Building a server & SMB network - RFC

Dave J. Andruczyk dave at
Wed May 12 12:43:48 GMT 1999

> I need to network a mission school of about 200 PC's running Windows 3.11 
> and 95 on a very, very limited budget.  The school does not currently have 
> a network.  I would like to use my PC and Red Hat Linux v5.2 and SAMBA to 
> set this up as file&print server.
> I am planning to install the following in my Pentium 133mhz PC for this 
> purpose:
> 256MB RAM
> (1) Adaptec 2940B-UW PCI SCSI controller for disks
> (1) donated AHA-1540B ISA SCSI controller for SE tape drives
> (1) 3Com 3C980-TX PCI 10/100 server NIC
> approx. 20GB of donated SCSI disks
> (2) donated DDS2 (2-4GB) external tape drives
> For the network, I am planning to install basic 10baseT hubs in the 5 
> computer labs and cable them back to the central server closet into a 
> 10/100 switch all with CAT5.  The server will connect directly into the 
> switch at 100MB.
> At this point, the server will just be used for file&print, and possibly 
> internal SMTP email and maybe used as an Intranet web server .  In the 
> future they may want to connect the network to the Internet.
> Please comment on this scenario from both a hardware standpoint, Linux 
> kernel optimal configuration standpoint, and network standpoint.  Please 
> send any and all comments/recommendations/criticisms to the following 
> address:

Well, the network sounds like a good layout (considering your budget). I
would suggest a faster machine though. Try shooting for a PII 300 or
faster.  The 133 will probably handle the load for now, but as soon as you
get the network up, everyone else will start wanting other things, like an
intranet (webserver), ftp site(file drop point), interactive user
accounts(computer classes), and soon that 'ol 133 will be struggling. (esp
with interactive users.)

Computer hardware is cheap, and a PII400 can be made for under $600

Dave J. Andruczyk
Instructional Support Associate
Department of Technology     
Buffalo State College

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