term use. Skimping on the server is going to cause all sorts of problems.
__________________
EVGA SLI Micro Z68 // Intel i5-2500k @ 4.4GHz // 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866MHz // Overclocked ASUS GTX 660 Ti // Corsair Carbide SPEC-03 // Kingston Hyper-X 120GB // 2TB WD Green + 500GB WD Black
#JC4PM
~Darkseeker~ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 44
Default Re: Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

Big project...just a few tips:

Buy a brand name server. I would recommend, in my personal order of preference, HP Proliant, Dell PowerEdge, or IBM System X. You don't want to be messing with building your own server with all the other work you have to do.

An Active Directory domain is the way to go. I would probably even go with Roaming profiles so the kids stuff follows them no matter what PC they are on. This means you want the PC's as close to identical as possible (which is true anyway, so your life is easier).

No question, go with Windows Server 2008 R2. Since the purchase is for education, you can get well discounted software from Microsoft. Go with Windows 7 64 bit PROFESSIONAL on the PC's. Dell Optiplex 390 small form factor PC's are solid systems, and are currently about $470 each (with W7Pro). I would recommend getting open licensing for the PC's so you can legally clone the systems (just one W7 Pro open license allows you to use open licensing media on all PC's, thus also allowing cloning). Then you can build ONE perfectly configured system, clone it, and have all IDENTICALLY CONFIGURED PC's. Look into CloneZilla for a FREE alternative to Ghost for the cloning...works beautifully. Store the image on an external hard drive, boot from a CloneZilla CD, and in 20 minutes you can reimage a PC.

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT...allow local admin rights to users. DO, DO, DO, DO...set the Local Admin password on the PC's at LEAST *15* characters long (I would explain, but hacking info not allowed here).

I'd go with a Netgear Gigabit smart switch...the GS724T should do nicely. Not much more expensive than a unmanaged switch, and a lifetime warranty.

Are you doing your own wiring too?
chirkware is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 03:58 AM   #8
Solid State Member
 
unitttech's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12
Default Re: Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

i was playing around with vmware and i did a set up of 3 win xp computers and 1 win 2003 server. i used novell client sp3. with the novell client you can turn off the settings to login localy so they can only login thought the network.
unitttech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
j03
~~~~~~~~
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Wales
Posts: 5,556
Send a message via MSN to j03
Default Re: Teenager In Charge of Setting Up a Server/Computer Lab- Advice Please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chirkware View Post
Big project...just a few tips:

Buy a brand name server. I would recommend, in my personal order of preference, HP Proliant, Dell PowerEdge, or IBM System X. You don't want to be messing with building your own server with all the other work you have to do.

An Active Directory domain is the way to go. I would probably even go with Roaming profiles so the kids stuff follows them no matter what PC they are on. This means you want the PC's as close to identical as possible (which is true anyway, so your life is easier).

No question, go with Windows Server 2008 R2. Since the purchase is for education, you can get well discounted software from Microsoft. Go with Windows 7 64 bit PROFESSIONAL on the PC's. Dell Optiplex 390 small form factor PC's are solid systems, and are currently about $470 each (with W7Pro). I would recommend getting open licensing for the PC's so you can legally clone the systems (just one W7 Pro open license allows you to use open licensing media on all PC's, thus also allowing cloning). Then you can build ONE perfectly configured system, clone it, and have all IDENTICALLY CONFIGURED PC's. Look into CloneZilla for a FREE alternative to Ghost for the cloning...works beautifully. Store the image on an external hard drive, boot from a CloneZilla CD, and in 20 minutes you can reimage a PC.

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT...allow local admin rights to users. DO, DO, DO, DO...set the Local Admin password on the PC's at LEAST *15* characters long (I would explain, but hacking info not allowed here).

I'd go with a Netgear Gigabit smart switch...the GS724T should do nicely. Not much more expensive than a unmanaged switch, and a lifetime warranty.

Are you doing your own wiring too?
I agree with the above. I'd definitely get a RAID setup (at least RAID1, RAID10 if possible) - and have off-site and on-site backup if you can.

Make sure you set BIOS passwords, and disable USB/DVD Booting.

In addition to the password being 15+ Characters, make sure it's non-dictionary, too.

I wouldn't even consider Server 2003.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unitttech View Post
i was playing around with vmware and i did a set up of 3 win xp computers and 1 win 2003 server. i used novell client sp3. with the novell client you can turn off the settings to login localy so they can only login thought the network.
If there are no password-less local accounts, you dont have to worry about that. I think Novell is major overkill for this kind of setup.
__________________

j03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0