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Setup network for teaching office skills

I am helping to set up a network and system for a vocational class for 25 participants that will teach standard office skills such as word processing, email, and standard billing applications.

I believe that I would need 26 workstations, 1 server, a router or Cisco switch such as a Cisco Catalyst 2950 switch (which I can get used for $500).

I can get a Dell Poweredge 2900 Server for $1,500. It is a Dual Core Xeon 5110, 3.2 Ghz, 1066 FSB, 4 GB Ram, 10k RPM Harddrive

I would want the machines to have XP, MS Office, Outlook, Quickbooks and whatever other office applications are needed.

I think that I could use Logmein free to connect to each of the workstations from the instructors machine.

I assume that I should use a domain based network. What server operating system would be best for this?

I would like to use Acronis for backup.

Please comment on this solution and provide any other items or issues that I should consider.
2 Solutions
Kamran ArshadCommented:

The workstations on MS Windows XP and MS Windows 2003 Server.
For a domain based network it would be a headache and chore to go with anything other than Windows Server 2003.

Linux can be painful and not reliable enough for the novice, and in some cases, even experienced user (especially in a production environment), furthermore it is not as flexible when dealing with directory / domain services. Note however, Windows will cost much more!

Workstations should probably run Win XP. Vista is NOT professional in my opinion and not worth it, XP is clean, fast, and very professional.

For a simple environment like this, if you are not planning on having VLANS, and other more advanced features, you can get away with a basic switch from linksys, dlink, or other vendor. I don't think a Cisco switch is entirely necessary. The server seems good for what you want to do.

As far as remote management software, I'd check out RealVNC. http://realvnc.com . I ALWAYS use realvnc on any setup I use. It's free, fast, lightweight, and very reliable. Logmein is good as well and may be slightly more intuitive.

A domain-network based in a Windows Server environment is easy to setup and is generally very reliable. Just be careful if you run all services from one computer. You wouldn;t want a single-point-of-failure.

dovidfAuthor Commented:
What capacity line would be needed to support this?

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