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Server For Tutoring Organization

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I've recently begun consulting for an organization that provides tutoring assistance in a specific area. I'm specifically being asked to fix their network and application software issues. I've just started there, and I'm accordingly just learning their network and workstation mix. The organization's leader is definite that a new server machine is wanted. Currently, a Dell Optiplex GX260 is running in a database server configuration. The organization has 20 student classes, approximately 10 full time staff and 100 tutors. The 10 "lab" computers are in constant use and the 4D server software is getting a lot of use. There are another 12 or so computers for the regular staff. Everyone is complaining of slow response times except for internet access. Everyone wants to replace the Dell with something more powerful.

Is there one server box that can keep up with the demands of such an organization and accomodate some growth? Surprisingly enough, it looks like a rack enclosure was given to the organization, and the Dell box is enthroned on the bottom of this. Some of the rack mounts are used to support the monitor which is a few feet above it. I'm not sure of this is a 1U rack.

While I am not new to networking, I am new to patch panels and rack mounted servers. I have a lot to learn here. Advice is appreciated. (Is there also a mailing list where I can ask questions about hardware such as patch panels and how to trace which computer a particular termination is serving?)

Thanks

Bob Cochran



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