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[school-discuss] LTSP and school-provided networks on same physical infrastructure

One dilemma that we're running into in our transition to K12LTSP is how to use the existing school network infrastructure for two independent networks. Until we can convince the city school district otherwise, they'll likely insist that we keep the teacher's Win XP computers on the school district's network, fed to the school via unreliable T1. The PTA is willing to pay for a business-tier cable modem service (5 Mbps down, 384kbps up) to the school, and we want to feed the K12LTSP servers and all clients (computer lab and classrooms) via this cable modem network using the web filtering capability of K12LTSP (Squidgard, IIRC). Problem: only one network cable is run to each class, so we have to feed both networks via the same cabling, all of which lead star-topology into the wiring closet (although maybe a few extensions via switches at the end of one cable run feeding multiple rooms).

Logically, can we just leave the teacher's PCs talking to the school district's gateway and their T1, while our Linux thin client servers talk to the cable modem router and to the thin clients over the same Cat5 cable? Will there be problems with net booting, collisions, etc?

Any other ideas for solutions to this conundrum? Ultimately down the road, we envision the district approving the K12LTSP solution and allowing us to combine both T1 and cable modem data feeds to the school into a common router (so that we have more total bandwidth for all PCs, plus a backup architecture) and the teachers ultimately using OSS for their admin applications on thin clients in each classroom, but who knows how long that will take...


Daniel Howard
President and CEO
Quadrock Communications, Inc
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