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A review of your current systems: Can Linux be integrated?

I believe it is fundamentally important that every school undergoes an internal review of it's IT systems, especially the desktop and server platforms. Why? Because it's important to measure the most frequent network/desktop/user issues against the current IT systems structure.

For example, you may find that issues surrounding slow network connectivity revolve around the way your network has been configured. Another example, perhaps an issue concerned with user security - may be resolved by replacing Windows '98 with Windows NT Workstation v4.0.

Only with a accurate internal IT systems review, measured against current issues - can real gains be made.

The next agenda is focussing on just how many disparate systems you have, and just how can they be integrated? Systems integration is key to enhance network reliability, reduce support issues and drive down costs. For example, if you can integrate your systems and no longer feel the need for expensive outside support - then it's another cost-saving.

In terms of making the network one of a HIGH-AVAILABILITY nature, I believe that IT staff should take a long, hard look at this:

  • Can you really afford network downtime?
  • How much does it cost YOU ? ('upset' users, ruined classes, etc !)

If you *cannot* afford downtime, then it's time to look at Open Source Cluster solutions, http://oscar.sourceforge.net. If clustering is not for you, then take a close-up look at http://www.samba.org.

Running a linux box as a Windows NT Server can provide the ultimate in compatibility with your Windows clients, along with legendary LINUX flexibility, security and uptime !

Article written by Matthew Carson.

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