Here's everything you wanted to know about Flash but were afraid to ask. Read about all the other servers and get the full breathtaking lowdown on the cutting edge IT School network by going to the IT.NET Page on Goth Server.

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Room C3-12 was the first classroom moved onto the IT.NET, in March 2005. With only one classroom to serve Ghost images to, Goth varied in its reliability. Some days it would be serving out images to a dozen workstations or more and still perform other duties well; other days the GUI was brought to a virtual standstill.

It was always apparent that a second server would be required to help share the load and originally, Andy planned for the second machine to be another Windows 2000 Domain Controller. However with a further three classrooms due to come on line, the GUI performance problem would still remain, even if both servers shared the imaging load equally.

Administrators need to be able to access Domain Controllers at any time, to perform routine operations like configuring users and passwords; an interface which sometimes takes 5 minutes to register a mouse click just doesn't cut the mustard.

So the choice of operating system for Flash Server was an easy choice: Unix all the way! The resource hungry graphically oriented user interface of Microsoft's Servers really shows its limitations under load and this is unacceptable on a Domain Controller.

Conversely Unix is designed with a minimalist, command line user interface which allows important resources like memory and CPU cycles to be used for the necessary jobs of running the services.

Flash is also a 3GHz Pentium IV, with 1GB RAM and a 200GB Western Digital SATA hard disk. The motherboard has an onboard Gigabit network interface. The software requirements are minimal, with FreeBSD 5.2.1 taking care of everything and Samba taking care of the same share names as found on Goth..

\files containing the Norton Ghost executable and a few other files, \images containing Ghost images used for teaching and \IT.NET containing ghost.exe and the classroom images for reghosting

Samba is required so that the classrom workstations can access NetBIOS shares for Ghost imaging. Flash also runs Apache Web Server for mirroring and complementing Goth Web.

Flash Server came on line the same day Rooms A1-30 and A1-31 were moved onto IT.NET in April 2005. At the time of writing Andy is keen to see how Flash matches up against Goth for getting those images out there. Watch this space for further developments..