Network solutions for a music lab

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by checked.out, May 15, 2014.

  1. checked.out macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #1
    Hi all, I have a rather unique problem.

    I'm a student at a community college with enough funding (in California, would it be a residual of TARP or something?) to definitely update the software and (possibly) update the hardware of the music production lab on campus. The problem is that instead of getting the IT department to do it, the Dean of Music asked /me/ to do it, because I expressed interest in helping (a fool's mistake).

    The lab consists of
    • 2 mac minis (c. 2011?)
    • 8 iMacs, two of which are 10,1 and the others are 12,1
    • an independent ethernet connection tying them all together

    I mentioned the ethernet thing only because the school's computers (windows or otherwise) run mostly on the extensive WiFi networks around campus. Pretty much every classroom has access to them.

    I job was originally to assess the state of the functionality of various licensed software like Avid Sibelius, Finale, Logic, etc. Eventually, this morphed into a proposal for an entirely new system geared towards novice-advanced music production students, composers, and theorists, and includes the execution of said plan, nuking the current OS on every computer and making a single image which is then copied via remote install onto every computer on the network EXCEPTING the two mac minis, which will host various resources.

    My dilemma is how to effectively deploy all the software (including OS X 10.9.x) I think the system will need, obtaining licenses for new software, upgrading existing licenses to multi-seat licenses, installing the new images on the computers and assigning/labeling the computers with new netBIOS names, and setting up all of the server functionality on the minis, such as remote home directories for each iMac located on the server, and a remote iTunes library over Home Sharing that each computer has access to.

    Any suggestions? I have zero network management experience, and I basically have to work on the hardware we currently have. Ultimately, my proposal will need to have a budget estimate, solid reasoning for every software choice, and thousands of diagrams/references to back up my proposition.
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    Currently, you have two Late 2009 iMacs and the other six are Late 2011 models. Make sure all systems have at least 4 GB of RAM.

    First of all, get Wi-Fi out of your head. Ethernet is the way to go. Personally, I would look at dedicating a Mac Mini as a server. Then using Link Aggregation to a switch that supports it, hooking up to have 2 Gbps network capability. The iMacs will be fine on a single Gigabit lead. What is the budget?
     
  3. checked.out thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #3
    The budget is probably around 5-6k, all things considered. It will have to include licensing fees and all of that /stuff/. Sibelius is 119$ a seat (x8), logic is more than that, and Finale is like 250$ a seat. So basically 0$ for hardware.

    Excuse me for being noobish, but what is link aggregation? What is a switch (in this context)?
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4
    A switch is the piece of hardware that connects all the Ethernet cables from the computers together. Link Aggregation is a protocol that allows you to connect two cables together to get double bandwidth space. It is like rather than a 2 lane road that you can go 60 MPH on, it is a 4 lane road that you can go 60 MPH on. You get more capacity for concurrent users, but the actual speed is the same.
     
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #5
    I'm just wondering how something like Logic Pro X will perform when you're opening/running/saving projects from a server across the network.
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #6
    Depends on the size of the project. Put together a software budget and then report back with the hardware budget. Don't stretch the budget thin but also think of upgrades.

    Look at Apple's Educational Institutional prices. Looking at their prices, it is $100 for Logic if you buy more than 20 seats. Check it out!
     
  7. checked.out thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #7
    I seriously doubt any of the projects would use more than 8 or 9 channels, since students usually lack those resources. I'm also curious about the performance of Logic or other DAWs when opening/saving files from a server.


    The lab is basically 8 computers, so the price discount really wouldn't work. XD
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #8

    Darn. Price everything out anyhow. You may still get a smaller discount despite buying so few seats.
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #10
  11. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #11
    OP: "My dilemma is how to effectively deploy all the software"
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12

    Apple Remote Desktop is the best option for that.
     

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