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craigmgrant
1 Copper

re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

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Hi everyone,

I hope you are all doing well? This is my first post on the Dell forum and I apologise for the nature of the post and if it breaches any rules then I am sorry.

I work for the IT department for a school in Cookridge in Leeds, West Yorkshire and basically, the school has next to no money in the budget for I.T hardware so we are struggling to keep the current school IT kit going, although we are getting there.

Basically, what it is, is that we have four unused Dell Power Edge 2950 servers with little or no memory and what I was wondering was is that - does anybody know off a way to get free/donated memory so we can boost the kit up? Would Dell (through the kindness of their heart) donate some memory?

Having said that, we are also short on storage space (we really are rock bottom), Desktop/Laptops (memory as well), LT05 tapes, Keyboards, Mice, External storage etc

I have had a look around via Google and asked around locally but it's pretty much been a no go.

I have worked in schools for last 5 years in and around Yorkshire and some of the schools have got millions for I.T. but not this one. Our next year's budget is just £30k which is nothing in real terms and we really do want to do something for the school especially the kids. It's their education we are looking at.

It's even got the point were we are testing dual booting the desktops that we have with Linux/Windows to give the students the option at looking at free/alternative  Applications/OS's as some of the families are so poor even they can't afford to purchase apps such as Adobe CS4/CS5 Let alone Windows.

Regards

Craig

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theflash1932
5 Iridium

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

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Well, you are in the wrong place.  While Dell does have some support agents on the server boards, they are not in a position to field your request.  You would need to contact Dell corporate directly.

I would suggest a fund-raiser or communicating the urgent need for small donations to the school to parents and the community, including businesses.

30K is much more of a hardware budget than many individual schools in the States, so I would think you'll be able to make due for the urgent necessities you mentioned, including a base amount of memory for your 2950's.

"some of the families are so poor even they can't afford to purchase apps such as Adobe CS4/CS5 Let alone Windows."

I'm sorry - and I truly don't say this to be rude - but this is a completely ridiculous statement.  CS costs MANY MANY times more than any Windows product and is NOT a necessity in a child's learning.  MOST families are too "poor" to purchase something like CS and should NOT be expected to.  There are other tools out there that are better priced that can be used when budgets are tight, especially when the family is expected to purchase it.

Good luck. 

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DMahalko
1 Nickel

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

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There is no need to use name-brand software in schools. You are supposed to be teaching general concepts that can be applied across multiple fields. Don't just teach a specific application.

Due to how fast things change in technical fields, it is a mistake to be teaching students only with a specific application, because it may be obsolete or superseded by the time students get out the door.

Using Adobe Photoshop? The free GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) can do everything that matters.

            http://www.gimp.org/

Using Adobe Illustrator? Learn the free Inkscape instead.

            http://inkscape.org/en/

Using Microsoft Office? Use the free Google Apps for Education, the free Open Office, or the free Libre Office.

            http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education/

Using a commercial 3D Home Design program? Use the free Sweet Home 3D.

            http://www.sweethome3d.com/

Using expensive SolidWorks? PTC offers free educational licenses of their engineering software to students and schools.

            http://www.ptc.com/company/community/schools/download/

Using the ridiculously expensive Maya for 3D design? Why not see what the free Blender 3D can do for you?

            http://www.blender.org/

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theflash1932
5 Iridium

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

Jump to solution

Well, you are in the wrong place.  While Dell does have some support agents on the server boards, they are not in a position to field your request.  You would need to contact Dell corporate directly.

I would suggest a fund-raiser or communicating the urgent need for small donations to the school to parents and the community, including businesses.

30K is much more of a hardware budget than many individual schools in the States, so I would think you'll be able to make due for the urgent necessities you mentioned, including a base amount of memory for your 2950's.

"some of the families are so poor even they can't afford to purchase apps such as Adobe CS4/CS5 Let alone Windows."

I'm sorry - and I truly don't say this to be rude - but this is a completely ridiculous statement.  CS costs MANY MANY times more than any Windows product and is NOT a necessity in a child's learning.  MOST families are too "poor" to purchase something like CS and should NOT be expected to.  There are other tools out there that are better priced that can be used when budgets are tight, especially when the family is expected to purchase it.

Good luck. 

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DMahalko
1 Nickel

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

Jump to solution

There is no need to use name-brand software in schools. You are supposed to be teaching general concepts that can be applied across multiple fields. Don't just teach a specific application.

Due to how fast things change in technical fields, it is a mistake to be teaching students only with a specific application, because it may be obsolete or superseded by the time students get out the door.

Using Adobe Photoshop? The free GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) can do everything that matters.

            http://www.gimp.org/

Using Adobe Illustrator? Learn the free Inkscape instead.

            http://inkscape.org/en/

Using Microsoft Office? Use the free Google Apps for Education, the free Open Office, or the free Libre Office.

            http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education/

Using a commercial 3D Home Design program? Use the free Sweet Home 3D.

            http://www.sweethome3d.com/

Using expensive SolidWorks? PTC offers free educational licenses of their engineering software to students and schools.

            http://www.ptc.com/company/community/schools/download/

Using the ridiculously expensive Maya for 3D design? Why not see what the free Blender 3D can do for you?

            http://www.blender.org/

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DMahalko
1 Nickel

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

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Can't afford an expensive uninterruptible power supply capable of automatic network-based shutdown, for your server room? Coastal Business Machines is an official APC UPS refurbisher, which rebuilds and resells older APC hardware. Install a Management Card in the UPS, plug it into your network, and put the Network Shutdown listener on all the servers attached to the UPS. (Need the older version management card for older UPS's. Newer card won't fit.)

           http://coasttec.com/

Can't afford the offical VMWare virtualization? You can run vSphere as a free product with no expiration on individual machines, though enabling UPS auto-shutdown support is a bit odd and requires some customization.

          http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/

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DMahalko
1 Nickel

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

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And finally, for your actual question regarding memory, have you looked at eBay at all?

It looks to me like you can buy 32 gig of memory for about US $150 - $250....

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xdell+poweredge+%282900%2C+2950%...

All Dell server memory is ECC (Error correcting) memory, so you are protected against minor errors from bad batches bought secondhand on eBay or elsewhere. This is where I would just say, buy more sticks than you need, so if one goes bad you can swap in a spare from the parts pile.

If you are really worried about reliability with secondhand memory, then enable sparing or mirroring in the server BIOS. This will reduce available memory by 1/3 or 1/2, but at least if any memory fails it is instantly replaced with the spares/mirror.

If purchased from multiple sellers, make sure they are matched sticks, if you want to do sparing or mirroring. Server memory has technical details like speed (mhz) and number of ranks per stick. Or just buy several batches all from the same seller.

I believe PC2-5300 (667mhz) is the preferred speed. You can also use PC2-4200 (533mhz).

If you mix 667mhz with 533mhz in a server, it will run at the lower 533mhz speed for all modules.

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theflash1932
5 Iridium

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

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If shopping by spec and not by system, note that not just any PC2-5300 ECC memory will work ... the 2950 REQUIRES FB (Fully Buffered) DIMM's - Registered ECC will not work (or even fit).

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craigmgrant
1 Copper

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

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Thanks to the replies. You can close this thread now. I was contacted by a PC collection company and we managed to trade our old kit/broken kit for some server memory which really helped but we are also going along the lines of free apps as per recommendations. Great advice. Thanks
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theflash1932
5 Iridium

RE: re: School short of money so I'm looking for help with server memory.

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Go ahead and click on the green "YES" button for the answer(s) that were the most beneficial.

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